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Mary Jane Grimes

June 7, 1927 July 8, 2015
Mary Jane Grimes
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Obituary for Mary Jane Grimes

A friend crossed paths with a jogger along Chicago's lakefront who was wearing an Oak Park & River Forest High School tee-shirt and said, "You're either a Grimes or you know a Grimes." He knew a Grimes. The matriarch of that proud, visible Oak Park family, Mary Grimes, died July 8th. She was 88. Mary and her husband George Grimes, married on Thanksgiving Day 1947, raised nine children; Michael, Kevin, Bill, Tim, Dan, Maureen, John, Kathy and Marty. They have twenty grandchildren and three great grand-children. She was born Mary Jane Farley June 7, 1927 on Chicago's west side, the youngest of John and Margaret (Harnett) Farley's three daughters. The others were Peg and Helen. Unfortunately Mary's mother died when she was just three years old. Mary was raised by older sister Peg and her husband Art Grandpre. The Grandpre's adopted another daughter, Midge (Sullivan) in 1940. They lived at Congress and Laramie in an apartment building that still stands. Another youngster who lived in that same building was George Grimes. Mary attended Resurrection grammar school and graduated from Siena High School. Nothing was more important to Mary Grimes than family, maybe because she knew what it was like to lose her mother at a very young age. For 25 summers she did everything in her power to make sure all her children and grand-children made it to Gintaras Resort atop the dunes of Lake Michigan at Union Pier, Michigan for a week's stay. She enjoyed the beach, built sand castles with her grandchildren, played "Sorry" for hours and hours though Bridge was the card game she really wanted to play. Mary wanted her children and grandchildren to get as much out of life as possible. She loved to hear her grandchildren play their musical instruments. Until Parkinson's disease slowed her down about ten years ago Mary enjoyed traveling all over the world, including such places as Switzerland, Africa and Central America. She only wished her husband George, a teacher, was still around to join her, but he died in 1986, a few years before retirement. Mary also lost her youngest child, Marty, to cancer in 2011. There was no place in her life for discrimination or intolerance. Oak Park is a progressive community because of people like Mary Grimes who has called Oak Park home since 1969. She saw firsthand what destructive tactics like red-lining and panic-peddling did to spawn "white flight" from the west side of Chicago. Oak Park stood up to those scare tactics. Today it is a vibrant and diverse community. Mary was a devout Catholic, but not hesitant to be critical of the Church from time to time. Mary's remains have been cremated and will be buried with those of her husband George. Visitation will be Sunday, July 19th from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Drechsler Brown & Williams Funeral Home in Oak Park. A funeral mass will be held at Ascension Church at East Avenue and Van Buren in Oak Park Monday, July 20th at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday's burial will be private. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be sent to the American Parkinson's Disease Association.


Monday, July 20

11 a.m.��

Ascension Church

��801 S. East Ave., Oak Park



Sunday, July 19

3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home

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