William Robert Grimes
William R Grimes (Bob) was born November 15th, 1939, in Hobart Oklahoma. His parents were Robert M Grimes and Trual N (Atchley) Grimes. After a long and courageous battle with cancer and under the loving care of his wife Pat (Smith) Grimes of 62 years and his family, he passed away peacefully on April 30th, 2022, in his home surrounded by family.
In 1956, while at Hobart High School he started dating Pat, who would beat him at basketball and worked at Dairy Queen. During that time, Bob worked at Lowes Body shop to support his love of cars. He enjoyed sports and played on the 1957-1958 State Championship football team. After graduating in 1958 he worked at Big Springs airport in Texas, served in the Oklahoma National Guard and bought a 1957 Ford Fairlane to drive back and forth to Hobart to visit Pat. Bob and Pat were married on August 26, 1960 in Tucumcari, New Mexico.
Bob went on to graduate from Humboldt Airline School in Minneapolis Minnesota and started working for Continental Airlines on May 25th 1961 in Carlsbad New Mexico. It was there that their first son, Rodney Dale was born. Bob was transferred to Hobbs New Mexico, before being promoted and being transferred to Los Angeles, California. Bob and Pat’s second son Randall Dean was born on October 15th, 1963 and sadly passed on April 27th, 1964. Randy is buried at Rose Hill and Bob will be resting beside him. Two more children were born to this union, in California, Greg and Susan.
In January of 1967 Bob was again promoted to Director of Passenger Service for MAC Airlift Command and spent the next 2 years transporting troops into Vietnam and every airport in that part of the world. While Bob was flying for MAC, Pat moved back to Hobart, Oklahoma to stay with family for Carols birth.
On May 1st, 1968, Bob was one of 8 at Continental that were asked by the then President, Robert Six to start Air Micronesia flying between Hawaii and the Micronesian Islands. The family was stationed in Guam. After Guam the family spent a short time between Honolulu and Portland and then Bob was promoted and transferred to Saipan. This was a great experience for the kids. They enjoyed island life, going out in the boat, fishing, snorkeling and exploring the island for various WWII treasures, harvesting coconuts, mangos, papayas, pineapples and banana’s that seemed to be everywhere and participating on the Saipan swim team.
In September of 1977 after nearly 10 years, mostly in the Pacific Bob was again promoted and transferred to Colorado Springs. Bob took the promotion “Stateside” so that the kids could finish school in the States. Going from 80-degree days to Colorado winters and an Island education to U.S. public schools was an adjustment for everyone in the family. While in Colorado Bob’s oldest son met and started dating his lifelong partner, Lola. In 1979 Rod graduated from High School, they were married, and he entered the U.S. Air Force. Later the same year, Bob took another promotion to manage the Seattle Station. It was right after Mt. St. Helens erupted and Seattle was covered in ash for months. Greg, Sue and Carol all graduated from High School in Kent.
Rod and Lola moved to Seattle after his service and Seattle has remained “home base” for the family ever since.
Bob encouraged Continental to become a sponsor of the Budweiser Hydroplane racing team and then became the corporate representative for the team. He became a board member for Seattle’s annual Seafair event and was on the Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Commission. But we all recall that the most fun he had during that time was working with his team at the Seattle Station competing in the annual milk carton derby.
Bob retired from Continental on February 15th, 1988, after 28 years of service. Bob’s “retirement” was short lived. He then immediately went to work for Lockheed Air Terminal in Hawaii the following day.
The family spent most weekends and events together, usually spearheaded by Pat. Bob enjoyed being a part of a big, extended family who genuinely enjoyed each other’s time and watching and helping raise the grandkids. From school, sports, religious activities to very big and load 4th of July celebrations Bob was always there to support and encourage.
During most of Bob’s time with LAG/ATI he was based in Glendale California but spent most of his time traveling. During the 18 years he was with LAG/AGI he traveled more than 8 million miles. The sights seen and friendships built over his 44 years in the airline industry is part of his legacy. He touched so many lives and was exposed to and respected all races and cultures.
In 2003 Bob and Pat purchased a craftsman home built in 1910 and spent a great deal of their retirement years transforming that house and property into the beautiful home that he passed away in and where Pat remains.
After “retiring” from ATI in 2007, the kids got him a border collie for Christmas that became his lifelong companion. Bob continued to consult, bought a 5th wheel, a Ford F350 and traveled the U.S. with Pat working on our family’s genealogy. Bob was proud of the fact that they never passed one of Guy Fieri’s ‘Diners, Drive-in’s and Dives” along the way.
Bob loved photography, collecting baseball caps and was a John Wayne fan. His photo collection numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Enough that with help from others that were at Air Mike he authored a book: Air Mike: The Early Years. He has hundreds of baseball caps from his travels, including some of his favorites which included his John Deere Tractor cap, his “My Grandson is a Marine” or “My Granddaughter is in the Army” or the Air Force One that President Bush signed for him.
Bob traveled just over 10 million miles…mostly for work…but also loved to travel. His travel included nearly every State in the country and every continent in the world, traveling in everything from puddle jumpers in the pacific, to the Concorde and Air Force One.
His guidance and mentoring will be missed by everyone he touched.
Bob demonstrated love every day thru his actions. Above all he loved his wife, Pat. They were together for 64 years. Married 62. That kind of love, that bond is unique and is something that we can all aspire to.
Bob is and will be missed.
Bob is proceeded in death by his son, Randall Dean, father Robert M Grimes, mother Trual N (Atchley) Grimes, brother Gerald Grimes and sister-in-law Sherry (Harrison) Grimes each of Chickasha, Oklahoma
He is survived by his loving wife Patricia (Smith) Grimes of 62 years from Kent, Washington, his sister, Martha (Grimes) and husband Jim Hughes of Tuttle, Oklahoma and his four children, Rodney and wife Lola (Young) Grimes from Oroville, Gregory Grimes from Kent, Susan (Grimes) and husband Ronald Sellers from Gig Harbor and Carol Grimes from Kent all in Washington. Eight grandchildren, Sydney (Grimes) and husband Andrew Wandola from Steilacoom, Stephen, and wife Katy (Brandt) Grimes from Tonasket, Andrew Grimes from Tonasket and Sarah Grimes from Gig Harbor, all in Washington. Samantha Grimes from Honolulu, Hawaii, Christopher Sellers from Gig Harbor, Robert Sellers from Gig Harbor and Abigail Sellers of Lakewood all in Washington. Three great grandkids Savannah Wandola, Lucas Grimes and Faye Grimes all in Washington and several nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to Bob’s graveside services will be conducted by Pastor Frank Giles on Saturday, May 7th at 11 am at Rose Hill cemetery. Lunch will be provided after at First Baptist Church. Arrangements are with McRay Funeral Home. All in Chickasha, Oklahoma.
In addition, a memorial service will be conducted by Pastor Mark Smith on Sunday, May 15th for family and friends in the Seattle area. The service will be held at Faith Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington at 2 pm to be followed by a light, early dinner at the church.
Please consider donations to Bob’s two favorite charities, The Wounded Warrior Project and/or The Humane Society in lieu of flowers.
Condolences can be made on:
Bob’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/bob.grimes.980
McRay Funeral Home’s web site at: https://mcrayfuneralhome.com/condolences