Carolyn Ann Grimsey, 78, passed away, surrounded by her loving family, on Monday, January 27, 2020. Born on December 19, 1941, she was the beautiful daughter of Roberta and Earl Jones of Vincennes, IN, had a love for Jesus, family, and children that would be difficult to overstate.
From homecoming queen to dedicated nurse and caregiver for both her own parents and many others, Carolyn was at her happiest when serving others. Independent, determined, stubborn, and of course very charming, she would doggedly pursue whatever course seemed right to her.
Daughter, Karen and son, Tom both benefitted from these attributes, as Carolyn immediately pursued what she was sure was God's special way for her and her beloved Wayne to have a family, and their adoptions became a reality through much prayer and commitment. Their love never wavered, and now there are new generations of Grimseys and others fulfilling God's mandate to share the good news of Jesus's love and salvation for all who would accept Him, because of Carolyn and Wayne's faithfulness and love for Him.
An avid conversationalist and storyteller, artistic and creative, Carolyn always had a twinkle in her eye and a zest for life in her words as she recounted many tales to both her children, grandchildren, the four-year-olds in her wonderful Sunday school class at College Church in Wheaton, and anyone who had time to listen.
With her disposition, her mother being a nurse, and having a quick and intelligent mind, becoming an RN seemed a natural career choice for Carolyn. It led her from very challenging and exhausting training to the hope of a career as an Air Force nurse who would travel the world. Just last year she shared this story with her friends and family as they were honoring her for her military service:
“We were the 363rd Tactical Hospital unit stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter, South Carolina. Shaw Air Force Base was the reconnaissance headquarters during the Vietnam War. Recon jets flew low over enemy territory in Vietnam and they were photographing sites for air, helicopter, and ground strikes. Those photos were sent back to the Pentagon, placed on a map (one of these top secret cartographers was my Uncle George), and proved essential for war logistics. Of course, all of this was before computer technology, amazingly!!
The hospital was a mobile hospital which did imply that the hospital could be packed up and rushed to an emergency site within hours. In fact, on my third day there, after reporting to work, I discovered that most of the nurses were gone with the mobile unit to address the Alaskan earthquake emergency. That left about three of us nurses to attend to both a large men's internal medicine ward and a large pediatric ward, thus caring for the airmen, the officers, their families, and 29 other nurses. I served 2 years there:1964-1966; I came in just as the official declaration of war came about.
Before I met him, my future husband Wayne had hoped to be an Air Force pilot, and was bitterly disappointed to discover after joining that he was too color blind to pursue that career. However, with 30,000 people stationed there, and only 30 nurses, one might think the odds were not in his favor, but God smiled on us both! While his plans were dashed, yet his new administrative duties brought him face to face with the picture you might see on the Riverwalk Commons (now Five Star Residences) wall near the entrance (insert beautiful picture Carolyn in uniform here). The blessings continued with the Lord leading us to our wonderful son through our time there.
Medically, as a nurse, I considered it one of the finest, most professional nursing situations I ever experienced. It was an honor to serve.”
After 3 years in the service, Carolyn began her life as a wife and mother, becoming a Roommother with a capital R, and throwing herself into being a Mom and a truly committed Sunday school teacher. She and Wayne were so proud of each of their children, and encouraged them to pursue the paths that combined both their interests and talents.
Carolyn wanted every child she taught in Sunday School to know that Jesus and she thoroughly loved them, and every child was greeted with a big smile and hug as they walked in the door, and also received a hand-delivered birthday gift at their homes. Not surprisingly, there were parents that confided to Carolyn that their children had determined that College Church was for their family based on their Sunday School experience in her class, and those families undoubtedly felt and experienced both her and Jesus' love through those actions.
Anyone who ever saw any of the carefully planned homes that Wayne and Carolyn lived in felt transported to early America, whether it be the house with the rustic hiding place in Greenwood, IN, the beautiful Colonial Saltbox they built in Wheaton, IL , the log house they constructed in Lanesville, IN or the lovely home in Sellersburg, IN. Filling these homes with antiques was their favorite hobby; they loved discovering buried treasures with a story to tell, and buying and selling them was always an adventure.
However, their true passion became being grandparents. While the homes in Lanesville and Sellersberg were beautiful, the best part about them was living near Tom and Heidi and their grandkids. Memaw and Pa-ooo loved playing with and getting to know both Ben and Emmaline, and of course Kimberlee and Isaiah and Evangeline when they arrived in time. :)
Years later, when Wayne, (Pa-ooo), became ill and died of pancreatic cancer, Carolyn was left wondering what her purpose was, as she desperately missed Wayne and her own health had been deteriorating for a long time. Saddened to not go to heaven with Wayne, and no longer able to caregive for others, it was difficult to accept her new reality. Her purpose was an incredibly important one as a spiritual warrior: she was to pray for and love on those kids and other friends and family that God put in her path until He called her home.
One of her last wishes was to be able to attend the marriage of her grandson Ben to his lovely wife Caitlin, and though Carolyn had yet another tumultuous health crisis, she miraculously returned to be able to witness that grace-filled day. She was excited for what God had in store for all of her grandkids. As difficult as it was for her to accept help, Tom and Heidi lovingly cared for her til the end, along with dear Kimberlee and Emmaline.
A huge thank you goes to all who kindly visited and cared for Carolyn as she made her journey to heaven, amongst these her dear friend Dorothy, friend Linda, and two of the amazing Heritage Hospice nurses, Rhynika and Kisha, who lovingly came and gave of their time and care far above the call of duty. There are people who go to work and people who genuinely love others; Rhynika and Kisha are the latter.
Carolyn leaves behind her sister, Janet Hockman; brother, Steve Jones; and her very thankful children and their families, Tom and Heidi with Ben, Emmaline, Kimberlee, and Isaiah Grimsey; and Karen and Eric with Evangeline Reiss.
Carolyn goes to join her precious Savior, Jesus Christ, and to reunite with so many loved ones already in heaven.
Services will be held at 7:00 pm on Thursday, January 30, 2020, at Randall & Roberts Funeral Center, 1685 Westfield Road, Noblesville, IN, with visitation one hour prior to the service.
Memorial contributions may be made to Compassion International at: compassion.com