Frank J. Grady
August 14, 1941 –
January 12, 2020
Frank J. Grady, MD, PhD, 78, passed away January 12, 2020, at his home in Lake Jackson, TX.
He was born August 14, 1941, in Brooklyn, NY, to Richard P. and Mildred O’Grady, a firefighter and a school secretary. He grew up in a working class, predominantly Jewish neighborhood where he went to Erasmus Hall High School with Barbara Streisand and Bobbie Fischer. His parents instilled in him the importance of education and he went on to graduate from Columbia University, summa cum laude, in 1961. He subsequently attended the Yale School of Medicine where in 1965 he graduated first in his class. He then completed a rotating internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. His residency was at Harkness Eye Institute of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. Concurrent with his residency, he completed a PhD in Retinal Physiology at the City University of New York. Dr. Grady was also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Following his education, he was proud to serve his country in the United States Coast Guard as a member of the Public Health Service. His time with Uncle Sam was spent initially in Seattle and then in Galveston, Texas, where he formed many lifelong friendships. During his time in Galveston, he studied for his Medical Board exams, on which he scored the highest grade in the country. His strident work ethic and indefatigable energy were exemplified by the fact that, on top of work and studying for Boards, it was during his time in Galveston that he began “moonlighting” on the weekends at the ER of a small hospital – the Community Hospital of Brazosport.
He started his practice of ophthalmology in Lake Jackson, renting an exam room in the office of a local obstetrician. His first year in Brazosport coincided with a local Dow strike and was so unsuccessful that he seriously considered leaving. But, at the urging of other physicians in the area who convinced him that his services were needed, he decided to stay, and it was in Lake Jackson where he met his loving wife, Donna.
He brought multiple cutting-edge technologies and procedures to his new community. He was the first surgeon in the state of Texas to engage in the then-new approach of implanting an intraocular lens (IOL) following cataract surgery. Dr. Grady provided indispensable expertise and guidance to Intermedics in their acquisition of IOL technology and worked with numerous IOL companies in their clinical trials to obtain FDA approval for their products.
In 1980, he became the first physician in the Houston area to perform radial keratotomy (RK), a radical surgery at the time which was used to correct myopia, and which eventually led to the development of LASIK surgery. To better serve his patients Dr. Grady built and opened one of the first ambulatory surgery centers in the state. Patients came from around the globe for Dr. Grady to perform their RK in Lake Jackson. He was a founding member of the International Keratorefractive Club and delighted in meeting with his international colleagues who were also at the forefront of vision enhancement, and he remained a prominent member of the international ophthalmological community throughout his career. In addition to the various surgeries which he helped to pioneer, Dr. Grady provided regular ophthalmological care to tens of thousands of members of the Brazosport community in his decades-long medical career at the practice now headed by his son Jonathan.
In addition to serving patients locally, Dr. Grady joined with his friend, Dr. Tom Pruett, to provide sight-saving eye care to patients at a medical clinic in Juarez, Mexico, for many years. It has provided care for thousands of individuals and was one of the things of which he was most proud.
When not serving patients, Dr. Grady enjoyed being a member of the Brazosport Rotary Club for over 40 years. He served as a board member of multiple community boards, including those of the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra, the Jewish Community of Brazosport (JaCOB), and Brazosport Memorial Hospital.
Though he wasn’t on a plane until he was 23, he was an avid traveler – always on the hunt for his next adventure – who, by the end, was proud to have ventured to multiple countries on six continents. He was an ardent proponent of education who put all four of his children through college and graduate school (occasionally multiple graduate schools) and who was proud to support the local schools and community college with scholarships that allowed local high school students to attend dual-and-concurrent courses at Brazosport College. He was also a lifelong animal lover and will be missed dearly by his dogs, Abbey and Princess Charlotte (Charlie).
Frank was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Donna, as well as his four children: Jonathan (wife Amanda and their children Benjamin and Rosie), of Lake Jackson; Brent, of Richwood and Rishikesh, India; Eric (wife Victoria and their daughter Julia), of Austin; and Emily Parell (husband William), of Louisville, KY.
Visitation will be from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Tuesday, January 14, at Lakewood Funeral Chapel in Lake Jackson. Funeral service will be at the First United Methodist Church of Lake Jackson at 2:30 pm on Wednesday, January 15. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to Back Pack Buddies at the Brazoria County Dream Center, the Brazosport College scholarship fund, or the First United Methodist Church of Lake Jackson.