Grimland

Feb. 20, 1944 — Oct. 18, 2018
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Dave Grimland passed away quickly and painlessly at home on Oct. 18.  

He was a husband, father, grandfather, son, diplomat, storyteller, educator and friend to many. Born in Roswell on Feb. 20, 1944, Dave grew up in both New Mexico and Texas and received both a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Texas before entering the U.S. Foreign Service.  

He served his country as a public information officer in Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Bangladesh and India.  His daughter, Debra, was born in Greece and son, Michael, while posted in India. Dave regularly commented that his most foreign posting was in Washington, D.C. Dave moved with his wife, Kathleen, and son, Michael, to Columbus, Mont., in 1995 and greatly enjoyed working on his land on Shane Ridge:  thinning trees, chopping firewood, plowing snow and especially managing the rainwater collection system he designed.

Dave was a talented storyteller with a plethora of accomplishments and misadventures overseas. After much encouragement from those close to him, Dave finally put some of the tales on paper and published a book, “Journey to Ithaca” in 2015.  

Post 9/11, Dave felt compelled to inform his neighbors about Islam because of his positive experiences living in Muslim majority countries and his close friendships with Turks. After an article in the Los Angeles Times, where his work was prominently featured, he traveled throughout Montana and across the country giving talks on Islam. Earlier traumas, especially his work at the Cyprus embassy in 1971, when the American Ambassador, Roger Davies, was killed and the country of Cyprus was at war, took a toll and Dave’s health started declining in 2015.

He continued to write, focusing on poetry and sharing his work widely in person and online. To the end, Dave made new friends wherever he could during his walks around town.

Dave is survived by his wife, Kathleen Ralph, son Michael Grimland, daughter Debra Grimland Leerssen (Scott) and grandchildren Joshua and Hannah. Special friends who brought Dave to Montana are Jim Dickey and Sally Bisch along with their daughters Shanta Milne and Anju Bisch. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 11 a.m. in the Columbus Community Congregational Church.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Project Hope of Columbus and Yellowstone Public Radio.

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