James Edward Grimm, 75, died on June 14, 2012 at home with his beloved, Donna, at his bedside and under St Joseph Hospital's Hospice Care, after a courageous battle with Congestive Heart Failure.
He was born June 22, 1936 in Fairmont, West Virginia where he lived out his childhood years enjoying archery and rifle hunting and hiking the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Paul Edward Grimm and Opal Jarrett Grim and sister, Carol Grimm Scofield.
A graduate of Fairmont Senior High School, he was often told he wouldn't amount to much by counselors and teachers. In Jim's typical "prove them wrong" fashion, he graduated first with a Bachelors Degree from Fairmont State University, and then West Virginia University, where he earned a Masters Degree in Sociology.
During his studies at Fairmont State he fell head over heels for a nursing student, Donna Lea Fancher, during a blind date - often telling the story that he only had to see her cute ponytail as walked past him and he knew that she was the one. They married two years later and remained husband and wife "til death do us part" 52 years later.
In 1961 Jim put his career and family life on hold, moving out of state to serve his country in the United States Navy, where he was stationed in Newport, RI as a sonar man aboard the USS Sperry and on Reserve Duty on a submarine in Groton, CT.
Jim fell in love with the ocean and sailing and after leaving the Navy, the Grimms decided to call Connecticut home. He began a long and heartfelt career as college professor teaching Sociology, Criminology, Anthropology and Psychology at Mitchell College in New London. He was also blessed with two additions to the family, first a son, Jeffrey and then a daughter, Jennifer in 1969.
In 1972 his teaching career led the family away from the Coast to Allegheny Community College in Cumberland, MD. After teaching for a total of 25 years, the couple decided to follow their kids to the West Coast, picking up stakes once again and relocating to California in 1988.
Finding a job was difficult for a tenured professor, but Jim wasn't one to give up easily. He gratefully accepted a job at the Crystal Cathedral in the maintenance department and was soon recognized for his work ethic and warm personality. He was offered a position in the Tower Lobby, then later transferred to the Memorial Gardens, working as a Licensed Funeral Director, ministering to grieving families. Passionate about his duties, he often teased that it was a "Grimm" career move.
Jim loved biking and participated in the LA Bike Tour with his daughter a total of five times, and had a wonderfully dry sense on humor. His voice was a beautiful tenor and could bring tears of joy to your eyes if you were ever fortunate enough to hear it. He valued friendships and honesty and he cherished his family. He also loved Donna's kinfolk back in West Virginia, which included her mother, Grace, 97 years old.
Jim loved the LORD and attended Mid Cities Baptist Church in Westminster. He will be interred at Riverside National Cemetery.
Velva Anderson Heck
Very sad to learn of the passing of another dear friend from school days. I cherish the memories and the fun he always brought to our group of friends. God bless the family, rest in peace, Jim.
I first saw Jim and Donna at the new members class at the Crystal Cathedral. We joined the church January 8, 1989. We started attending a Bible study group at Myrna Beach's home. we became friends and have stayed friends for twenty three years. Even though Jim had a higher education then I did, he never once was condescending to me. He was a real friend. We laughed together and cried together. I will miss him very much. My prayers for you Donna, Jeffrey and Jennifer
Donna you know that you and jim are loved by the entire Hadley family. We were about the first people you encountered when you visited the CC campus one evening. We invited you to join us as we attend a special service that evening being held in the Chapel in the Sky. I certainly concur with the very eloquent things already writen in this memory book. What I miss is the many chance meetings with Jim as we walked across the campus. Those were always a shot in the arm as we laughed and joked together.
God Loves You Donna and so do I.
Fifty-eight years ago, Jim wrote the following in my yearbook: “John: To a fellow with lots of humor; lots of luck. Jim”. And now life has come full circle.
“Jim: God speed, dear classmate. John”
Dear Donna and family,
This is what I learned about Jim from our days at the Crystal Cathedral.
He was a man of strong faith and character, great humor, and above all, deep love for you Donna and his family. Jim Grimm honored God, and by that measure alone he was a successful man.
I love how Ralph Waldo Emerson describes SUCCESS:
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
Jim was indeed a very successful man!
I'm so sorry for your loss Donna. I pray that God will comfort you with his love and peace.
Dave Robinson and Mary Lou Arnett Robinson
Donna...We did not know about Jim untill we received this email.He was a dear fraternity brother and I am sorry we lost close contact with you so long ago.He and I and Jim Orwig had good times together. I am sure that you and Mary Loyu could come up with some good stories about Nursing Training together.Please stay in touch. Love...Dave and Mary Lou
James and Tanya Kirkland
Dearest Jim and Donna: Jim you are one of the most beloved at the CC. We, the members miss you so very much. Donna, you are so loved here, and we miss you as much as we miss Jim. I know that God has made you healthy, and whole again, We will always remember-- our GREAT FRIEND.
The counselors at Fairmont State were so wrong when they told Jim he wouldn't amount to much.
This is what I believe Jim must have known in his heart and and the following verse backs up what he decided to do.
Stand at the crossroads and look: ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your soul. Jeremiah 6:16
Look at all he accomplished.
The next verse is for you Donna
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22
Jim knew what he wanted when he first saw you.
Sorry about your loss and my love and prayers are with you and family at this sad time.
Love from Susie and John Balk
Marion Lantz Stemple and Dave
Thanks for sending this, Donna. I learned many things about Jim that I didn't know and about both of your lives after we lost contact for so long. I know he will be missed by all who
knew him. Love & prayers, Marion I too now know much more about both your and Jim's life and travels than before. Hope to see you at the H.School reunion. Dave