Generous Philanthropist: Remembering Stephen Grand
A humble man who helmed two successful companies, Stephen Grand, 77, of Belvedere, Calif., succumbed to cancer on March 21, 2021.
Detroit-born philanthropist and business titan Stephen Grand, possessed of a caring nature, used his bounty to make a difference in the world.
A humble man who helmed two successful companies, Mr. Grand, 77, of Belvedere, Calif., succumbed to cancer on March 21, 2021.
He and his dynamic wife, Nancy J. Grand were a “power couple,” said Robert Aronson, former CEO of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. They moved about 15 years ago to the San Francisco Bay area.
“His generosity went far beyond others in our community,” Aronson said, mentioning that Mr. Grand matched and even surpassed million-dollar-donations to Federation’s Annual Campaign from philanthropists with better name recognition. Tamarack Camps was another focus of the Grands’ local giving.
Mr. Grand first was president of Deco-Grand (formerly Grand Machinery), a large manufacturer of precision components and assemblies for diesel engines in the automotive industry. The company’s founder was his father, Sam Grand, an engineer from Odessa, Ukraine.
When Stephen Grand sold the business in the early 1980s, he “dedicated himself to using the proceeds to advance science,” said longtime friend Ed Levy. That was an ambition befitting the University of Michigan graduate who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science.
In 1990, Mr. Grand’s next chapter was becoming president and a partner in Grand/Sakwa Properties, a major developer of residential and retail properties in Southeast Michigan.
Aided Many Causes
Succeeding in business made it possible for the Grands to indulge their generous inclination to fund projects and institutions throughout the United States and Israel. The Grands also assisted with research into cancer and alternative and renewable energy sources. They supported arts and culture, job training for the homeless and Jewish needs worldwide.
Cutting-edge biomedical research is conducted at the Nancy and Stephen Grand Israel National Center of Personalized Medicine at Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Other beneficiaries include Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, headquartered in Connecticut, and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel.
Mr. Grand received a Technion Honorary Doctorate in 2010 for his “unwavering support” over four decades.
After Levy introduced his friend to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Mr. Grand became “an enthusiastic supporter of AIPAC and Israeli politics.”
Known for having a warm and genuine personality, Mr. Grand also enjoyed enduring friendships with Detroit communal leaders Larry Jackier and Stanley Frankel.
“Steve Grand is one of the finest people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing,” said Alan S. Schwartz, his friend since childhood. “I’ve been lucky enough to witness his nearly unrivaled generosity to the great medical and research institutions in Israel and to the Jewish people and was inspired by his commitment to the communities in which he and Nancy lived.”
Stephen Grand is survived by his wife, Nancy; her children, Russell Maddin and Lauren Gaver; her grandchildren, Alexis Maddin, Riley Maddin and Jack Gaver; sisters, Betsy Marcus and Diana Grand; sister-in-law, Susan Spilker; nieces, nephews and a world of friends.
A private family service was held. Contributions may be made to a charity of one’s choice. Arrangements by Ira Kaufman Chapel.
Stephen Grand of Belvedere, California, died on 21 March 2021.
The Funeral was a private family service on Tuesday, 23 March 2021.
Family members include:
Beloved and adoring husband of Nancy Grand; fondly remembered as “Pop” to Nancy’s children, Russell Maddin and Lauren Gaver; loving “Grampa” to Nancy’s grandchildren, Alexis Maddin, Riley Maddin and Jack Gaver; dear brother of Betsy Marcus and Diana Grand; brother-in-law of Susan Spilker; also affectionately remembered by nieces, nephews, and a world of friends.