Mary Anne Grimmell, 84, of Elk River, died Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital after a brief illness.
She was born Friday, Oct. 13, 1926, in Kimball, Minn. to William Emil and Emma Edith (Ryti) Leppa. She completed nurse’s training at the University of Minnesota and worked as a registered nurse in and around Minneapolis until her marriage to Dr. John Grimmell on May 30, 1952.
She maintained her nursing credential for many years, working on a volunteer basis in different school districts, and late in her life she served with the Rivers of Hope domestic abuse advocacy agency in Elk River, where she was the 2002 recipient of the Kathryn Young Richards Distinguished Service Award.
The passion of her adult life was the Arabian and pinto horse breeds. She managed GB Arabian Farms near Elk River. One of her newborn foals was chosen as the “model” for the introduction of the Ford Pinto automobile in 1970. Mrs. Grimmell served as president of International Arabian Horse Association. She was invited to judge shows in South America and was a guest of honor of the World Arabian Horse Association in Bahrain. In 2009 she was elected to the Hall of Fame of the Pinto Horse Association.
Mrs. Grimmell is survived by a sister, Dorothy Brodnax, of Memphis, Tenn.; children, Jeffrey Cantrell of Cave Creek, Ariz., Gregory of Cottage Grove, Derek of Clinton, Iowa, and Laura Jackson of Elk River; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her oldest sister, Dr. Marjorie Ramsey, and one grandchild, Travis Grimmell.
Memorials may be sent to Derek Grimmell, Ph. D., 1523 South Bluff Blvd., Clinton, Iowa 52732.