A Kaleidoscopic View of one Black Woman (Annie Ruth Kirksey Grimes)
After 98 amazing years of faithful service to her God, country, community, and family, Mrs. Annie Ruth Kirksey Grimes was called home to be with her Maker, family, and other Saints. Annie passed away May 31, 2020.
Born May 12, 1922 in rural Gilbertown, Alabama, Annie’s family moved to Alliance, Ohio when she was a child. Annie attended North Franklin Elementary and Alliance High School, where she was the first black person inducted into the National Honorary Society. She graduated with honors in 1940. Annie attended Howard University and Mount Union College.
A lifelong member of Noble Street/Temple of Faith Church of God in Christ, Annie served diligently throughout her life in many positions including Sunday school teacher, President of Young People Willing Workers, Usher Board, and Trustee.
Annie started a life of work with the Alliance Grocery Store cooperative before beginning service to her country in 1942 during World War II. She worked in the Naval Department and the Defense Department in the Pentagon. She lived in Washington DC for 15 years, helping to build the Temple C.O.G.I.C as Radio Announcer and First Lady.
Annie returned to Ohio working at the Army Lordstown Military Reservation before becoming the office manager and director of the Western Mahoning County Community Action Center in Sebring. As with everything in her life, Annie served her community center with fervor and excellence being called out of retirement twice to lead the Center back to a high standard.
Working in the community was a lifelong passion. Annie worked as Alliance’s first black real estate broker, President of North Franklin PTA, President of Alliance Area Council PTA, YWCA Board of Directors, Matronof Starlite Chapter # 83 Order of Eastern Star, Grand Associate Advisor of Girls Assembly Amaranth Grand Chapter, Community Civic Committee member, and NAACP member.
Annie was preceded in Glory by her parents Dentle Kirksey, Sr. and Emma Nicholson Kirksey, 3 sisters InellKirksey Holloman, Irene Kirksey, Dorothy Kirksey Boone, 2 brothers Norman Kirksey, Dentle Kirksey, Jr., daughter-in-law Carlitta Lester Grimes, and her husband of 34 years Marion E Grimes, Sr.
Annie is survived by a large, loving, and grateful family including Daughter Lelia Mason Hairston, Sons Aldonis C Grimes, Marion E. Grimes, Jr (Cheryl Grimes), Barry J. Grimes (Sharon Grimes), Anthony V. Grimes. Grand Children Portia Hairston Johnson, Jennifer Grimes Jones, Daric Grimes, Josh Grimes, Ashlei B Grimes, Jordan Grimes, Jade Lester, Myles Hairston, Ashley Grimes, Sienna Grimes, Noah Grimes, Onyx Grimes, Luke Grimes and 13 great grandchildren.
Annie is also survived by scores of cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends, including special relatives Laura Coleman and Jackie Grimes.
Services are being handled by Sommerville Funeral Home. Calling Hour services will be held Friday June, 5thfrom 5-7pm at Temple of Faith Church of God in Christ. Due to the historical Covid-19 plague, formal funeral services will not be held at this time. Graveside services will be held Saturday June 6th at noon at Alliance City Cemetery.