Greg Grippo is one of three guys left on Katie Thurston’s season of “The Bachelorette.” The New Jersey native is extremely close to his family, some of whom will meet Thurston on the Monday, August 2, 2021, episode of the show.
From the beginning of his journey to find love with Thurston, Grippo has made it clear that his family is very important to him. In fact, on night one, he presented Thurston with a necklace made out of macaroni that was crafted by one of his young nieces.
The Grippo family has always been tight-knit, but they became even closer after Grippo’s dad, Frank, died unexpectedly in 2018.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. His Dad Died Suddenly in 2018
Back in 2018, the Grippo family received some devastating news; their patriarch, Frank Grippo, was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer and given one month to live. Frank died on December 30 that year, according to his obituary.
“Frank was born in Elizabeth [New Jersey], and raised in Piscataway. He moved to Edison 35 years ago after marrying the love of his life, his wife Sandra, where they raised their family. Frank began working for Grand Union when he was 14 years old and remained with the company until 2000, reaching the position of Regional Manager. In 2001, Frank began working at Nabisco as a Sales Representative until he retired in 2013. Following his retirement, he joined his wife Sandra at Melaleuca, Inc. as an Executive Director. Frank was a communicant of St. Matthew RC Church in Edison,” his obituary reads, in part.
The day after his dad’s death, Greg took to Instagram to share some photos of him. “I know you’re still with us, Love you forever,” he captioned the post, adding a red heart emoji.
Greg shared the loss of his dad with Thurston during their very first one-on-one date. The two bonded of losing their dads; Thurston’s dad died after a battle with ALS.
The Grippo family often shares memories of Frank on social media, especially on special days like his birthday and Father’s Day.
2. He Has 3 Siblings & Lots of Nieces & Nephews
It’s no surprise to hear that Greg wants a big family because he comes from a fairly big family — and it keeps on growing!
Greg has two sisters, Andrea and Samantha, and a brother named Joe. It appears as though all of Greg’s siblings are married and have kids of their own. According to her Instagram account, Andrea Ferraro has two kids and works as a pediatric occupational therapist.
Greg’s other sister, Samantha Collava, also has two kids, and his brother, Joe, is married and appears to have three kids. It’s possible that the oldest daughter is from a previous relationship.
The Grippo family — and the in-laws — spend a lot of time together, as evidenced by the photos on their respective Instagram and Facebook accounts.
3. His Mom, Sandy Grippo, Is a Wellness Marketing Specialist
Greg’s mom, Sandy, appears to be the backbone of their family. As the matriarch, she is obviously front and center at every birthday, holiday, and special occasion there is amongst her loved ones. Sandy and Frank were married for 35 years before he died. Their marriage is something that Greg talks about on “The Bachelorette,” as his parents have been the best role models for him.
Sandy is a proud grandmother, and openly admits that she’s “obsessed” with her family in her Instagram bio. Sandy is also passionate about her work as a wellness marketing specialist.
Her Instagram bio features a link to Sandy’s company, which is called “Make Green Go Green.”
“We are a group of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. We each chose to begin where we were to get to where we are and where we are going. We offer solutions to enhance all areas of life including health, wealth, environment and personal development. We provide an alternative way for people to achieve their personal and financial goals. We are people just like you, who have helped thousands of people change their lives,” the “About Us” portion of the website reads.
Sandy’s passion? “Wellness [and] eliminating toxins is my JAM!” reads her Instagram bio.
4. His Sister Defended Him While He Was on ‘The Bachelorette’
Most of the guys on Thurston’s season of “The Bachelorette” have found themselves part of an online conversation at one point or another during the season. Becoming more popular as the seasons go by are the memes that fans are creating, featuring the various people on the show. This season, Justin Glaze took the cake in the meme department, thanks to his incredibly funny facial expressions, however, Greg has also been the subject of some attempts at online humor.
Back on June 22, Greg was the focus of a meme shared by Chatty Broads. “When the guy next to you is getting interrogated about wanting to be the bachelor and you’ve gotta pretend to be disgusted while hiding your acting career aspirations,” read the text over Greg, who appeared perplexed and annoyed.
As previously reported by Heavy, Thurston liked the meme, later unliking it. Well, before that could happen, Greg’s sister, Andrea, came to his defense.
“[Katie Thurston] likes this post but was such a supporter of removing the toxicity and mean girls when she was on Matt’s season, you’d think if those intentions when [sic] genuine she’d had just as much of an issue with this post as well. Really disappointed in this,” Andrea wrote.
5. His Family Has Been Supportive of Him Joining ‘The Bachelorette’
Greg’s family has been supporting his decision to find love on national television, and have posted about his journey on social media.
Meanwhile, several of Sandy’s friends have been leaving messages on her Facebook, wishing Greg luck and showing their support.
“Looking forward to the hometown episode and your big TV moment! I never watch this show but I had to this season! Team Greg Grippo,” one of Sandy’s friends wrote on her Facebook wall. “It is so great to hear from you! Lol, thank you for watching and supporting Greg,” Sandy responded, in part.