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Frank Charles Gradischnig, III
Des Moines

Frank Charles Gradischnig III, aka, Chuck Gradi, 70, peacefully passed away Monday, April 27, 2009, at Wesley Acres Hospice of lung cancer. The body is being cremated.

A member of St. Ambrose Cathedral and a Junior Warden at the Capital Masonic Lodge, Chuck was born in Ambridge PA, grew up and attended St. Peter & Paul Catholic school in Milwaukee, WI, and moved to Des Moines as a young adult. Chuck's early professional life was spent as a foreman at AMF Western Tool and Brady Manufacturing. He was an active Democratic and an organizer/member of the local UAW and AFL-CIO.

A life-long music lover, he played trumpet in the various local big bands, sang in choirs and performed in musical theatre productions. After being cast in a speaking role in the Sylvester Stallone film F.I.S.T. Chuck moved to Los Angeles and spent ten years pursuing an acting and film production career. His retirement years were spent on his sailboat with family and friends.

Chuck is survived by son, Casey Gradischnig (Karla Kash); and daughter, Melissa Gradischnig-Nelson (David Nelson) of Des Moines; son, Tony Gradischnig of Portland OR; grandsons, Nicolas Clausen and Joseph Nelson; former wife, Sharon Wheeler-Gradischnig; and two great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, Elizabeth and Frank Charles Gradischnig, Jr.

Funeral services will be held at Friday, May 1, at 10 a.m., at St. Ambrose Cathedral with lunch to follow. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Ambrose Cathedral or to the family.

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