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BIRMINGHAM — Doris James Grimes, age 89 of Birmingham, went to her Heavenly Home on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Doug James. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Eugene J. Grimes; sons, Michael Grimes and Tommy Grimes (Julie); daughter, Lynda Grimes Lepkowski (Larry); brother, Dan James (Caroline); sister, Janice Kennedy (B.J.); grandchildren, Jarrod Grimes, Alex Grimes and Aubrie Ellen Grimes Rorer (Brian); and great-grandchildren, Corbin Grimes and Keira Grimes

Doris was born and raised in Florence, Alabama, obtained her teaching certificate from Florence State Teachers College and subsequent Master’s Degree from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. The greatest part of her career was spent working in the Birmingham City School System, first as a teacher at South Eastlake and Kingston Elementary, then as a Counselor out of Epic School, and finally as a Counselor at W.J. Christian Magnet School. She retired in 1994 after 35 years as an Educator.

Doris was a true Renaissance woman with a range of passions including gardening, cooking, reading, singing, traveling abroad, sewing, and mentoring. Her overflowing kindness and devotion to serving others left a lasting impression on all who knew her. It was a regular occurrence that a past student, in town for the holidays, would drop by or call to check on how Mrs. Grimes was doing. She especially loved traveling to the British Isles, first as a tour host then becoming a defacto “Travel Agent” innumerable times for her many travel buddies. They would begin shortly after Christmas each year, inquiring, ‘Where are we going this year?’ Doris also was a dedicated member of Huffman Church of Christ for most of her adult life. Many may remember her for her deep alto voice and her colorful array of hats that she would wear to church every Sunday. And as a fierce advocate for animals, Doris rescued many beloved pets throughout her life.

We would be remiss in honoring Doris’ memory if we did not highlight her ardent passion for music. She participated both as a performer in the Sweet Adelines (the ladies’ component of Barbershop singing), and served as the Director of Junior Barbershop in Birmingham, introducing young men into the wonder and grace of close a cappella harmony. Doris was an accomplished pianist and taught many young students how to play the instrument, including her very own granddaughter! Doris would list among her greatest joys being ‘Nana’ to her three grandchildren, for whom she was an exemplary role model of hard work, compassion, and kindness.

Our family would like to thank everyone at Green Oaks in Keller, Alabama; Rittenhouse in Hoover, Alabama; and The Village at Cook Springs for their assistance in caring for Doris. We would like to especially thank “Cousin Beth Anne” for her care, time and attention to Doris at the very onset of her Alzheimer’s.

As an alternative to flowers donations to The Alzheimer’s Association or American Cancer Society are appropriate. Her family will celebrate her life with visitation on Saturday, May 8, 2021 from 10-11 at Ridout’s Trussville Chapel with her service beginning at 11:00. There will be a graveside service at Florence Cemetery beginning at 3:30.

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