SOUTH PORTLAND — Christopher Robert Grasse, 68, died Sept. 16 after a courageous struggle with cancer.
Born July 1, 1943, in Portland, the son of Robert Grasse and Frances Grasse, a well-known piano teacher.
After he graduated from South Portland High School he spent a post-graduate year at North Yarmouth Academy.
In 1967, he opened a portrait studio on Exchange Street where it grew in popularity for family portraits, weddings and personal portfolios. When his studio was vandalized and burglarized in 1971 he was forced to close the business.
After that, he began working on a ship with the late captain, Rodney Ross.
An enthusiastic cyclist and swimmer, he enjoyed spending 40 summers on Little Sebago Lake.
He collected old computers, and after fixing them would give them away for free to poor families with school-age children.
An inspiration to many artists of all kinds, he helped people believe in themselves and their work.
He never sought the limelight but preferred to help the elderly, poor and homeless on a daily basis in Portland and South Portland. Selfless and caring, forsaking himself for those less fortunate, he would give his last dime to a hungry person.
He is survived by his half sister, Mrs. Henry Green of Port Orange, Fla., and his life partner of 50 years, Edward T. Richardson Jr., Esq, of South Portland.
Memorial donations can be made to the Preble Street Resource Center, 5 Portland St., Portland, ME 04101.
A gathering of friends will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at Hobbs Hospitality Center, 230 Cottage Rd., South Portland.