Michael Sean Grimes

October 19, 1955 ‒ December 20, 2019

Marion, Ohio

Michael Sean Grimes of Marion, Ohio, died on Friday, December 20, 2019 at Riverside Memorial Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Born to Claire Marie (née Smith) and John Francis on October 19, 1955 in Camden, New Jersey, he was a wild colonial boy from the start. Brother to John (Dorothy) and Kathy, he enjoyed a rambunctious childhood in the postwar suburb of Willingboro, New Jersey. A naturally gifted athlete, he was a high school wrestling champion. But Mike found even more success on the gridiron.  After fielding offers from colleges across the country (including a home visit from Bear Bryant), Mike spent a transformational year at Fork Union Military Academy in the very un-New Jersey-like environs of Virginia. He then took his talents to the Naval Academy, where he earned a spot in the starting lineup as a freshman. He would finish his football career as a Cincinnati Bearcat and went on to earn his Juris Doctorate at Ohio Northern University.

What began as a temporary stint in Ohio turned into a lifelong residency when a weekend road trip with friends took him to the small town of Marion. There, he met a local girl named Mary Anne Frericks. For Mike, it was love at first sight. They were married in 1982 and remained committed to each other until his death. To their three children, Katie (Erin), John (Courtney), and Kelly (Salvador), he was an energetic and loving father, remembered especially for piggyback rides, puppet shows, and epic bedtime stories.

Mike gave his all to his adopted hometown of Marion: as a young man, he started his own law firm and founded Shamrock Insurance Agency, which he would operate for over thirty years. He also coached the Harding High School freshman football team and was an adjunct professor of business. Throughout his life, he gave his time and energy to numerous charitable and fraternal organizations, including Easter Seals and especially the Knights of Columbus; he sponsored numerous local sports teams. He was elected to public office as law director of the city of Marion in 1992 and served several terms on the Marion County Board of Elections.  He also served his country, enlisting in the Army National Guard as a JAG at the end of the Cold War.

Effortlessly generous, Mike never hesitated to help anyone going through a rough patch. A friend to many, he loved to talk to people and had a genuine interest in the details of people’s lives. He was a great storyteller.  He was a man of big ideas and never stopped dreaming about what he would do next.

A consummate Irishman, he was a hellraiser and skilled prankster. He once successfully impersonated a college administrator and got a local radio station to announce the cancellation of classes due to inclement weather. To hear tale of his other escapades, you will just have to ask around.

An avid reader, he had a vast store of knowledge about many subjects, especially military and political history. He loved Westerns, science fiction, and Winston Churchill.

He was known for his sometimes apropos aphorisms and rarely left an event or social occasion without announcing, “God Bless All In This House.”  Near the end of his life, he was blessed with three grandchildren: Samuel Eoghan, Gussie Fetter, and Seamus Enda. He was also a proud uncle to Morgan, John, and Dan Grimes of Philadelphia. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Visitation will be Friday, December 27, 2019 at Snyder Funeral Homes, GUNDER/HALL Chapel, 347 West Center St., Marion from 4PM to 7PM; Celebration of life service will be Saturday at the funeral home at 10:30AM.

If so desired, donations may be made in Mike’s honor to the Fork Union Military Academy, PO Box 278, Fork Union, VA 23055

The Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion are honored to be serving the Grimes family; condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com

  • Always enjoyed Mike’s company. Sometimes just to tick him off, I ‘d take a left wing socialist position to see how angry he could get…he never blew his top! It’s been years since seeing Mike but I will always cherish those conversations and laughs! To the Grimes family, my wife, Linda and I, send our deepest sympathy.


    Linda and Greg Smith

  • Dear Mary Anne and family,

    Mike and I are so sorry to hear of Mikes passing. I remember when you were just dating and you would come to church such a cute couple. Then thru the years we watched your beautiful children grow to be wonderful adults.

    May God bless you all during the difficult time.

    Sincerest sympathy,

    Mike and Chris Sheehe Fleming

  • Mary Anne an Family sorry for your loss. Mike was a great guy an always had a kind word. He loved hear how your day was going. May God show you comfort during this dark time in your life. Blessings Sandy Houseworth

  • To the Grimes family,

    An interesting creature was Mr Mike. Mostly, we’ll remember him for our countless political engagements with our elbows on the bar. He had a great sense of humor, and even though our politics were diametrically opposed, our back and forths were always good natured and respectful. We will miss him. You have our sincere sympathy.

    The Wall Brothers.

  • Mary Ann and family.
    So sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. Mike was a great guy and always willing to help others.
    He will be missed. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Rich and Sophie Rogers

  • Mary Ann, Katie, John, Kelly,
    I am sorry for your loss. May you feel God’s love and comforting presence
    now and in the days to come. He is faithful.

    Joy Hawkins

  • Dear Katie, Mary Anne, John, and Kelly,
    I am so sorry to hear this news and you have my deepest condolences. I fondly remember when Mike took us to a Capital Women’s Basketball game many years ago, good times!
    Much love,
    Clara Ruiz and family

  • Mary Anne, Katie, John, and Kelly

    So sorry for your loss! You all are in my prayers.

    Your old babysitter