James Vincent Grimard Jr.
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February 17, 1948 ~ May 13, 2015

James V. Grimard, Jr. of LaCenter, Washington passed away on May 13, 2015. He was born on February 17, 1948 to Laura and James V. Grimard, Sr. in Muskegon, Michigan. After serving in Viet Nam with the U.S. Navy, he moved to Washington in the 1970s. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 2007.

Jim was a thoughtful, giving person with a curiosity of people and places. He appreciated, art, nature and music from blue grass to opera, and he won blue ribbons with his excellent blackberry wine. Jim and his wife, Kathy, traveled to 19 foreign counties, and he was lucky enough to spend his last trip in his favorite city, Antigua, Guatemala. Upon returning home, Jim wrote wonderful descriptive travel narratives of their adventures in the Amazon to exploring the Paris flea market. His genealogy work led him to discover a whole new family branch in Sheffield, England. A very close relationship developed and brought an amazing group of family into the family.

Jim is survived by his wife, Kathleen Dempsey; mother, Laura Grimard; stepson, Joel (Kristin) Martens; daughter, Kathleen Hendrickson and four grandsons; sisters, Mary (Joe) Brunais; Diane (Gary) Wilson; Sharon (Joe) Calkins; brothers, Tom (Sheila) Grimard; Rick (Sharon) Grimard; Joe (Juanita) Grimard, Daniel Grimard, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, James V. Grimard, Sr.

Remembrance donation can be made to the organization Jim supported most: The Innocence Project, 40 Worth St., New York, NY 10013, Attn: Development Dept.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, June 7, 2015 from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. at the Ridgefield Community Center, 210 N. Main St., Ridgefield, WA.
Please sign James's Guest Book at www.columbian.com/obits.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Columbian on May 27, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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21 entries
May 13, 2019
Thinking of you. Sending all good thoughts. Love, Diane
October 11, 2015
Kathy, it's been such a long time since we heard from Jim. We had no idea of him being ill and his passing. So very sorry to see he has passed. Hugs to you.
Debbie Jones
June 25, 2015
A donation of 50 trees has been made to American Forests/Global ReLeaf organization in Jim's name. Trees will be planted in most needed restoration projects in the U.S. and in his beloved Amazon.
Friend Mary
June 22, 2015
Cousin Jim came into our family like a script from a Hollywood film - long lost relative over comes odds to reconnect with a family blown apart by circumstance in a time when communication was slow and arduous and oceans vast and seemingly uncrossable.

In a present tense of email and air-mail the family in England got to know Jim and Kathy well - Jim's wonderful and thoughtful correspondence touched all of us with its fresh and clear eyed observations and beautiful prose style.

Jim was deeply empathetic, full of interest in the world around him and the world around you, where ever you were. If you were lucky enough to get a letter from him, his beautiful handwriting on your doormat would immediately announce a delight was in store for you. His travelogues were evocative and vivid and shared his experiences tangibly - a rare gift.

When Jim and Kathy came to England the chance to get to know them in person was something I will always treasure, and also Jim senior and his mum Laura who followed. More recently, meeting his sister Diane and her husband Gary was very special - all this new found family kinship a result of Jim's determination to rediscover the family his Grandmother left behind.

Jim was a sensitive man who always sought his truth and to live an authentic life, which he did with immense dignity and humour until he was taken from us. He will be greatly missed by many, many people. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Lorna May Wadsworth
June 21, 2015
Jim was a member of our Spanish conversation circle in Vancouver, WA. Everyone liked him. He was so wise and serene, with a subtle sense of humor. One time, the conversation topic was travel experiences. Jim wowed us by describing a perfect place - the town, the people, the sunset. It was pure poetry! Shortly after that, I referred him to the newly-formed Ridgefield group, which was closer to home and not as noisy as our circle. That was the last time we saw him, but we will never forget him. Descanse en paz, Jaime! Rest in peace.
Lynne English
June 14, 2015
My heart has been profoundly heavy since learning of Jim's passing, and Fire and Rain keeps playing over and over again in my head. We met shortly after his return from Viet Nam and became fast friends. My friend - my amazing friend. I have delayed setting down my thoughts and feelings because it makes it seem too real that you are gone. Except, you have always been and will always be carried in my heart, and that little scrap of paper that you so hurriedly scribbled on and gave to me - I have carried it with me ever since. Next to my kids and grandkids, it is my life's treasure. Such an adventurer: pick you up to go for Chinese and you might end up climbing a mountain instead. Ha! Long before he made wine, we drank Boones Farm and our first bottle of Chianti together. Those were good days my friend. And I am so happy for you and Kathy that you were able to travel and explore together. My own cancer battle may keep me from meeting with the family but my sincerest sympathy to them. I couldn't begin to set down all the memories I have. I won't forget. Including how he loved to find ways to scare the bejebers out of me. Happy trails to you my guy friend. Til we meet again. (Cause I am not done talking to you yet!)
Mary Taylor-Oudsema
June 1, 2015
Despite being thousands of miles away in another continent, Jim always made the effort to speak to me, and I always enjoyed our chats over the phone or in person. We shared a mutual interest in people, places and travelling, and he had so many stories to tell about his adventures across the globe.

Jim brought much unexpected joy to the British family. All of us got on with him and his other members of the family really well, as if we had known each other for years. I think he has peace right now and we will always remember him fondly. He will never be forgotten. God bless you all.
Philip Wadsworth
May 31, 2015
My loving Uncle Jim, who had such a passion for his travels as well as his family. You are an inspiration to all of us the way you were so positive through your illness. I am so grateful for all the time we got to spend together. I love you and miss you.
Kim Cornell
May 30, 2015
Rest in Peace Jim. I am very sad today.. I learned so many things from you growing up together. You fought a terrible illness so bravely. You'll always be my brother, an intense bond. I send you love and all best thoughts and wishes as you go ahead of us to the next journey. With love, your Sister Diane
DIane Wilson
May 30, 2015
I haven't seen Jim since we both graduated from high school. We didn't get to know each other until then, when he came into my dad's bakery. A really nice young man, and I'm sorry he's gone.
Monica Krause-Sawyn
May 30, 2015
Jim was a remarkable kind person who was well loved. He will truly be missed.
James and Kari Carroll
May 30, 2015
Jim was a remarkable kind person who was well loved and will be truly missed.
James and Kari Carroll
May 28, 2015
My loving son, I miss you so much and I am grateful for all the years we spent together. Take care of your dad until we see each other again.
Laura Grimard
May 27, 2015
I will always remember Jim's twinkle in his smile....he always had a smile and a friendly word for everyone!
Karen Crawford
May 24, 2015
Thinking of you all during this time. I am so grateful I got to talk to Jimmy last year. Forever loved.
Connie Hart
May 20, 2015
RIP Jim. Your Family loved you.
Ed and Linda Pethan
May 20, 2015
I went to school with Jim and we had some fun together as kids. You were a good guy, so long Jim.
May 20, 2015
Grandma and Uncle Jim
Sara Goforth
May 20, 2015
Uncle Jim
My Uncle Jim was one of the most inspirational people I have ever known. I can best remember him from his wonderful stories and pictures of his travels all around the world. He wrote some amazing travel narratives about the places he'd been and the people he has seen, along with all of the experiences he had encountered in his life. He had the best advice for anyone. He was very knowledgeable with life experiences and always knew what to say, when you needed some good advice, even on his tougher days when giving advice was the last thing he probably felt like doing. His attitude throughout his final journey was also something to be proud of. He took every step of his last travel with dignity and made as much time for his family and friends that he could before he left. He was a go getter and had a passion for everything life had to offer. Even in his final year, he would explain some of his cancer obstacles and symptoms as if it was like one of his travels. He never took an opportunity for granted. My Uncle Jim was an inspiration to me and I am sure he was too many others, as well. I am very fortunate to have known him and I will love any miss him dearly. I wish you could have stayed with us longer, Uncle Jim. I will miss you so much!
Sara Goforth
May 20, 2015
What a awesome person my brother was,he enjoyed life to the fullest and included everyone around him.I will miss our great phone conversations and love we sent to one another across the miles.
Sister Mary,(he always called me that)
Mary Grimard Brunais
May 20, 2015
I love and miss you so much Uncle Jim, R.I.P.
Tommy Grimard
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