Rev. Gordon (Gordy) Grimm

The Reverend Gordon (Gordy) Grimm, age 86, died peacefully on Jan. 5, 2020, at Ecumen, in North Branch, surrounded by loving family and friends.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, at Chisago Lake Lutheran Church. in Center City.  Memorials preferred to: Gillette Lifetime Specialty Healthcare, The Retreat, Hazelden, and Chisago Lakes Lutheran Church.

He was born in 1933 to Homer and Beulah (Wilson) Grimm, in Sac City, Iowa. Gordy graduated from Ventura High School in 1952 and from Luther College in 1956, and then went on to graduate from the Luther Theological Seminary, in St. Paul, Minn. He was ordained as a Lutheran minister in September, 1960.

He served as a chaplain in Willmar where he met Esther – his future wife. They met and were married three months later. Gordy’s body of work encompassed training and caring for people in the area of chemical dependency for nearly 45 years.

He was particularly proud of being called by Hazelden in 1965 to help shape Hazelden’s multidisciplinary approach to chemical dependency treatment emulated around the world called the Minnesota Model. Gordy was the first full time chaplain at Hazelden and was charged with developing the Clinical Pastoral Education Program. He was proud of the training program he directed at Hazelden that provided addiction education to clergy, counselors, and other professionals around the world.

After Gordy retired from Hazelden, he focused his expertise and efforts to advocate strongly for the disabled. He didn’t only advocate for his son, Jim, but for anyone living with a disability.

Gordy enjoyed duck hunting, listening and telling stories, and traveling to northern Minnesota to fish and relax with his family. Gordy provided wise council, and showed us all how to live a life of acceptance, integrity and honesty. Gordy’s ability to quietly convey these qualities through his actions and words left a mark on the people he loved and cared about, as well as the people he helped throughout his life.

Gordy is preceded in death by his parents, Beulah and Homer Grimm; brother, Jay; and son, Jim.

He is survived by Esther, wife of 60 years; son, John (Amy), of Minnetonka, Minn.; daughter, Mary (Dan Halvorson), of Hudson, Wis.; grandchildren, Wesley, Morgan and Olivia; sister, Julie Crow, of St. Louis Mo.; and many nieces and nephews.

Arrangements were handled by Grandstrand Funeral Home, in Lindstrom.   

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