Albert Clark Grimsley passed away peacefully on April 6, 2022 at age 89. Clark, whose birth name was Donald Lee Moller, was born in Newhall, Iowa on September 7, 1932 to loving parents Hermann and Geraldine Moller. Sadly, like so many children during the height of the Great Depression, Clark and his siblings were separated from their family. He was adopted by Willard Clark and Bernice Margaret (McCarthy) Grimsley in September 1933.
As a child in Iowa, Clark developed a lifelong love for the outdoors and reading. He attended Morningside College and joined the Air Force in 1950. He was stationed in France and Morocco before his discharge in 1954. He then attended the University of Oregon before moving to Fort Myers, Florida in 1956. It was in Fort Myers that he began his career in banking with The Lee County Bank. Clark’s genuine interest in and ability to relate to people from all walks of life allowed him to develop lasting relationships across the banking and business communities. Recognized as the “Million Dollar Man” by this once small-town bank, he prided himself on reading the risk involved in a deal while giving a chance to those who deserved an opportunity.
The greatest joy of Clark’s life was his family. Married to Reva Jane Scott for 56 years, he never missed an opportunity to tell others how lucky he was to have married such a thoughtful beauty. The two spent countless hours fishing the waters of Southwest Florida for snook, redfish and triple tail aboard “Reva’s Rival.”Clark became a late-in-life father to daughters Ashley Elizabeth Reynolds and Lee Anne Leerdam, who were a source of tremendous pride. After retirement, he took on his favorite title of Mr. Mom. Their biggest fan, he never missed helping with a project or attending a sporting event. He taught them to work hard and play hard, make the best of the hand they were dealt in any circumstance, always tip the waitress at the diner well (“look out for the little guy”), never suffer fools, and above all to put family first—always. He enjoyed hours spent with sons-in-law Ryan Reynolds and Peter Leerdam, with whom he shared a love of fishing, hunting, reading, live music and college football. As “Papa” to granddaughters Katherine Clark Reynolds, Everett Jane Leerdam, Elizabeth Emerson Reynolds and Margaret Grace Leerdam, he once again delighted in attending school events, recitals and concerts.
For the last seventeen years, Clark and Reva Jane resided at “Reva’s Recess”, their lake home outside of Saluda, North Carolina. There, the gifted storyteller and great listener with a mind like a steel trap would disappear off to his library only to emerge with books to be shared with guests on genres and topics he knew would appeal to their intended recipient. Clark enjoyed opening their home each summer to friends of his daughters and granddaughters, noting that this was what it was intended for—building more wonderful memories.
In his final months, several individuals were a great comfort to both Clark and his family: Beth, Nikki, and Jessica of Four Seasons Hospice provided excellent care; Mrs. Gennell Jesperson and Mr. Peter Graef provided much needed friendship and companionship when he was unable to leave home.
In addition to his immediate family, Clark is also survived by nieces and nephews Chris Osborne, Meredith Osborne, Mark Hurst and Lisa Vicario. Sincerest appreciation is extended to each of these recently discovered family members who shared stories and photographs of Clark’s lost family. Knowing that he came from a loving and caring birth family provided solace for Clark in his final years.
Clark was predeceased by his birth parents, Herman and Geraldine Moller; his sister, Phyllis Osborne; his brother, Robert Hurst; his adoptive parents, Willard and Bernice Grimsley; and his adoptive brother, Mark Grimsley.
A private celebration of life and internment of ashes will be held later this summer. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Thornwell Home for Children (https://thornwell.org/), 302 South Broad Street, Clinton, South Carolina 29325; the Children's Advocacy Center (https://www.cacsp.org/), 100 Washington Place, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29302; or Four Seasons Hospice (https://fourseasons.teleioscn.org/), 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, North Carolina 28731.
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