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Donald Lee Grimm


I was graduated with Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from OSU in 1963 and with M.S. in engineering from U. C. Irvine in 1968.

I lived and worked for 37 years in southern California.

After I retired in 2000, I moved back to Ohio to see to some family matters. There I became reacquainted with our classmate, Mardelle Miller. We rather quickly realized that we were meant for each other and wasted no time getting married.

We lived in a nice house on a hill on significant acreage near Chillicothe, Ohio, for eight-and-a-half years. When we realized that we were spending too much of our declining store of energy in maintenance and suffering more from the Ohio climate we began to consider other parts of the world for our residence.

To make a long story short, we ended up in Sequim, Washington, in the far northwestern corner of the Forty-Eight.

We arrived on Thanksgiving day, 2011, and had a delicious traditional dinner hosted by the local tribe at their casino.

As of April, 2012, we have hardly reduced our rate of energy expenditure from that of Ohio, most of it being spent in renovating our "new" house.

See more about our move at www.grimm57.info.



Written to classmates in 2007

Recounting memories is appropriate for the upcoming fiftieth year reunion. Fifty years is a long time to remember back. I think I appreciated the "leafy suburb" ambience and culture of Grandview but took a while to feel at home in it. Most of my memories seem to come from the years immediately after High School.

I remember Mike King and I worked in a warehouse together for a few months before starting at Ohio State in the Spring Quarter of '58, and then we both worked at Dobson-Evans at Third & Oxley the summer of '58.

I remember Mike, Larry Crossley, Jim Myers, and me driving to Florida in Larry's not-quite-up-to-it old Chrysler.

I remember accidentally running a red light at the intersection of Northwest & Oxley and nearly causing a collision. A month later the traffic signal at that intersection was changed from a single centered light to separate lights for each side of the median strip on Northwest. Who was that guy I almost hit?

I remember Todd Hovermale, Bernie Ike, and me enlisting as volunteer firemen. We got some training with fire hoses and other neat stuff in the civic center/firehouse parking lot. Needless to say, Todd stuck with it.

I remember occasionally eating lunch at the Ohio State Student Union with Ralph Burson and Mitzi Lottridge.

I remember playing ping pong in Wally McIntyre's basement until the wee hours and playing cards at Shough's and Mesi's.

I remember giving rides to Jean Ann McQuilken to our classes at Ohio State and being a source of constant anxiety to her with my tardiness and reckless driving.

I remember working at the State of Ohio, Dept of Natural Resources with Jim Baldwin and Ed Fries. Jim moved to southern California about the same time I did and we socialized a bit there. I remember one Christmas season the two of us drove ourselves back to Grandview non-stop in bad weather in 44 hours.

I remember often playing bridge with Jim and Dick Rudolph and Rich Younkman until Dick went off to fly fighter jets for the Air Guard.

I remember the excitement of leaving Grandview for the west coast, never realizing that there would never be another such place to call home.




Now to update my bio. After looking back at my letter to classmates for the reunion of 1977, I decided just to pick up from there.

In the 80's my career took an interesting turn or two. First I joined an interesting project where my responsibility was to develop the methodology for the real-time analysis of infrared image data from our proprietary sensor. The sensor and its computer were to be embedded within a projectile and its purpose was to automatically single out a target on the ground. It didn't work very well I'm sorry to say but as far as I know there still is no reliable weapon like this. An airborne target is relatively easy and has been doable since the fifties, but there is a lot of signal "clutter" when looking toward the ground.

A couple of other projects were similarly ahead of their time. Artificial intelligence was in its infancy and people didn't realize how long it would take it to mature.

At the next turn in my career path I was drafted into the "black" world of government projects. Just in case you are unfamiliar with this term it refers collectively to special security clearance projects, outside the normal CONFIDENTIAL-SECRET-TOP SECRET hierarchy. The term "black" has an interesting origin. It is an abbreviated form of "black curtain" which refers to the use of actual black curtains to screen the entry ways of restricted office and lab areas from casual glances. Nowadays most black projects are in specially constructed areas which have no lines of sight from the door way to the work area and need no curtains. As the desktop PC became ubiquitous the work areas had to be electrically screened or isolated to keep radiation from the computers from being intercepted and analysed. But enough digression.


Don's mug
Here is a mug shot taken for ID purposes at a classified conference in Monterey, California in 1983.

Although I maintained an interest in aviation, my PIC (Pilot-In-Command) time tapered off to zero. Time aloft in non-airliners did not though. My official job description was never "flight tester", but I often found myself aboard test vehicles of various kinds (flying, floating, crawling, etc) as well as designing and directing products and their testing.

In the 90s, some of this work led me to become intimately familiar with the GPS system and the final few years of my career found me consulting on space-borne applications of GPS. It is interesting to note that the first GPS receiver I saw in the late 80s was basically a military system, as big as a shoebox, and cost over $10,000. Now you can buy them at K-Mart, they fit into wristbands and cost less than a shoe.

My work was my hobby during those years and my only recreation was occasional hiking in the Sierras.

In the summer of 2000 I left California for good and returned to Grandview to get my mother moved from the family home and settled in her Summit Chase condo on Urlin Ave. Time passed while I found it unexpectedly difficult to extricate myself and move on to the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington where I had planned to make my new home. Mom died in early 2002 and the resulting notices and association with Boulevard Church got the attention of the person we all knew at GHHS as Mardelle Miller. As many of you know, Mardelle is "connection collector" and as the "Don Grimm connection" was rare, she sought to add it to her collection. Well, she got more than she had bargained for and we have lived happily ever after.


Written to class in 1977
I still live in the same area where I landed 13 years ago after graduating from OSU. This was Anaheim, of course, and is about 30 miles SE of Los Angeles. I still work for the same company, Rockwell International (ne North American Aviation) and my division, Autonetics, designs and builds high technology products (inertial navigators, sonar and other signal processing equipment) mostly for the military, of course. I do things like software design and performance analysis of inertial navigation systems. This has made me neither rich nor famous, but it pays the bills - and sometimes involves some exciting work, engineering:-wise. I travel occasionally to the east coast and sometimes manage a side trip to Columbus. This is in addition to regular visits over the Christmas holidays.

I live in a three bedroom house with a pool (unheated now, since you guys used up all the gas the winter), a couple of miles from work. Close enough to bicycle in when my aging Fiat comes down with an infected radiator or something. I have another car, even more elderly, an MG-TD which I have been restoring for some time now. At the moment, its body parts are at the Strip Clean Co. getting dunked. This operation was originally scheduled for about two years ago, but that's standard rate of progress for my projects.

photo of Don & airplaneI guess the chief competitor for my spare time recently (devastating the schedule for MG restoration) has been an activity known among its practitioners as "sport aviation". This means that I have a private pilot's license and nowhere to go. (Not strictly true, but that's the general idea.) So, after a few months of flying the local traffic patterns and buzzing Disneyland, I have taken up aerobatics and begun construction of a single-place, high performance (I hope) maze of steel and aluminum with which to view the earth from unusual attitudes, as they say. I am also very fond of hiking in the Sierras and try to make several trips a year up there. Its 300 miles across the desert, but the mountains are spectacular. I only go in the summer, since I have not taken up skiing. Other things I do not do are: tennis, scuba diving, hang gliding, and glass-eating.

If you haven't guessed by this time that I'm not married, I hereby affirm that fact. I did not escape completely though, having once gone through wedlocking and un-locking (no children) My ex- (still known as Maria Grimm) is in show biz and has appeared on many of the network inanities.She just finished a movie called "Record City", which, if what I've seen and heard of it is representative, will not win any prizes either. But, really, she's done some good work.

Have fun at the reunion.


Don in 1953
Written to classmates in 2007

Looking back to high school (I came to GHHS as a fourteen-year-old sophomore in a twelve-year-old's body), all I can remember is being a mediocre scholar, a mediocre trumpet player, and totally lacking in athleticism. The only thing less developed than my physique was my sex appeal. I was so shy that I could barely answer roll call. This is a school mug shot taken when I was graduating from Everett Jr. High in Columbus in 1953.

I remember Mike King tried his best to get me into High School activities as a senior but was not very successful.

I was always physically a couple of years behind the class. This had the amusing consequence of making me unrecognizable to those of you who had not seen me since graduation. I did not reach my full height until I was nineteen or so. When Mardelle and I met in 2002 we didn't recognize each other immediately since she thought I was too tall to be Don Grimm and I thought she was too short to be Mardelle Miller!


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