John Grinnell, of Niles

Nov. 3, 1941 — June 3, 2020

John Grinnell, 78, of Niles, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, at his residence, surrounded by his loving family, following a brief illness caused by lymphoma.

He was born in Chicago, the son of the late Vernon E. and Bernice (Barzen) Grinnell on Nov. 3, 1941.

After graduating high school, John furthered his education earning a bachelor’s degree in business from Western Michigan University and received his CPA license a few years later. John was a member of the Becksfort, Bussler and Grinnell CPA for many years. He also was a member of the De Boer, Baumann & Company and Dana F. Cole, prior to his retirement.

John’s faith was very important to him. He has been a member of First Presbyterian Church in Niles serving in various capacities and committees. John was also a charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Niles/Southwestern Michigan, being instrumental in creating the chapter.

John received a kidney transplant more than 33 years ago and lived a healthy, happy, productive life. John championed the passage of Lauren’s Law for the state of Michigan, requiring all driver’s license applicants be asked if they would like to be on the organ donor registry. John saw the passage of this lifesaving bill and was present when then Gov. Rick Snyder signed the legislation into law.

On May 8, 1965, John wed Mary Carol Pears at a ceremony at the First Presbyterian Church in Niles. A few years later, the couple welcomed two of their greatest blessings, Abigail and Todd.

John is survived by his loving wife of more than 45 years, Mary Carol Grinnell; his children, Abigail Wier (husband, Allan), of Niles, and Todd Grinnell, of Buchanan; four grandchildren, Gabrielle, Allan, Isabella, and Arielle; great-grandson, Eli; and niece and nephew Michelle and Dustin Hilary. He will also be dearly missed by his brother, Vernon Grinnell Jr. and wife, Patricia, of Calhoun, Georgia and their four children, Susan, Sandy, Scott and Shara.

Due to the current, unprecedented guidelines limiting public gatherings because of the COVID-19 virus, there will be a private committal at the First Presbyterian Church Columbarium. A public Celebration of Life service will take place at the church at later date.

Memorial contributions may be made in John’s memory to First Presbyterian Church 13 S. Fourth St., Niles, Michigan 49120 or to Kiwanis Club of Niles/Southwestern, Michigan 507 E. Main St., Niles, Michigan 49120.

Memories and condolences may be shared with his family at

Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Niles.

John will be lovingly remembered for his faith, love of family, kindness, generosity, philanthropy and humility.

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