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Sharon Grawe, known best by those who loved her as Dewey, passed away on October 23, 2023 after a battle with Alzheimer’s. At her diagnosis, Dewey made her family promise that they would laugh through this awful disease. A promise they all kept until the end, including Dewey, who would often smile and laugh in her sleep while her family laughed around her. Dewey is in heaven – a BINGO hall full of pull tabs and slot machines – with her beloved mother and father, Mary A. (nee Meyer) and Bob Monk (Mary Catherine Monk of Crittenden, KY, survives), brother, Bobby Monk (the Louie to her Dewey), mother and father in law, Shirley and Harry Grawe, and brother in-law Dave Grawe.
Dewey was remarkably close in age and in life with her sister Linda who was a second mom to Dewey’s kids as much as Dewey was to Linda’s sons, Scott and Marc. Linda, briefly the Huey to her Dewey and always the “good sister,” was never far away when Dewey was breaking the rules and was often the first to point a finger Dewey’s way when the jig was up. Dewey was particularly betrayed when Linda snitched on her for hopping from pew to pew in the St. Teresa Church balcony. But she did not learn her lesson and she could never stay mad at Linda for too long because the crime was always worth the punishment, especially when there was some fun to be had.
Together, Dewey and Linda helped to care for their younger brothers, Bobby, Jim (Dee), Dan (Reggie) and Brian (Reenie) after their mother’s untimely illness and passing. Her first foray into her absolute favorite job: mother. Dewey loved her family fiercely and would have done anything for her siblings, including chasing their formidable father around the house with a broom when he was a little too tough on any of them.
At twelve years old, something magical and unusual happened to Dewey – she met the love of her life, Ric, on the St. William playground. Ric and Dewey were best friends and were married on August 4, 1972. In the 51 years they were married Ric’s family became Dewey’s family and she loved his parents, Harry and Shirley, and siblings, Dave (Janet), Den, Sharon (Jim) and Doug, like her own. Their life together was full of love, jokes, the best breaded pork chops and the worst chocolate cakes. Ric was the funny one, but Dewey gave as good as she got and was always ready with a quick witted and sarcastic aside. Once when asked why they were married so long they joked, “because divorce is expensive.” But anyone who saw them together knew they shared a deep love and friendship that saw them through times of great joy and hardship. Even at the end of her life when she could remember precious little else, she knew that Ric was “a good guy” and her “best guy.” For the first 46 years of their marriage, Dewey did nearly everything for Ric and for the last five years, he did nearly everything for her. Neither would have had it any other way during their years of caring for each other.
The only thing that brought Dewey more joy than babies was her babies, Bryan, Mary and Zac. No one will ever love her children more or better than she did. She refused to have the internet in her household until 2005 because she was afraid they might be “stolen in a chat room.” She never let them keep bouncy balls they won from quarter machines for fear that they might choke on them. There was rarely a thunderstorm that wasn’t spent in the basement with a weather radio, and she made them check each piece of candy in their Halloween bags for razor blades. One of her greatest accomplishments in life was loving and protecting her children. She always listened to them without judgment and truly would have loved them no matter what they did. None of her children were murderers, but if they were, she would have helped them bury the body. This unwavering love empowered her children to take risks, make bold choices, and make mistakes because they knew with certainty that Dewey was their home base and their safety net.
To be loved by Dewey was the gift of a lifetime. She led with empathy and generosity and would do anything for almost anybody. She spent her life taking care of others and it brought her a lot of frustration to need so much care in the end, but you reap what you sow and Dewey sowed a lot of love and received it in return. She loved being a wife, mother, aunt, sister and friend to all of you and she will be dearly and deeply missed.
Dewey loved a good party, so in lieu of flowers, her family asks that you buy your favorite cocktail or drink and raise a toast to her or a memorial contribution in Dewey’s memory may be made to the Chicago Jesuit Academy, 5058 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60644-4324.
Visitation Friday, November 3, 2023, 4PM-5:30PM followed by a Catholic Funeral Blessing at 5:30PM, Ralph Meyer & Deters Funeral Home, 4164 W. 8th Street, Price Hill. Following the Blessing at the funeral home, Dewey's family will be celebrating her life from 7:00PM-10:00PM at the Glen Carder Lodge, 5125 Foley Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45238.