top banner

Obituary Listings

Edward Preston Grissom

December 8, 1934 July 22, 2019
Edward Preston Grissom
There are condolences waiting approval on Edward's Tribute wall

Plant a tree in memory of Edward

An environmentally friendly option
Obituary for Edward Preston Grissom

Edward Preston Grissom, 84, of Chesapeake, passed away peacefully, Monday, July 22, 2019 in his home, surrounded by his family.
Born in Old Norfolk County, he was the son of the late Ruben Edward Grissom and Cathleen Lassiter Grissom.
Survivors include his loving and faithful wife of 62 years, Bettie Fentress Grissom; children, Cindy MacDonald and husband Richard, Edward P. Grissom, Jr. and wife Elizabeth, Taylor Grissom and wife Kerry, and William “Bud” Grissom; grandchildren, Ashlee, Taylor and wife Jana, Katie, Elena, Madeline, Farouk Vance, Preston, Emilee and Payton; a sister, Rebecca VanAusdall and husband Jerry; a niece, Katherine and a nephew, Jay; a brother-in-law Jack Custer; a nephew Scott Custer and nieces, Lee Martin, Bonnie Wright, and Sue Phelps.

A man of deep faith, Preston Grissom was a faithful and devout member of Centerville Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon and taught Sunday School for more than 60 years. Centerville played an important role in his faith and his life as a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend.

Preston Grissom grew up in South Norfolk attending South Norfolk Baptist Church, where he was baptized. He graduated from South Norfolk High School. He studied at the University of Richmond, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He continued to study at the University of Richmond’s T.C. Williams School of Law, where he received his Bachelor of Laws degree before becoming a member of the Virginia State Bar. Preston Grissom was a member of the law firm of White, Ryan & Reynolds from 1960-1974. He served as First Judicial Circuit Representative to the Virginia State Bar Council during 1967-1974.
Preston Grissom was among the original men and women who lobbied for the 1963 merger of South Norfolk and Norfolk County which established the City of Chesapeake. He was one of the organizers of Chesapeake Hospital Authority (now Chesapeake Regional Health Center) and served as its attorney during its initial stages of operation.
Preston Grissom served most of his professional career as a judge of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Judge Grissom was first appointed as a Substitute Judge in 1961 and later as Associate Judge of the Municipal and Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court of Chesapeake from 1964-1970. He was appointed as Judge of the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District upon its inception in 1970. He served in that capacity as Chief Judge until his appointment as Judge of the Circuit Court of Chesapeake in 1990 until his retirement in 1998. When he retired, Judge Grissom was one of the longest sitting judges in Virginia. He continued to serve as a substitute judge and mediator until his death.
During his tenure in the court, Judge Grissom worked to improve the court system and its ability to address the needs of families and children. He served as President of the Virginia Council of Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Judges, Chairman of the District Courts Judicial Conduct Committee, and was elected a member of the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission by the General Assembly. He served on the Board of the National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges. He served in numerous capacities to advance initiatives throughout the Commonwealth to support the improvement of Virginia’s judicial system and development and protection of youth. He also played an important role in the design and building of the new court buildings for Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, District Court, and Circuit Court for the City of Chesapeake.
Judge Grissom served Chowan University for more than 18 years, where he served on the Board of Visitors, Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Executive Committee. A lover of history, he believed it was important to educate future generations of our past. He envisioned, and along with many others helped found the Great Bridge Battlefield and Waterways History Foundation. He also served on the Norfolk County Historical Society.
Judge Grissom was honored to receive the 1st Citizens Award of Chesapeake in 1990 and the DAR History Award Medal from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution in 2018.
A private interment will be in Chesapeake Memorial Gardens. A celebration of Preston’s life will be conducted at 2: 00 p.m., Monday, July 29, 2019 at Great Bridge Baptist Church. Rev. Danny Morris will officiate. The family will receive friends following the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Great Bridge Battlefield and Waterways History Foundation or Chowan University E. Preston and Bettie Grissom Scholarship Fund.
​Friends are invited to sign the online guest book at

To plant a tree in memory of Edward Preston Grissom, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Memorial Service




2:00 PM 7/29/2019 2:00:00 PM
Great Bridge Baptist Church

640 Battlefield Blvd., South
Chesapeake, VA 23322

Great Bridge Baptist Church
640 Battlefield Blvd., South Chesapeake 23322 VA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Chowan University, E. Preston and Bettie Grissom Scholarship Fund

Office of Development
One University Place
Murfreesboro, NC 27855
For online contributions: Please write: E. Preston and Bettie Grissom Scholarship Fund under "Gift Designation". For mailed contributions: Please note "E. Preston and Bettie Grissom Scholarship Fund" on the memo line

Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation

PO Box 15425
Chesapeake, VA 23328
Click on "Donate". Under Donations clidk on "Other" and insert "Preston Grissom" in the other memo line.

Create new album
Subscribe To Obituaries

We appreciate your support
In accordance with the wishes of the family, this
message has been declined.