Temple Grassi



Chevy Chase, Md. and Northeast Harbor

Temple Grassi of Chevy Chase, Md., and Northeast Harbor, born Dec. 10, 1946, died peacefully from metastatic melanoma in his Chevy Chase home surrounded by his family on Sept. 17, at the age of 74.

He was a graduate of Woodberry Forest in Orange, Va., and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating from UNC, Temple began his teaching career at The Gilman School in Baltimore, Md., moving to the Allen Stevenson School in New York City, and at the Landon School, in Bethesda, Md., where he taught for the remaining 22 years of his 32-year career. Although Temple retired, he remained a lifelong educator in the art of being a proper sportsman, gentleman and clubman. An accomplished sportsman, Temple played football, soccer and lacrosse while at Woodberry Forest. He would eventually become co-captain of the lacrosse team and ultimately bring his skills to UNC, where he played for four years. During his summers, when not in Northeast Harbor, Temple was a camper and, later, a counselor at Camp Kieve in Nobleboro. His love of Woodberry, UNC and Kieve had no bounds. Until his last day, he could be found following the football and lacrosse teams for both Woodberry and UNC and singing the second verse of the Kieve Alma Mater loud and clear for all to hear.

After moving to New York City, Temple was introduced to what would become his great obsession, court tennis — a game few know, but many love. He met his lovely wife, Eleuthera, and together they moved to Washington, D.C., where he began a 15-year quest to build a court tennis court. Ultimately, Temple was successful and Princes Court opened up in McLean, Va. It was then that the nickname was born, “The Ambassador,” as he would continue until his dying day to teach and educate anyone who would listen about his beautiful sport. “The Ambassador” was predeceased by his father, Ettore H.A. “Bud” Grassi, and is survived by his mother, Edith Gwathmey Grassi; wife, Eleuthera S. Grassi; elder sister, Louise Whitney (Karen); younger brother, Edward Grassi (Judith); daughters Melissa Purcell (Andrew), Charlotte Aukamp and Helen Vest (Chad); five grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to his memorial service on Oct. 26 at 11 a.m., located at the Washington National Cathedral. The family asks, in lieu of flowers, to please make a donation to The United States Court Tennis Preservation Foundation, attention The Junior Development Program, using the website: https://usctpf.org/player-development/ or mailing address: USCTPF, c/o Jane Lippincott – Treasurer, P.O. Box 194, Jamestown, RI 02835.

Know when to pay your respects.