Richard Carlton Grimes, Sr. died at home one week before his 82nd birthday. The third of six children born to Charlie Clark Grimes, Sr. and Nina Louise Taylor Grimes, Rich grew up in Milledgeville, Georgia where he, his brothers and lots of cousins experienced a typical Southern childhood, barefoot and shirtless as often as possible. Rich played football and ran track at Baldwin High School. His family were foundational members of the small Milledgeville Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1959, Rich, his parents and two younger brothers moved to Utah. Along the way, they camped by the highway and cooked meals on a camp stove. When they arrived, Rich lived with a cousin in Provo and started college at BYU. He served for 2 ½ years in the Argentina Mission where he had life-changing experiences and developed a strong and lasting testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Shortly after his return to Utah, he attended Sacrament Meeting in his parents’ ward in the Avenues where “the most attractive girl I had ever seen” came into the meeting and sat right in front of him. Linda Marion Williams had just started her freshman year at the University of Utah. Rich and Linda were married in the Salt Lake Temple in December 1964. They moved to Provo where Sharon and Rick were born and Rich graduated from BYU with a degree in Graphic Design.
An opportunity with the public relations department at the University of Alaska took the young family to Fairbanks. These years proved to be an adventure, but one both Rich and Linda described as blissful. David was born in Fairbanks in 1969. A year later they loaded up their brand-new Volkswagen van and drove the partially paved Alcan Highway 2800 miles back to Utah. The family moved into a house less than a block away from Linda’s parents in Granger. Rich was hired by Wheelwright Lithographing as the director of the yearbook division. In this position, he worked with student yearbook staff at high schools and colleges all over Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. He included the whole family on many of his school visits and the Grimes Family road trip tradition began.
Jeremy was born in 1971 followed by the stillbirth of their son Daniel Aaron in 1973. It was a sad time for the family but Jonathan’s birth in 1974 brought joy and healing. In 1975 Rich started work as the director of marketing for Hiller Industries and moved his family to “the Holladay house.” Melanie and Marissa were born in 1976 and 1978 respectively and the family was complete. Rich and Linda had ambitious plans for the house and yard and were constantly remodeling, painting, planting gardens and landscaping. Rich and Linda loved fishing and camping and being outdoors. The family spent weekends shooting bottles in the desert and camping at Soapstone in the Uintas.
Rich served in the bishopric and as the Bishop of the Winder Sixth Ward for many years and loved the opportunity those callings provided him to make life-long friends and serve his neighbors. A short-lived stay in Tooele was followed by a move to Riverton with Linda’s mother, Grandma Gracie. In Riverton, Rich and Linda served a Salt Lake Inter City mission where they had wonderful opportunities to serve and grow. Linda’s Multiple Sclerosis progressed during their years in Riverton and Rich became her primary caregiver. As her abilities were taken from her one by one, Rich stepped in and lovingly took over each and every task along with carrying out Linda’s always ambitious plans and To Do lists without complaint.
Linda passed away in September of 2016 leaving Rich sad and lonely. Just before her passing she whispered to him that now he could finally pursue his art. Providing for his large family and caring for Linda had left little if any time for his creativity and talents. He began painting and trying other creative projects, but it wasn’t until a fortunate move to an apartment community in South Jordan where he was in the right place at the right time to meet Sheila Russell that things fell into place. Rich and Sheila were married on a beautiful June day in 2018 and happily started their life together. They split their time between South Jordan and Sheila’s log home in Victor, Idaho where Rich finally had the time, space and views to fuel his creativity and passion for art. Rich gained a bonus family in Sheila’s son Shane Russell, his wife Stephanie, and their twin sons Remington and Samuel. Rich’s last five years have been years of joy, peace and contentment.
As a family we are so grateful for Rich’s sweetness and patience. We are grateful for the knowledge we had of his constant love and support for us. We are grateful for the way he lived his life and for the example he set of integrity, service and devotion to his Savior, his Heavenly Father, and to his family. We have been so blessed.
Rich is survived by his wife Sheila Russell, his children Sharon (Paul) Brown of Oakley, UT, David (Julie) Grimes of Rochester, NY, Jeremy (Buffer) Grimes of Salem, UT, Jonathan (MaryBeth) Grimes of Terreton, ID, Melanie (Damon) Thompson of Springfield, VA, Marissa (Jay) Van Noy of Stansbury Park, UT, 26 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren and 1 on the way. He is also survived by two brothers: Bo (Pam) Grimes of Redding, CA, Ben (Dottie) Grimes of Elmo, UT and two sisters-in-law: Irene Grimes of Gray, GA and Jo Ann Grimes of Milledgeville, GA.
His parents, older brothers Charlie Clark Grimes, Jr. and Henry Duggan Grimes, his wife of 51 years Linda Marion Williams Grimes, an infant son Daniel Aaron Grimes and an adult son Richard Carlton Grimes, Jr. preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, April 29, 2023 at the South Jordan 8th Ward building, 2450 West 10400 South, South Jordan. Visitation will be held before the service from 10-11:00 am. Interment will be at Valley View Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the LDS Church Missionary Fund.