Murphy Funeral Homes

4510 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA


Keith Oliver Grimm

November 2, 1942April 2, 2018

Keith Oliver Grimm, 75, peacefully passed into the arms of his loving Heavenly Father on Monday, April 2, 2018 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife at his side. He fought a short but valiant battle against esophageal cancer.

Keith was born on November 2, 1942 in Hutchinson, Minnesota; the first born child of Oliver E. and Ardina E. (Schiro) Grimm of rural Cosmos. He grew up on the family farm and attended Cosmos schools, graduating from Cosmos High School with the class of 1961. Following graduation, Keith engaged in farming until he joined the U.S. Navy in March 1964.

He attended Basic Training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Waukegan, Illinois and, upon graduation, was assigned to the USS Holland (AS-32), a submarine tender which was homeported in Rota, Spain from June 1964 to June 1966. Subsequent assignments included: the USS Frigate Bird (MCS-191), a mine sweep, from 1966 to 1968; the USS Wallace L. Lind (DD-703), a destroyer on the gun line off the coast of Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. Following his tour in Vietnam, he cross-decked to the USS Storms (DD-780) as it headed to the Mediterranean. In October 1970, he was selected for the Navy Recruiting School in Bainbridge, Maryland and was subsequently assigned to Recruiting Duty in Detroit, Michigan. Leaving Detroit in 1975, he transferred to the USS Graham County (AGP-1176), a patrol craft tender homeported in Naples, Italy; followed by a 3-year tour in Holy Loch, Scotland on the USS Holland (AS-32). In 1980, he transferred to the Naval Military Personnel Command in the Navy Annex in Washington, D.C. for duty as a Navy Detailer for the Engineman Rate and managed the Senior NCO Engineman community for three years. In 1983, he was selected to act as the subject matter expert on a team that worked to automate the detailing process. In 1985, he was assigned to the Special Programs Division of the Naval Military Personnel Command. In October 1987, he transferred to Guam where he was the NCIOC for the Military Entrance Processing Substation, reporting to the Honolulu MEPS Station. He retired from the Navy on 30 November 1989, having attained the rank of E-9 (Master Chief Engineman).

Keith always loved music and was a very talented drummer in his high school band. As a young man, Keith was an avid fisherman, hunter and trapper. After retirement he loved fishing for salmon and halibut in Alaska. He also loved traveling and documenting those travels with his camera which was always near him; being in the outdoors and enjoying God's creation; and reading, especially history. He never stopped learning and loved a good discussion. His faith was very important to him and he strived to live a life of integrity as a devoted Christian. Keith knew he would be spending eternity with his Heavenly Father.

Keith was united in marriage with Michele S. Williams from Waterman, Illinois on December 23, 1972 in DeKalb, Illinois. Following his retirement in 1989, the couple bought a motorhome and headed for Alaska where they traveled for 6 months. For the next twenty years, he followed his wife in her positions with the Federal Government in Anchorage, Alaska; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Osan Air Base, Korea; Camp Zama, Japan; Okinawa, Japan; Seoul, Korea; and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Following Michele's retirement on March 31, 2009 they put their belongings in storage and embarked on a nomadic life for eight and a half years. They took numerous cruises and leased cars for exploration, visiting all seven continents (including a photo safari in South Africa, a self-driving adventure in Namibia, and Antarctica). They drove approximately 37,000 miles on the byways and back roads in Europe; visited Australia six times; and spent two months exploring New Zealand. Their traveling adventures ended in December 2017 when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Keith is survived by his wife of 45 years, Michele; his brother, Dale (Tammy) Grimm of Hutchinson, MN; sister-in-law, Corine Grimm of Mt. Dora, FL; brother-in-law, Terry Rickbeil of Browerville, MN; sister-in-law, Nancy (Craig) Kuhns of Tucson, AZ; and brother-in-law, Bill Williams of Dallas, TX. Also 5 nephews, 2 nieces, 5 great-nephews, 2 great-nieces; his aunt Ardell Johnson, of Hutchinson, MN; and his uncles, Hubert Schiro of Wilmar, MN and Alvin (Fritz) Schiro of Columbia Heights, MN; as well as numerous cousins and friends throughout the world.

He was preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law; brother, Galen; sister, Marie (Rickbeil); and eldest nephew, David Grimm.

As per his wishes, Keith will be laid to rest, with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.


  • Funeral Service Friday, September 7, 2018


Keith Oliver Grimm

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Gary Collins

July 17, 2018

Keith and I would go to lunch at Henderson Hall and one day wearing our whites, I opened a ketchup package onto his shirt by mistake, from then on he would not allow me to use the packs of ketchup for lunch. We worked together for years at the Bureau of Naval Personnel and he mentored me in senior leadership for my role as a rising master chief. He also had a few good sayings at the various meetings we attended which made our job enjoyable.
Gary Collins
Master Chief Personnelman

Craig Miller

April 19, 2018

Keith's smile in the picture brings joy and great memories. I always loved it when he and Michelle would stop into my Waterman office to give me some John MacArthur Cd's and... to bring me up to date on their travels! The animation and joy with which they would together tell me of their adventures was infectious! Their partnership, love of life and love of their Lord was such a wonderful example to me. So very glad I got to know you!