Life’s Reflections: Tribute to Betty Grimes: Friend, Confidante, Mentor

UNION CITY—One thing that I really wasn’t prepared to hear last week was about the death of Betty Grimes, a friend of mine for many years.

This woman was not only active in the Union City area but in Darke County itself as well. Her knowledge and willingness to help out were her main attributes.

I became acquainted with her when I was covering Union City, Ohio, Council meetings in the late 1970s. She was on council at the time. However, it wasn’t until later that we began a friendship.

How could I resist? She was so smart about so many things. I think she knew everything about the Ohio Revised Code and the Sunshine Law, which she pointed out to me on a couple of occasions and probably to a lot of other people who needed to know what was going on in the neighborhood.

I just learned from Jim Buchy that she and her husband John were selected as Darke County Republicans of the Year at this year’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Greenville. How deserving!

If I would have known, I would have written about them then.

In recent weeks, I passed by her house often and wanted to stop and talk to her but I was on the go quite a bit at the time. Little did I know she was in the nursing home for a week before her death.

I received a phone call from her several months ago, but as the conversation went on, she talked so softly that I couldn’t hear what she was saying. Part of that was my fault because I have a hearing problem in my left ear.

I will miss those conversations as I had come to know that she was very proud of her family, her country and her surroundings in most of our conversations.

She talked proudly of Railroad Park which she founded and took care of for many years and she truly loved the Union City Wall of History on which she also worked with others. And, she was also a member of the Union City Indiana-Ohio Preservation Society and a past member of the Chamber of Commerce.

I’m not the only one who loved that woman. Here are some more:

“Betty and John Grimes and I became good friends during my first campaign for state representative in 1982,” said Jim Buchy of Greenville. “They walked door-to-door with me, made phone calls on my behalf, and were my strongest supporters in the Union City area. Betty was all about efficient and honest government. She never hesitated to give me sound advice on the issues, and I trusted her judgment completely. She was the watchdog of Union City government. Betty studied the local issues, did her research and then educated the local officials utilizing truth as her hallmark. She served on the council and was a leader in so many worthy projects in Union City over the years. Betty loved America and freedom, and she helped countless candidates in their political races as a loyal Republican volunteer. Union City has truly lost a tremendous loving resident who has left a wonderful legacy to fulfill.”

I say amen to that.

Doyel Daniels, a street employee on the Ohio side of the village, had this to say about her:

“Betty was the person if you needed any information or anything for Railroad Park, she was there. She and John worked tirelessly on Railroad Park for many years. Betty and I became friends several years ago. She was a true friend and I will miss her. Rest in peace, Betty.”

Darke County Parks Director Roger Van Frank, responded, ROGER VAN FRANK:

“She truly cared about the Railroad Park and volunteered thousands of hours in her lifetime to her community. I often saw her out working in the park to keep it clean and looking nice. It’s our turn now, Betty. Rest In Peace.”

“I met Betty when I started managing the Darke County Park District’s Community Park Improvements Grant Program,” said Deb Shiverdecker, the financial administrator. “I am betting Betty was a force to be reckoned with when it came to her community and things she thought would improve them. You could tell she loved her community. She and her husband seemed very dedicated to making sure that the people of Union City had pretty park places and the kids had safe, clean places to play. If you drove over to see her, she was always somewhere pulling weeds or picking up trash or planting flowers. Her volunteer service to the community was amazing and she hoped to encourage others to do the same. We were sad when she was no longer able to help with the parks. Union City has lost a great supporter and citizen.  I am sure she will be missed.”

Deb, I am positive she will be.

Karen W. Burkett of Greenville remarked, “I am honored to submit a few words in memory of a dear lady, Betty Grimes. My first memory of Betty was 20-plus years ago while I was working at the Darke County Park District Nature Center as the office manager. I immediately learned that Betty was very determined in her interest and love for nature through DCPD. She and I would discuss her thoughts for helping, not only the Nature Center but also the Railroad Park, planting flowers, etc. in Union City. Betty was not a sit-back-and-wait person but enjoyed planning and participating in worthwhile pursuits. Unfortunately, after I retired from DCPD, our paths did not cross as often but when we did see one another, our friendship was renewed. I understood that illness did prevent her from possibly accomplishing all of her intended plans but her accomplishments certainly outweigh the unfinished deeds. Dear Betty, you are certainly missed by your dear husband John and all who truly knew you.”

Jamie and I extend our condolences to the families and friends of Danielle Crissinger, James Barga (former Darke County commissioner) and Cloyd Bergman.
Please pray for these people: Randy Heck, Bob Drees, Larry P. Fitzwater, Neal Gray, Michael Mowery, Debbie Mayse, Kenny Edwards, Judie Hathaway, Ralph Byrd, Norma Byrd, Della Burch, Ned and Brenda Wallace, Connie Buemi Hodson, Jim Kammer, Jim Marker, Randy Garrison, Steve Waymire, Warren Menchhofer, Kenton Turner, Gary Knick, Karen Hecht, Barbara Alexander, Randy Garrison, Jannie Barrow, Kathy Gragorace, Danny Foster, Dave Niley, Noella Combs, Clay Sheffer, Becky Everhart, Sharon Miller, Marie Rieman, Mary Bryant Arnett, Becky Oliver, Ronnie Young, Albert Duncan, Jayden Martin, Jeff Rider, Stefani Priest, Steve Neff, James Enicks, Joann Freeman, Cathy Collins Peters, Donna Bixler, Vanna Hannam, Brenda Wallace, Linda Subler, Michelle Young, Roger McEowen, Jerri Barber, Sally Burnett Ganger, Rick Alexander, Gloria Hodge, Jeff Baltes, Cory Meadows, Denver Harter, Judy Hoffman and daughter Shelly, Cathy Melling, Scott Clark, and all of those who are suffering from other life-altering illnesses.
Happy birthday:
Aug. 16 to  Randy Allread, Elaine Roan, John Widener, Holli Hammaker and Linda Subler.
Aug. 17 to Janice Lyme, Terry Brewer and Mary Poor.
Aug. 18 to John Snyder, Lora Beam Mille, Randy Partin, Libby Koch, Jack Henkaline, Linda Reeser, Lora Turner, Terry Sackett and Lynne Hinshaw.
Aug. 19 to Debbie Staver, Hannah Hunt, Jason Menchhofer, Chris Norris and Bonnie Seger.
Aug. 20 to Rick Riffell, Jennifer Gray, Richard Yount, Ted Finnarn, Gina Billenstein, Robin Behr, Dara Hardyman and Bertha Archey.
Aug. 21 to Terri Hunt, Otis Stewart, Kay Jones, Jean Young, Rikki Holton and Suzanne Smith (Ron’s wife).
Aug. 22 to Deb Liette, Todd Dohme, Maddicyn Brumbaugh, Darrin Fox, Rena Slater and Lisa Francis.
Happy anniversary to: Pat and Debbie Barga on Aug. 16 and Dan and Marty Schipfer on Aug. 20.

Think about it: “Success can often be just a matter of standing up one more time than you fell down.” — Author Unknown

Darke County Now Staff - Linda Moody - Staff Writer

Linda Moody / Staff Writer

I am a Darke County native living in the Ansonia area with my son. I have been in journalism 50+ years and enjoy what I do.

Contact Darke County Now Media Correspondent Linda Moody @ or 937-337-1955.

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