Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for The Bachelorette.
Many fans of The Bachelorette loved Greg Grippo — that is until he stormed off the show and gaslit and manipulated Katie Thurston in the process. But until then, Greg was a definite frontrunner, perhaps even Katie’s first choice as the winner of her season. At one point, Katie and Greg bonded over the recent deaths of their fathers, so what happened to Greg Grippo’s father?
Although Greg talks about his father’s passing on his and Katie’s first one-on-one, there’s still a lot about it that we don’t know. And while we’re all a little mad at Greg right now, we definitely have a soft spot for what he and his family had to go through with his father.
Greg Grippo’s father passed away in December of 2018.
Katie’s season of The Bachelorette was filmed in the spring of 2020, so it had only been a bit over two years since Greg lost his father, Frank J. Grippo Jr.
According to Frank’s obituary, he passed away after a battle with cancer, which Greg later revealed to be Stage 4. His obituary explains, “He turned his 3-month prognosis into a year, holistically and organically, with the help of his family and friends.”
2018 was a very challenging year for Greg and his family, but he doesn’t seem to take his time with his father for granted. Greg and his three siblings post frequently about their father.
“Frank was described by those who knew him best as a ‘lover of life,’” his obituary reads. “He possessed an infectious laugh that would light up any environment. An avid traveler, beach enthusiast … Frank sought to instill in his children a zest for life, a commitment to loved ones, and the power of a smile.”
Well, we know that Greg definitely picked up the power of a smile. Greg, his father, and their family appeared to have a very charmed life in New Jersey, where Frank Grippo was born and raised. He raised his four children in Edison, NJ with “the love of his life, his wife Sandra,” whom we meet in The Bachelorette.
Katie shared with Greg Grippo’s family how she also lost her father.
The first thing that brings Katie and Greg together is their shared loss. We learn in Matt’s season of The Bachelor that Katie lost her father, but we didn’t know much more than that. As Katie’s season continued, she shared that she lost him to ALS, a debilitating disease that results in death anywhere from one to five years after the diagnosis.
When Katie meets Sandra and Greg’s siblings, she shares that she also lost her father, so they have that in common. But later in the evening, things go south when Greg shares with Katie that she “fills a hole in his heart” that was left by his father’s passing, and he feels that she doesn’t reciprocate this feeling.
While Katie tries to understand his sudden change in demeanor, the way we see it play out on television is very different. And since Katie shared a post about “gaslighting” right after the hometowns episode aired, it seems like Katie agrees that Greg might have been manipulating the situation.
Regardless, our condolences go out to Greg’s very sweet mother, his family, and to him, and we appreciate the Grippos sharing their story with the world.
Tune into The Bachelorette finale Monday, Aug. 9 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.