Julia Grimes passed away peacefully at the age of 75 on November 8, 2020. She was born on August 27, 1945, to Cleetis Raburn and Ernie Mae (Stovall) Raburn in the Centerville community near Mantachie. She grew up as the youngest of their six daughters, who all performed gospel music in the church services of their grandfather Reverend G.S. Raburn. She graduated from Itawamba Agricultural High School in 1963 and earned a B.A. in English, as well as a Specialist degree, from the University of Mississippi.
Julia was married for 51 years to the late George Grimes who passed away in 2017. She lived her adult life in Fulton, MS where she taught English at IAHS for 32 years and was a beloved and distinguished teacher who was named Star Teacher multiple times. Julia then transitioned to a successful career in real estate, earning membership in the International Diamond Society as one of the top 13% of Coldwell Banker sales associates worldwide. She was a top producer with Tommy Morgan and was nicknamed “Queen of the Waterway” reflecting her area of focus.
Julia touched the lives of many in Itawamba county through her teaching, community and real estate activities. As a teacher, Julia strove to spark a love of literature in her students through her engaging discussions of classic literature, even going as far as organizing numerous trips to Europe so students could experience the sites of these great works firsthand. Many of her former students still reminisce about her lessons on Beowulf and the Canterbury Tales, and she was enthralled by the writing of William Faulkner. Julia also founded Serendipity literary magazine, established the ARTS club, spearheaded the video yearbook, organized talent shows and took students to Broadway shows and touring performances to provide them with cultural experiences. As a realtor, Julia worked hard to match her clients, many of whom were her former students, with their perfect home. At some closings she had previously taught everyone involved, including both buyer and seller as well as their lawyers, paralegals and bankers.
In her personal life, Julia was a caring and beloved daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was an active member of Fulton United Methodist Church, often serving her community through the church’s outreach. She previously performed with the Sweet Adelines singing group, was president of the Arts Council organizing performances and festivals in Fulton, was a member of the DAR and the Itawamba Historical Society and enjoyed playing cards with her bridge club. She had a passion for seeing the world and traveled extensively in Europe, the Caribbean and the United States. She loved spending time with her family, especially her husband and two children, her four grandchildren, her five older sisters and her twelve nephews and nieces.
Julia, often called Judy by old friends or JJ by her grandchildren whom she adored, gracefully battled Alzheimer’s for many years. She is now free from all suffering and the cruelty of that disease. She is survived by her children Julie Grimes Waldorf (Michael) of New York, NY and Mark Grimes (Jill) of Houston, TX, and her grandchildren Jonathan and Hayden Waldorf of New York and Jane and Molly Grimes of Houston. Julia is preceded in death by her husband George and sisters Betty Willis, Linda Kirksey, Joan Barber, Sue Nichols, and Willa Dean Gaddy.
Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 11, at the McNeece-Morris Funeral Home Chapel in Fulton with Reverend Phillip Box officiating. Burial will be in the Stephens Cemetery. Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until service time on Wednesday at the funeral home.
For safety in light of the pandemic, the family asks that any relatives and close friends who feel comfortable attending please wear a mask for the entire time and maintain social distancing. A celebration of Julia’s life for the community at large will be held at a future date.
Memorials in remembrance of Julia can be made through Fulton United Methodist Church or the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund