Remembering Dr. Grimes, Retired Professor and Former Humanities Chair


posted September 06, 2016

Longtime Pitt-Johnstown Humanities Chair and beloved professor Carroll Grimes died on August 29, 2016. She was 85 years old.

Dr. Grimes joined the Humanities faculty at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in 1963, serving as the Chair of Humanities from 1971 until her retirement 30 years later.

She was granted Emeritus status at that time. She continued to teach for a brief period of time after her official retirement on a part-time basis through 2003.

“Dr. Grimes helped build this University, and her spirit of fair play and compassion lives on in the world through the many students, faculty, and staff she touched.  No one can ever replace her,” said retired Humanities Division Chair Dr. Patty Derrick.

Dr. Grimes was born in Brooklyn on July 5, 1931, received a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College, a master’s degree in English literature from NYU and a doctorate from Ohio State. Her most recent residence was Southold, Long Island, New York.

She is survived by her brother, Dr. James A. Grimes of Santa Barbara, Calif. and her sisters, Nancy McLernon of Flushing, NY and Frances A. Leudesdorf of Southold, NY.

According to a Tribune-Democrat obituary story:

“Locally there are many people who would wish to be counted in the ‘survived by’ group. These include not only former Humanities colleagues and friends, but colleagues from all across the campus as well as UPJ staff members. She also made many friends throughout the community and is fondly remembered by former students. She was regarded with respect and affection by all who were privileged to know her. As Chair of the Humanities, she had the gift of being able to recognize and reward the various talents of her faculty.

"And in addition to her admirable qualities as an administrator, she always took great pleasure in teaching two classes per semester, and in following her keen interest in Ernest Hemingway scholarship as a longtime member of the Hemingway Society. One of her students commented: ‘And my, oh my, what a knowledge of Hemingway. She could tell you how many times Papa sneezed.’”


The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania, was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been presented with The Seven Seals Award by the US Department of Defense’s office of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World. The distinctive combination of our people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success.