Colonel William D. W. (Bill) Grimes (ret) passed away on August 10, 2018 after a brief illness. He is known first and foremost as a loving husband to his wife, Judy (Darling) whom he described as the love of his life. They fell in love at first sight while in college and shared a passion for traveling (to six out of seven continents), genealogy, gardening, their dogs and the Cincinnati Bengals. Beloved father of Bonnie (Donald) Schutte, Erika Grimes and Valerie (Brook) Ratcliff, sweet ole Bill is remembered for his love of fishing, hunting, jigsaw puzzles and practical jokes, his hard work ethic, amazing woodworking skills, and passion to take family trips to every Civil War battlefield. He adored his grandchildren Summer, Christina, Ariel and Zeke Halford whom he Skyped weekly to Australia. Son of William and Georgia (Whitman), he returned “over home” to Inogmar and Roseway, Nova Scotia, multiple times over the years. Cherished brother-in-law as well as uncle to numerous nieces and nephews in the U.S. and Canada, he was known for his story telling, laughter and love-of-life attitude. Finally, he is known for his passion and service to this country, entering the U.S. Air Force in 1959 through the ROTC Program of Brown University and serving for 31 years. Colonel William Grimes was instrumental in the success of the Big Safari program, responsible for the acquisition, modification and worldwide logistic support of special purpose weapon systems for the USAF. Before retiring from active duty in September of 1990, he commanded several organizations related to special projects. He held the aeronautical rating of Master Navigator with over 6500 flying hours primarily in reconnaissance aircraft. Colonel Grimes then reentered government service in October 1990 as Deputy to the Assistant to the AFLC Commander for Special Projects. After the merger of AFLC and AFSC this position assumed its present posture within the Reconnaissance SPO of the Aeronautical Center. He earned major awards and decorations including the Legion of Merit Air Medal with 14 Oak Leaf Clusters, Aviation Week Laureate 2000 Electronics (Smithsonian Air and Space Museum), Air Force Association 2002 Civilian Senior Manager of the Year and served as an Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Ad Hoc Member. He has a building named after him, “Camp Grimes” in Greenville, Texas, received a “Peace Mate” award from the Royal Australian Air Force, was honored as the first inductee into the Big Safari Hall of Honor in San Antonio, Texas and earned one of his most treasured awards, being named an honorary Air Force Chief Master Sergeant. Bill Grimes will be profoundly missed by all who were fortunate to know and love him.
Calling hours are on Sunday, August 19th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Mayhew Funeral Home, 12 Langdon St, Plymouth, NH 03264. Funeral services will take place on Monday, August 20th at 1:00 p.m. at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery 110 Daniel Webster Hwy,
Boscawen, NH 03303.
In lieu of flowers, please support some of his passions: The Spectacle Pond Association, Pemi-Baker Beekeepers' Association (? Gerard Godville, 1090 River Rd., Plymouth, NH 032640), New Hampshire Fish and Game (1 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301) or youth hunting and fishing associations near you.