John M. Grimes, age 85, of Kerrville, Texas, died on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, at Peterson Regional Medical Center, surrounded by his family. John M. Grimes was born on June 5, 1936, in San Antonio, Texas, and is the son of the late W. T. Grimes (a former Texas Ranger) and Nell Barfield Grimes. He was raised and attended schools in Alice, Texas.
With two $50.00 checks (a loan from his aunt) in his pocket, he moved to Dallas to attend Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. He immediately began seeking employment and found a job at Weiland Merritt Funeral Home in Dallas, where he lived and worked while attending school. He also had a second job as a "grease monkey" at a local car wash. John graduated from mortuary school in 1956 and was a member of the honorary fraternity, Pi Sigma Eta. He served his apprenticeship at Cage-Marshall Funeral Home in Aransas Pass, where he learned the business from the ground up - digging graves, making set ups, running ambulance, working services, working in the prep room, working in the yard, washing cars, etc.
After serving his apprenticeship in Aransas Pass, John moved and was employed in the funeral service for ten years in Corpus Christi.
John married the former Susie Barr of Sinton, Texas, their marriage taking place on October 21, 1967. In 1967, they moved to San Antonio and was part owner and manager of Southside Funeral Home. His life in San Antonio at Southside Funeral Home was a learning experience in itself. During the ten years at Southside, John had the military contract and this was during the Viet Nam era.
John and Susie moved to Kerrville in April of 1977 and purchased Plummer Funeral Home in Kerrville and Bandera.
John and Susie have two grown children, Rebecca Lynne Cates and husband Roger of Henderson, Nevada and Johnny Grimes and wife Stacey of Kerrville, Texas. He has four grandsons, Hunter Grimes, Walker Grimes, Austin Cates, and Carson Cates. He is also survived by sister-in-law and spouse, Pat and Archie Dworaczyk of Rocksprings and several nieces and nephews.
When John and Susie arrived in Kerrville, they became active members of Trinity Baptist Church, where John has served as Sunday School Director of Adult 1 Department, Property Committee chairman, and Finance Committee chairman. They have been faithful members of Trinity. John is also a member of the Gideons.
John is a member and past president of the South Central Texas Funeral Directors Association and also held each office and went through the officer's chairs of TFDA. He served as President of TFDA in 1979-1980, being installed at the 93rd annual convention. In 2003, John was named and honored by TFDA at their annual convention as "Funeral Director of the Year." Also, in 2007, he received from TFDA his 50-year pin as a licensed funeral director/embalmer. John is also a member of the Hill Country Funeral Directors Association.
Throughout the years, John served as an officer and member of various community organizations. He belongs to the Kerrville Rotary Club, longtime board member of Kerrville Parks and Recreation Board, past board member of the Hill Country Advisory Council of Schreiner College, past member and chairman of United Way Fund Drive, and was Co-chairman of the Business and Professional Division of the Hill Country College Fund for Schreiner College in 1980.
John is also past president of the Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau, and served as board member and officer for many years. He was honored by Kerrville CVB in 2017 and was the first recipient of the Sudie Burditt Wall of Fame. He is past president of the Kerrville Chamber of Commerce and was honored as "Small Business Man of the Year" in 1984.
John belongs to the Kerrville Chapter No. 305 Royal Arch Mason, Kerrville Chapter No. 240, Royal and Select Masters of Texas, San Antonio Consistory, 32nd Degree Mason. He is a life member of the Kerrville Masonic Lodge No. 697 (recently receiving his 60 year pin), Kerrville Order of Eastern Star Chapter No. 24.
He is an avid supporter of the youth of the Hill Country including the Hill Country District Junior Livestock Show, where he has been a buyer for 45 years.
His life revolved around responding to the needs of others. He sacrificed many family functions to help a family in their time of need. He was called to this special ministry and his purpose was to make the darkest days and the most difficult journey for a family a little easier. As a dedicated person to his community he was always ready to serve. John is a person with a loving nature, touches everyone with his gregarious personality and quick wit. He has an uncanny knack for one-liners. John considered his work to have been a blessing, made his life priceless for all the people he has met, lives he touched, smiles and hugs he has given. If you knew John, you know you are going to get a hug. Susie also said that John is a man of his word, a man of exceptional honor, dignity, and faith. His legacy will live on.
Visitation for John will be held on Saturday, January 22, 2022, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Grimes Funeral Chapels.
Funeral services will be Sunday, January 23, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church, 800 Jackson Road, Kerrville, Texas. John's service will be livestreamed, click the banner below to view.
Private graveside services will be held at a later date at Grimes Ranch.
Special thanks to the many doctors who have taken care of John throughout the years, Peterson Regional Hospital, and his special caregivers, Maria and Amanda.