School 21

Jack Morris Grimes

August 31, 1938 ~ July 28, 2021 (age 82)



 Jack Morris Grimes, a life-long Austin educator and education administrator, passed away on July 28, 2021, at the age of 82. 

Jack was born on August 31, 1938, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and grew up in North Texas as the adopted and only child of James and Nina Grimes. Upon graduating high school in 1956, Jack was drafted into the U.S. Marines, where he served honorably and played trumpet in the Marine Band. Upon his discharge, Jack studied at the University of Texas, where he earned undergraduate and Master's degrees in Education, and pursued his PhD in Education Administration. 

After leaving the Marines, Jack met Carolyn Marie Meissner, whom he married on December 18, 1961. Jack and Carolyn raised two daughters, Valerie and Michelle, along with an endless parade of basset hounds, cats and other pets. Carolyn spent her entire professional career as an administrative assistant at UT. Jack and Carolyn were avid fans of UT athletics and almost never missed a Longhorn home football game. 

Jack dedicated his 40-year professional career to educating high school and college students in and around Austin, including meaningful years as vice-principal of Westlake High School and as one of the first instructors at Austin Community College. Jack was an avid reader, movie buff, music lover, and traveler. He favored books and movies about history and the Old West, and he loved mysteries. He would travel at the drop of a hat to hear Willie Nelson or other local musicians play, and took his family on road trips each summer, including a memorable round-trip drive to Mazatlán, Mexico. Jack was also a dedicated runner. He could be spotted piling up laps on the UT track or Town Lake with his young daughters, and he competed in 10K races well into his fifties. In later years, Jack traded his running shoes in for hiking shoes and explored some of the great trails of the southern and western United States. 

Jack was preceded in death by Carolyn, his father and mother. He is survived by his daughters, Valerie Carney and Michelle Hawkins, and their husbands, Mark Carney and James Hawkins, and by his grandchildren, Brenna and Nolan Carney. Consistent with Jack's wishes, there will be no funeral services. Jack's ashes will be spread in locations in Austin and California that were special to him. Jack hoped to encourage donations in his name to Trinity Healthcare at 1000 Main, Round Rock, Texas, where Jack spent his final years with the dignity and health afforded him by the staff's kindness and professional care.

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