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WWII Vet, Lifelong Local Drew Grouse, 88

Founding member of the Grassy Plains Drum Corps and Jazz for Juniors passed away Sunday.

Andrew (Drew) J. Grouse Jr., 88, of Brookfield died on April 13, 2014 at his home surrounded by his family.

He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Arlene Couture Grouse; his sons, A.J. Grouse and his spouse, Wilfred, of Guilford and K.C. Grouse and his wife, Lisa, of Brookfield; his daughter, Kim Grouse Kuzek and her husband, Murray, of Phoenix, AZ; his sister, Sandy Marquis of Newtown; and his grandchildren, Matthew Grouse, of Hartford, Tyler Somoskovec, of Phoenix, AZ and Cody Somoskovec, of Phoenix, AZ.

He was predeceased by his son Andrew Grouse III, his mother Ethel Beale Grouse, his father Andrew J. Grouse Sr. and his sisters Betty Jean Grouse and Joan McAllister.

Drew was a life-long resident of the Danbury area and born in Danbury Hospital. He spent his younger years in Bethel, graduating from Danbury High School in 1943. After serving his country in the U.S. Navy during WWII, he opened Drew's Drive-In, a popular spot for teenagers in the 1950s, at what is now North St Shopping Center. His career included working at Cold Mix Asphalt as Office Manager in New Milford and at Bird Motors Volkswagen in Danbury where he won many sales awards.

Drew was a people person, volunteering his time with many organizations. His first love was music, beginning as a child when he was a founding member of the Grassy Plain Drum Corp in 1936. He continued playing the drums throughout his life, playing in many bands in CT and NY. He was a drum teacher and mentor to many young aspiring musicians. He founded and played for Jazz for Juniors at local venues, and founded a fund through the Scholarship for the Arts to recognize young, aspiring musicians.

Drew helped many people in their recovery through AA and as past President and member of the Board of the Midwestern Connecticut Council of Alcoholism. After retiring from the car business, he became an Assistant Counselor at Cornerstone of Eagle Hill in Sandy Hook.

Drew also loved to ride bikes with his grandchildren and was active at the YMCA Brookfield for many years. He touched many lives with his stories and passion for music. Drew will be missed by all that knew and loved him. "Music is my mistress and she plays second fiddle to no one," Duke Ellington.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western CT, Inc., 39 Old Ridgebury Rd., Danbury, CT 06810. Services are private and there are no calling hours. On-line condolences at www.thegreenfuneralhome.com.

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