Waltham, MA – Waltham Police Department (WPD) Officer Charles “Charlie” Gryska died on Dec. 6 following a courageous battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer, according to his family.
Officer Gryska, 33, was diagnosed with Stage IV Diffuse Midline Glioma in February, after he went to the hospital due to an “unrelenting headache” and “blurry vision,” according to a fundraising campaign established to help his family.
His community rallied the young officer as he went through multiple surgeries and a vigorous schedule of radiation and chemotherapy in the months that followed.
Officer Gryska passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his family, on Dec. 6, according to his department.
“Today, the men and women of the Waltham Police Department mourn the loss of our brother, Officer Charlie Gryska,” the WPD said in a Facebook post. “We will always remember Charlie’s infectious smile, cheerful attitude, and outgoing personality.”
Officer Gryska graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth with a criminal justice degree in 2008, according to his obituary.
“It was Charlie’s life-long dream to pursue a career in the law enforcement field,” the tribute read.
While working as a security officer at Massachusetts General Hospital, Officer Gryska graduated from the New England Regional Police Institute.
He joined the WPD in 2015, and began working as a patrol officer after he successfully completed the Reading Police Academy.
“Since being diagnosed in February of this year, the support from the community has been remarkable and will never be forgotten by members of this department and the Gryska family,” the WPD’s post read. “Please keep his wife and children in your thoughts and prayers.”
Officer Gryska leaves behind his wife, Jacqueline, and their young children, Jack, Bryce, and Abby, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by his parents, step-mother, siblings, and five nieces.
Officer Gryska will be laid to rest on Friday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Waltham Police Department Officer Charles “Charlie” Gryska, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.