Williams Funeral Home & Crematory - Obituaries

Friday, 10 July 2020 14:11

Joseph Wayne Grimsley, Jr.

Joseph Wayne Grimsley, Jr., age 56, of Chesapeake, VA, died suddenly on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Wayne and Linda Cravotta Grimsley, and his mother-in-law, Elsie Buckner Clary. Wayne is survived by his wife, Rhonda Clary Yates Grimsley; sisters, Julie Grimsley Perry of Zebulon, NC and Christy Grimsley Broughton (Eddie) of Wendell, NC; father-in-law, Smithy Clary of Lawrenceville, VA; sister-in-law, Andrea Clary Walker (Will) of Willow Springs, NC, as well as several nieces and nephews. Wayne grew up in Raleigh, NC and remained in the area attending college at UNC Chapel Hill where he received his Bachelors in Journalism and his Masters in History at NC State University. Wayne loved drawing, reading, writing, the Braves and politics. He was very active with the Democratic Party throughout his life. He began his career as a reporter and a desktop publisher, and after receiving his PhD at Mississippi State University in History, he became the head of the History Department at Halifax Community College and then finally moved to Tidewater Community College in Virginia where he was currently teaching American history. His writings include a biography James B. Hunt: A North Carolina Progressive, McFarland that was published in 2003. He met and married his soul mate and wife Rhonda and they lived happily in Chesapeake, Virginia for 14 years. They loved to travel, watch old movies, read and spend time with their family and their cats. Wayne was a loving and passionate husband, son, brother, friend and colleague that will be missed terribly. He was taken from us too soon. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Joseph Wayne Grimsley Memorial Scholarship Fund at Richmond Community College set up in remembrance of his late father to the RCC Foundation, P.O. Box 1189, Hamlet, NC 28345 or online donations can be made at https://wedreg.richmondcc.edu/test/FoundationGive/index.html. The Scholarships are awarded based on academic merit and leadership potential and help benefit students enrolled in RCC with their education expenses. A private funeral service will be held.
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  • Comment Link Christy Grimsley Broughton Monday, 20 July 2020 17:00 posted by Christy Grimsley Broughton

    Thank you all for the all the wonderful messages on our brother, Wayne. We are heartbroken but we also have great memories to help us. Take care and be safe. In love, Christy and Julie (his sisters)

  • Comment Link Rev. Dr. Charles M. Smith Sunday, 19 July 2020 11:55 posted by Rev. Dr. Charles M. Smith

    We members of Laura Smith’s Family never stopped loving Wayne even after their divorce. He was a brilliant, fun, loving young man & we delighted in welcoming him into our family. When he graduated with his cherished Ph.D from Mississippi State in 2002, Barbara & I happily served as his surrogate parents as Joe had died & Linda was ill. Although we grieved the termination of his marriage to our daughter, we were pleased to learn of his long, good marriage to Rhonda & his happy tenure teaching in Virginia. In a true serendipity, I met his faculty advisor at MSU on a Duke Alumni Cruise to Costa Rica & Panama this past February & we reveled in remembering Wayne. We share in your sorrow & commend Wayne to the loving God, Father, Son, & Holy Spirit who gave this good person to all of us who loved him along his life’s journey. How appropriate it is to honor him with a gift to the community college system & the fund bearing his Dad’s name.

  • Comment Link Tom Kenney Saturday, 18 July 2020 10:47 posted by Tom Kenney

    Rhonda and family of Wayne,
    My deep sympathy and thoughts are with you on the sudden passing of Wayne. He is remembered and celebrated for the good lifelong friend he was. We grew up together and spent so much time together, and he was like a brother to the Kenneys in Raleigh. Wayne's creativity, uniqueness, and passion for his interests will be missed,
    Take care and hope you feel comfort during this time.

  • Comment Link Patrick Kenney Thursday, 16 July 2020 16:16 posted by Patrick Kenney

    Dear Rhonda, Julie, and Christy,

    We were so sorry to hear of Wayne’s sudden passing and will remember him forever. He was and will always be one of the Kenney brothers.

    Pat Kenney

  • Comment Link Tiffanye Sledge Monday, 13 July 2020 23:39 posted by Tiffanye Sledge

    It has been an immense privilege to work with Wayne for the past few years. We were so very happy that he decided to join us at the Portsmouth campus. Wayne was such a gentle soul and it was so wonderful to actually know someone who lived in VA who knew who Chipper Jones was. As a native of Atlanta who still frequently misses home, just that alone reminded me that home is not so far away. He was brilliant… so I am sure that others had the same experience as well since he knew… well… a lot! We did not speak very often because most times we crossed paths, he was either on his way to teach, teaching, or preparing his lessons. Hi dedication to his craft was notable, to say the lease and I agree with my colleague's earlier post; he was a model for all. One the occasions we did chat, ever, I left those encounters feeling as though I gained some measure of knowledge or grew in some other way. Wayne took such care to design his courses so that students would see history as a subject that they could actually enjoy. He will truly be missed by his colleagues and students. Wayne was voluminously kind and our “hallway community”, once we return to campus, will certainly not be the same. To the family, my most earnest prayer is that you all get to a place of peace and healing during this most difficult time. God be with you, and please know that Wayne’s TCC family is here. Thank you so much for sharing him with us. God Bless you, and my sincerest condolences.

  • Comment Link Christina Campbell Monday, 13 July 2020 12:23 posted by Christina Campbell

    Wayne and I shared an office space at ODU for many years, we will all miss his presence, his intellectual curiosity, and his tireless efforts to help students. I am sorry for your loss.

  • Comment Link Joy Lucas Monday, 13 July 2020 11:37 posted by Joy Lucas

    Julie and Christy, we were so sorry to hear about Wayne. We have fond memories of the time when we were neighbors in Old Farm. We will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.
    L.T. and Joy Lucas

  • Comment Link Kevin Brady Saturday, 11 July 2020 22:39 posted by Kevin Brady

    I had the opportunity to work with Wayne at Tidewater Community College for the past thirteen years. As many of his colleagues, friends, and family members have mentioned, he was very kind and decent soul, who loved his job as a History professor. All of his hard work and dedication was shown in his History classes as he worked countless hours and sometimes seven days a week to make sure that his students succeed.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Wayne's family at this time.

  • Comment Link Sonya Galloway-Grant Saturday, 11 July 2020 21:03 posted by Sonya Galloway-Grant

    Rhonda I love and will be praying for your strength and healing during this very difficult time.

  • Comment Link David and Mandy Buchner Saturday, 11 July 2020 17:08 posted by David and Mandy Buchner

    Rhonda, Julie, Christie and family,
    We are so sorry to hear about the loss of Wayne. You are in our prayers during this difficult time. Please let us know if you need anything. We are here for you.
    I loved watching the video of all the happy times you had with Wayne. He loved his family!

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