Barbara Jean Grimsley
Barbara Jean Grimsley
  • June 18, 1944 - July 2, 2017
  • Winterville, North Carolina

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Thomas Yelverton

2704 Nash Street North
Wilson, NC 27896
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Barbara Jean Harrell Grimsley

June 18, 1944 – July 2, 2017

Barbara Jean Harrell Grimsley, 73, of Winterville, passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 2, 2017, at the Hock Pavilion Hospice House in Durham, NC. A graveside service will be conducted at 10:00am, Thursday, at Evergreen Memorial Park in Wilson, NC, officiated by Dr. Jim Cooke.

Barbara was born on June 18, 1944, in Wilson County, and grew up on tobacco farms in Saratoga and Stantonsburg. She graduated from Saratoga Central High School in 1962 and then attended Atlantic Christian College before transferring to East Carolina University. She married her high school sweetheart, Jimmie, on August 28, 1966, and after a brief stay in Athens, GA, they made their home in Greenville. Her entire professional career was spent at East Carolina University working with Dr. James Bearden, starting in 1966 until her retirement in 2014. She was a longtime member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Greenville, NC. Barbara was a loving wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, and friend. Nothing made her happier than spending time with her four grandchildren and watching them play baseball or soccer. Her grandchildren called her BaBa and their love for her was evident.

Barbara is survived by her daughter, Susan Grimsley Stephens and husband, Brent of Winston-Salem, and their sons, Luke Thomas and Matthew Jacob; son, Jimmie Richard Grimsley, Jr. "Richie" and wife, Ashley of Cary, and their daughters, Alissa Blake "Ali" and Brooke Harper; mother, Ida Rose Harrell of Saratoga; sister, Mary Harrell McGee and husband, Jim of Asheville; sister, Betty Harrell Wooten and husband, John of Wilson; and sister-in-law, Dorothy Ann Harrell "Dotsie" of Wilson.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Jimmie Richard Grimsley, and her father, Charles Eugene Harrell.

Barbara's children would like to express their gratitude for the medical care she received over the past 2 years at Duke Medical Center, especially Dr. Thomas LeBlanc and the staff on the 9100 wing. They would also like to express their thanks for the loving care she received at the Hock Pavilion Hospice House.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made payable to the ECU Foundation Jimmie R. Grimsley Scholarship Fund, Greenville Centre, Room 2211, ECU, 2200 South Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC 27858.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Thomas-Yelverton Funeral Home, Wilson, NC. Online condolences may be sent to