Dr. Carl V. Griesy passed away Thursday morning Oct. 10, 2013.
He was born Dec. 27, 1928 in Belmond, Iowa.
After graduating from high school at age 16, he went onto study pre-med at Luther College. Carl then enlisted in the United States Army in 1946 as a surgical technician. He was full of stories about his time in Okinawa. After receiving a World War II Victory Medal, he was discharged in 1948. It was at this time he began his studies to become a medical doctor. He earned his medical degree at the University of Iowa, and took his first position as a family practice physician in Rock Rapids, Iowa. In the early 1970's because of his love of the Two Harbors area, he accepted a position at the Two Harbors Clinic. Not long after, he opened his private practice in Two Harbors. In 1993 he closed his practice and took a position as the first Urgent Care physician at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, where practiced for 10 more years, before retiring.
Carl was asked at the nursing home what he did for fun; he replied "I love being a doctor." He also enjoyed breakfast every Saturday morning with his good friend Don Cameron. Eventually others joined them and thus was born the Algonquian Club.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Selma Hill Griesy Johnson, and his father, Carl Cato Griesy.
Carl is survived by his wife of 30 years, Louise; his children, Gabriel Fransen (Kelsey), Jeremiah Fransen (Lisa), Eric Fransen (Leigh), Phillip Griesy, Jonathan Griesy (Pam), Emily Griesy Perry (Chub), Paul Griesy (Kathy), Mary Griesy Anderson (Greg), Carl Grey (Kathleen), Kay Pond (Mick), and Rebecca Jane Griesy (Tom Baldes); 19 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a brother, Paul Griesy.
In accordance with Carl's wishes, he wanted no viewing or funeral service. He was cremated and in the spring his ashes will be taken to Belmond, where he will be buried beside his father. For those that wish to make a donation in memory of Dr. Griesy, donations may be sent to Autism Speaks, 1060 State Rd 2nd Floor, Princeton, NJ 08540 or autismspeaks.org.
To sign the online register book please visit www.cavallinfuneralhome.com.
From The Lake County News-Chronicle
By: LaReesa Sandretsky
Dr. Carl Griesy, 84, passed away Oct. 10 after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He practiced family medicine in Two Harbors for 20 years and was the first urgent care doctor at St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth, a position he held for 10 years. He treated many during his career, but according to colleague Tom Lohstreter, he never took himself too seriously.
When someone would compliment his skill in the office, Griesy would reply, “Oh, I’m just an ol’ poop.” He even got an eye-catching vanity license plate emblazoned with “OL’ POOP.”
“He always would self-deprecate,” Lohstreter said. “It was just fun.”
Lohstreter shadowed Griesy beginning in 1977, his first year of medical school. From that grew a strong professional bond and a friendship spanning more than three decades.
“I have such, such fond memories of the man,” Lohstreter said. “He really, really did shape me as a physician.”
Griesy was born Dec. 27, 1928, in Belmond, Iowa. He served in the U.S. Army for two years during World War II before completing medical school at the University of Iowa. He accepted a position at the Community Health Clinic in Two Harbors in the early 1970s before beginning his own private practice about a year later.
“He was so dedicated to his patients. You don’t have any doctors like that anymore,” Lohstreter said.
He told the story of when Griesy was off the clock and one of his regular patients called a different doctor who was on call at the hospital to report indigestion. The doctor instructed the man to take some antacids and lie down. He died that night of a heart attack.
According to Lohstreter, Griesy knew he could have saved the man. He knew that patient was reluctant to complain, so if he had called the hospital at all, it must have been serious. From that moment on, Griesy decided he would always be on call for his patients. It’s that depth of relationship with his patients and willingness to go above and beyond that made Griesy a “giant among doctors,” Lohstreter said.
Griesy had a full life apart from the lab coat, too. He raised eight kids — five biological and three adopted — with his first wife, Becky. In 1983, he remarried, adding three stepchildren to the brood.
“He was always supportive for all of his kids and me,” said his wife, Louise Fransen.
Fransen met Griesy when she was his patient and worked as his receptionist before they were married. When he gave up his private practice to work as an urgent-care doctor in Duluth, his building on Waterfront Drive was suddenly vacant, and Fransen no longer had a job.
With Griesy’s encouragement, she transformed his former office into Louise’s Place. It started as a gift shop and grew into a bakery, coffee shop and restaurant. Twenty years later, Louise’s is a community fixture owned by Fransen, and she said she couldn’t have done it without Griesy’s support.
“Whatever I wanted to do, he said I could do it,” she said.
His son, Jonathan Griesy, said his father always came to his track meets and band concerts, too, supporting him in all of his endeavors — except for football, which he thought was too violent, Jonathan said with a laugh.
“He was a very busy man but he was very loving and made time for us growing up,” Jonathan said. “He was a funny person. He taught me that things in life happen and you get through it.”
In addition to Fransen, Griesy is survived by a brother, 11 children, 19 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.