You can’t help but like George Grimmer.
Even though he spent a decade as an elected official, from 1968-1978, George is not a stereotypical politician. Instead, he is habitually honest and contemplates what he is about to say before using his public speaking skills.
As Mayor of the Dallas suburb of Farmer’s Branch, the soon-to-be 100 year old saw his town grow from some 6,000 people to more than 20,000 under his watch.
His wife of more than six decades says that George is always encouraging, thoughtful and respectful.
And, apparently he is very low-maintenance…..
George’s first big health scare happened while he was out in his yard pruning his trees. He was a decade younger, just 90 years old.
“I didn’t fall OFF the ladder. I fell WITH the ladder,” explained George with a smile. “I pushed on the branch instead of pulling.”
Glenna, who wasn’t home at the time, says George called her from the hospital and told her to go ahead and finish her day.
“He crawled from the garage into the house, called an ambulance and then crawled outside to wait for the ambulance. Then from the hospital he told me not to worry, just go have lunch and he’ll see me later,” recalled Glenna with some affectionate amazement.
The couple says their marriage has worked because they openly share their thoughts with one another, share a common faith as Episcopalians and enjoy similar activities.
Two days after Valentine’s Day, a time the couple has spent together for 63 years, they will celebrate George turning 100.
They are planning to celebrate in their new home at CHRISTUS St. Joseph village in Coppell, Texas. The assisted living facility is full of their friends and a lot of activities the couple enjoys.
Glenna loves to play bridge and help with the community newsletter and George loves to walk every day, read, do crosswords and take naps.
“I used to do the New York Times crossword puzzle on Monday and Wednesday, but I stopped. I do pretty good and stick to mostly the computer ones now,” said George.
His skills with crossword puzzles might explain his and this country’s success. Smart and a good communicator, George’s skills were used in code and cipher work during World War II.
He graduated from Texas A&M in 1939 with reserve commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers.
Sent eventually to Washington D.C., he was assigned as part of the United States Army Signal Corps to the War Department Code Room. George notes that during the time military personnel did not wear uniforms in D.C. because they didn’t want the enemy to know how many officers were there working in the field.
His new assignment meant he wouldn’t see any actual combat. Years later, George would think this was God’s way of protecting him. Instead, George handled many an important tasks including messages between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill. Many of the top secret messages were delivered by hand to the White House Map Room. During this time, he lost his father to lung cancer, but his mother lived to be almost 90 and his sister was 91 when she passed away.
So, perhaps good genes play a part in his longevity? But more than that, George takes good care of himself. He takes medication now for a slight heart murmur. He never smoked. He drinks alcohol but only in moderation, just one or two drinks a week.
George’s sense of humor has probably helped him on his quest to become a centenarian.
When asked by his doctor, “How do you live so long, George?’”
With a straight face and a twinkle in his eye, George answered,
“I live because I don’t die.”
George’s birthday celebration will be held Sat., Feb. 18 in the newly remodeled living room of CHRISTUS St. Joseph Village.
If you are interested in learning more about the facility, call 972.304.0300 or if you wish to send George a birthday wish you can do so at the following mailing address… Mr. George Grimmer C/O CHRISTUS St. Joseph Village-Coppell 1201 E. Sandy Lake Rd. Coppell, TX 75019