JEFFERSON — The Rev. Fred Grimm won’t let retirement slow him down.

After 20 years at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Sunday will be his last day behind the pulpit.

Following an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. at the church, Grimm and his wife, Dawn, will travel to California to see their oldest granddaughter graduate from Temecula Valley High School.

Then they are flying to France to meet their eldest son, Mark, and his family. 

“He and his family have spent the last year in Lagos, Nigeria where he is legal attache at the American Consulate,” Grimm said. “Our daughter, Melanie, and our youngest son, Mike and his family, live in Columbus, so there will be trips to Columbus often.”

After a heart attack in April, Grimm said exercise and a proper diet also are part of his future.

“My RN wife, Dawn, says I am a lucky son of a gun,” he said.

Dawn Grimm said she’s happy about her husband’s retirement.

“We will be able to sit together in church now,” she said.

She will continue working as a clinical nurse specialist in critical care at MetroHealth in Cleveland for two more years, and then, she will retire.

Even with all the excitement of retiring and traveling, Grimm said he will miss the members of his congregation.

“They have been so wonderful to me and my family, taking a chance on a 50-year-old rookie pastor right out of Trinity Lutheran Seminary,” he said.

“We have so many friends at St. Paul’s and in Jefferson. God surely blessed us and our ministry here.”

He’s grateful for the pastors in the community, as well. “Our Ministerial group has been wonderful,” Grimm said. “

While finding someone to fill Grimm’s shoes, St. Paul’s will have an interim pastor for about a year.

Throughout the past 20 years, Grimm has been very active in the community, in addition to his pastoral duties.

He serves on several boards, including  Children Services, United Way, Leadership, Salvation Army, Marine Corps League and more. 

 In 2010,  the Jefferson Area Chamber of Commerce named him the Jefferson Citizen of the Year. Grimm won the award for his tireless, cheerful service to his congregation at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and the people of Jefferson, organizers said at the time.

 Throughout his life, Grimm has been committed to God and his country, serving in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from Bexley High School in Bexley, Ohio.

He then earned a degree from Capital University, Columbus, and taught high school history and coached sports.

He then chose to return to active duty, this time with the U.S. Navy. Grimm served God throughout his

naval career as a lay leader, elder and through his involvement in various Chancel choirs.

Locally, Grimm has served as a special speaker at Jefferson Veterans Day events, has worked alongside volunteers at the Manna Food Pantry and participated in the Falcon Follies.

“This community has taken us in from the very beginning,” he said. “We plan to remain in the house we built in Saybrook, and continue serving on community boards.”

The public is welcome to Sunday’s open house from 2-4 p.m. at. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church,  89 E. Satin St., Jefferson.

“I hope many people come so we can get hugs and say thanks,” Grimm said.