Raymond Edward Grimes died peacefully in Port Townsend on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023 at the age of 74 after several years of failing health.
Ray was born in Los Angeles, California on July 26, 1948, the fifth of eight children of William Franklin Grimes and Dorothy Mary (nee Black) Grimes. He and his siblings were educated in Catholic schools in Venice and Los Angeles. After his schooling, Ray bought a home in the Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles and began his career as a laborer for the city of Los Angeles.
On August 1, 1987, Raymond married the love of his life, Deborah Lee Watrus, at Assumption Catholic Church in Spokane, Washington. Ray and Deb lived in Los Angeles for the next 20 years where they were very involved in their jobs as well as in helping to care for members of the large extended family. Throughout his life, Ray was particularly close to his Aunt Marian (who was also his godmother), and to her husband, Glenn Bramble. Raymond and Deb spent several years assisting in the care of Marian and Glenn as they dealt with the challenges of illness in their old age.
In 2007, Ray retired after more than 30 years of employment with the city of Los Angeles, and he and Deb moved to Washington State's Olympic Peninsula. Ray and Deb bought a home in Port Townsend in 2011. They joined St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church, and Ray became active in the Knights of Columbus group at the parish.
Raymond was preceded in death by his parents, William Grimes and Dorothy Grimes Schaefer; his sister, Mara Jo (aka Patricia Mary) Grimes; his aunt and uncle, Marian and Glenn Bramble; his cousin, Jeanne Bramble Pieper and her husband Jim; and his father-in-law, Ronald Watrus. He is survived by Deborah, his wife of 35 years; and six siblings, William J. (Judy) Grimes of Sunland, Calif., David F. (Diane) Grimes of Somis, Calif., Kathleen (Kent) Freiburghouse of Redondo Beach, Calif., Cecilia (Stephen) Elias of Spokane, Wash., Mary Ann (Michael) Carey of Spokane, and Barbara Grimes of Nine Mile Falls, Wash. Survivors include his cousins Rev. Donald Bramble, O. P., Sister Joanna Bramble, CSJ, and William L. (Marty) Grimes of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also leaves his mother-in-law, Jean Watrus of Silverdale, Wash.; sisters-in-law Pam Homna and Karen Carter (Eddie); and brother-in-law Kevin Watrus. He will be lovingly remembered as "Uncle Ray" by dozens of nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.
The family wishes to express their extreme gratitude to Ging Golden and Mitchie Conner who provided countless hours of tender loving care for Raymond at home as his illness progressed. The family also appreciates the excellent work of the staff of Caregivers Home Health who assisted Ray in his last illness, and to the employees of Jefferson Healthcare who coordinated Hospice care in Ray's last few weeks.
Funeral will be at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Port Townsend at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 18, 2023. Reception to follow at the parish. Kosec Funeral Home and Crematory, Port Townsend is in charge of arrangements. A private burial service will be at Evergreen Washelli Mausoleum in Seattle.