Rev. Dr. Hoover T. Grimsby, 91

Published 10:38 am Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rev. Dr. Hoover T. Grimsby, 91, of Edina, Minn., passed away Sept. 10, 2011.

Hoover T. Grimsby

Born Sept. 4, 1920, in Viroqua, Wis. Son of Rev. and Mrs. Henry P. Grimsby. Survived by Shirley, his best friend and love of his life for over 63 years. Cherished father of Carol (Paul) Stoelting, Paul (Maribeth) Grimsby, Carl (Sherry) Grimsby and Ellen Grimsby. Beloved grandfather of Christina (Brian) Mooney, Bethany Stoelting, Mike (Katie) Grimsby, Eric Grimsby, Elyssa Grimsby, Sarah (Michael) McQuade, Jon (Erin) Grimsby and Steve Grimsby.

A child prodigy on the organ, he performed at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933 and was a church organist at the age of 7. He attended Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis and the University of Chicago’s music program with emphasis in organ. Rev. Grimsby obtained a bachelor’s degree of science education in 1942 from the University of Minnesota, Bachelor of Theology and Master’s Degree from Luther Theological Seminary in 1945 and Master of Arts degree in 1950 from the University of Minnesota. Sabbatical studies in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Madagascar, and Asia followed. Rev. Grimsby served as associate and senior pastor at Ascension Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, Wis., 1945-1970; senior pastor, St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Austin, 1970-1972; and senior pastor, Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, 1972-1986. He joined the Mount Olivet Counseling Center staff in 1986 and served 14 years in that capacity. Rev. Grimsby participated in Bethany Lutheran Church’s summer ministry in Ephraim, Wis., for more than 50 years. Special honors and awards included an honorary Dr. of Divinity Degree, St. Olaf College; The Fairview Hospital’s Starry Night Award; J.C. Man of the Year, Jr. Chamber of Commerce, Milwaukee; The Modern Spirit Award, The Milwaukee Newspaper Guild; and Distinguished Service Award, Cosmopolitan Club of Milwaukee. He served as a board member or officer of Carthage College (Trustee), Kenosha, Wis.; Golden Valley Lutheran College, Minn.; Board of Publications of The American Lutheran Church; Minneapolis Rotary Club (vice president and president); Minneapolis Ministerial Association (vice president and president); Downtown Council of Minneapolis (director and treasurer); Ebenezer Society Foundation; Fairview Foundation (chair); and Lutheran Orient Mission. Rev. Grimsby was a member of Torskeklubben, Friday Morning Men’s Group, Men of Yorke, American Guild of Organists, National Association of Pastoral Musicians, Evergreen Club, Six O’Clock Club, Minneapolis Club, Minneapolis Athletic Club, and Minneapolis Golf Club. He was active in the United Way, YMCA and Boy Scouts. He served as chaplain for the Cosmopolitan Club, Exchange Club and Fire Bell Club, as well as contributed to professional books and magazines.

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Rev. Grimsby will be remembered as a spiritual leader to all; for inspirational sermons; the many lives he touched; his compassion; finding the best in everyone; his Scandinavian humor; gentle spirit; and humility. His interests included being an avid reader, learner, teacher and photographer.

A celebration of life will be 11:30 a.m., Sept. 17, at Central Lutheran Church, 333 S 12th St., Minneapolis. Visitation one hour prior to service. Lunch follows. In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to The Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, Central Lutheran Church Foundation, Ascension Lutheran Church Foundation, and Bethany Lutheran Church Heritage Foundation. Special thanks to the N.C. Little Memorial Hospice staff and everyone on the Fairview staff. You’ve fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. Well done good and faithful servant! Carry on!