Jan. 27, 1952 – Nov. 23, 2022
After a long career in the automotive industry, Michael Dominic Grano decided to explore his interest in real estate and start his own apartment rental and rental management company.
He had been involved in real estate for years and used money from the sale of his two Napa auto parts stores to reinvest in additional rental properties. He flipped some of them, while other properties remained with his family.
His daughter Michelle said her father always used his wisdom and imagination to plan for the future.
“He got involved in real estate because it’s just something he enjoyed doing and saw it as a good investment opportunity,” she said. “He always had a vision for things.”
Always a devoted family man to his five children and wife, he had a “larger-than-life personality” with the smile, charisma and booming voice to match, his family noted.
Mr. Grano, of East Amherst, died of leukemia on Nov. 23 surrounded by his wife and children. He was 70.
Born in Buffalo, he attended St. Attended John the Baptist and graduated from Cardinal O’Hara High School and Canisius College.
He owned Logan & Younger Napa Auto Parts in the Village of East Aurora and South Hills Napa Auto Parts in Springville until 2005, after serving as sales manager at the family business Grano & Sons in Tonawanda.
Mr. Grano then became a real estate entrepreneur and founded Grano Management Inc. starting until his retirement in 2016. He turned his passion for cars into a sales consultant position at Basil Ford and won the Best of the Best Award at Basil Ford in 2016.
He married the former Martha Ann Merck on January 21, 1984 at St. Gregory the Great Roman Catholic Church, where the two parishioners were. They were married 38 years.
A pancreatic cancer survivor of six years, Mr. Grano was a Cub Scout pack leader and hockey coach, member of the Corvette Club and former chairman of Catholic Charities for St. Gregory the Great Parish. He also has the St. Greg’s hockey league starts.
Among his hobbies Mr. Grano enjoyed fishing, golfing, boating and dancing and sang the national anthem at a Buffalo Bison’s game. He also played Santa during the holiday season.
His family said Mr. Grano was a people person who loved talking to customers and getting to know potential tenants. He was not only a landlord, but helped mentor the people who bought and rented property from his company.
He also helped them when they needed it, even after they moved out, his family said. There was one tenant in particular for whom Mr. Grano would always make sure he was taken care of, whether that meant buying him a winter coat or a new pair of boots, his wife said.
In addition to his wife and daughter Michelle, he is survived by three other daughters, Lisa Perry, Andrea Thaxton and Annie Downs; a son, Michael Jr.; three brothers, David, Joseph Jr. and Robert; a sister, Angela Downing; and seven grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday at 8:45 am. in St. Gregory the Great Church, 200 St. Gregory Court, Williamsville, be celebrated. Burial will be at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Cheektowaga.