A funeral service for J.N. Grimes, age 89, of Jacksonville, was scheduled at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017 at Autry Funeral Home Chapel in Jacksonville with Rev. Reggie Gregory and Chuck Hopson officiating. Visitation began at 1 p.m. Interment followed at Grimes Cemetery.
He was born Nov.13, 1927 in Jacksonville and passed away Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017 in Tyler.
J.N. grew up in Crockett, TX and lived, worked, married and raised a family there until 1965. A very close friend in Jaycees and then a recent DQ franchisee. Ray Morrow encouraged J.N and his wife Jimmie to both partner in DQ with him. They did and at age 37, he purchased the DQ in Jacksonville at Austin St. & E. Rusk in July 1965.
His prior employment was driving a butane truck and his father’s sawmill. DQ Jacksonville was successful and with Ray he built and opened 14 DQ’s in East Texas from 1965-1972. Ray and JN have been recognized as the innovators to the Texas DQ menu for both the “Dude Sandwich” and the “Steak Finger Basket” in 1969 when operators needed food items to augment “soft serve” in Texas. In 1972, JN and Ray split their stores in half as “neither could determine who was the driving force of the success” the 7 stores continued to operate. With a desire to open his own restaurant concept, he opened Stark’s Family Restaurants in Louisiana in 1972. This franchise placed 45 stores all over Louisiana until 1986 when American Dairy Queen accepted the Stark’s stores into the DQ family. JN was the representative to American DQ’s National Dealers Marketing Council as Territory Operator for Louisiana.
He was very influential with both Texas Dairy Queens and American Dairy Queen. JN was a large part of the Texas Dairy Queen Operators Council, serving twice as President, and many years on the board in the 70’s. When not on the board, he attended all board meetings with gusto. In 2007, Texas DQ awarded him with TDQ Hall of Fame honors. While the Stark’s franchise was growing in the 70’s & 80’s, JN assisted in the formation of the Louisiana Restaurant Association and served constantly on the board. He was admitted to the Louisiana Restaurant Hall of Fame in 1990. DQ franchises in Texas and Louisiana were sold in the 90’s, keeping only the Jacksonville E. Rusk location, being a DQ franchisee for 52 years.
JN found a new venture into raising deer for trophy hunts. Again, he was instrumental in organizing a Texas Deer Hunting Association to assist the communication and trading of best practices amongst members. His entrepreneurial spirit created many franchise business opportunities for others success in one’s own business. For 40 years, many were successful and were very grateful for JN & Jimmie’s leadership and for what it had done for their families.
He was an interesting, very engaging man that never shied away from a challenge. He was an accomplished pilot owning and flying himself to store operations and meetings for 30+ years. He was an avid hunter and fisherman who loved the outdoors. At the age of 50, he picked up running and completed the New York and Houston marathons at age 67. In his 60’s, he completed an online college business degree.
JN was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville. He was also a member of Austin Bank Board of Directors, Cherokee Country Club, and Deadwater Hunting Club Board of Directors.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Jimmie Grimes; siblings, Charles Grimes, Delores Gregory and Dorleen Cromeens.
Left to cherish his memory is his daughter, Laura Brumbelow; brother, Arnold Grimes and wife Teresa or Gilmer; sisters, Lanora McDonald and husband E. E. of Hemphill, Ardith Mosely and husband Robert of Grapeland. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Clay Carter and fiancée Heather, Foster Carter, Anne Farmer and husband Bud; great-grandchildren, Will Carter, Patton Carter, and Lake Farmer; several nieces and nephews and best friend, Mollie.
Pallbearers will be Stan Haynes, Blayne Huffman, Randy Huffman, Gary Tipton, Will Carter, Ronnie Jordan, Terry Jordan and Norman Cromeens.