Frances M. Grimes, 96, of Clinton, N.J., passed away Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, at Prairie Hills in Clinton, where she had made her home for seven years. Cremation rites have been accorded, and burial will take place in Stockton Springs at a later date. The Pape Funeral Home is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of your choice in Frances’ name.

Frances was born in the province of Quebec, Canada, on Oct. 13, 1921, the daughter of Athole James and Bertha (Merson) Murray. Growing up on Staten Island, N.Y., Frances did some babysitting for her neighbor, future folk singer Joan Baez. She married Willard Mudget Grimes Jr. on Sept. 17, 1941, and returned to her classes at Wagner College, Staten Island, N.Y., while he served in the Navy during World War II. She graduated from Wagner in 1943 and taught school in Wayne Township, N.J.

In 1965, Frances received her Master’s degree in guidance counselling from Montclair State College, Montclair, N.J., and served as a guidance counselor at Eastern Christian High School in North Haledon, N.J., and at the American School in Teguciagalpa, Honduras.

In 1980, Frances and her husband retired to Ocean Grove, N.J., where she lived until moving to Clinton. In Ocean Grove, she was active in St. Paul’s Methodist Church, the Ocean Grove Historical Society, the Neighborhood Watch and the Woodland Trailwalkers; she also volunteered at Sandy Hook State Park. Frances enjoyed bike riding, camping, puzzles and traveling in the British Isles. Her most ambitious retirement project was the writing and publication of a book entitled "Crossing Over from the Old World to the New: The Story of Bertha Murray," a biography of her mother.

Frances is survived by two sons: Willard (Carolyn) Grimes III of Clinton, N.J., and Ralph (Marie) Grimes of Stockton Springs; granddaughter Diana (Jason) Palmer; and great-grandson, Evan Louis Palmer, all of Grinnell, Iowa.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 2006, by her parents, two sisters, Elizabeth Fisher and Helga MacLachlan Meakin, and her best friend of many years Phyllis Keutgen. Online condolences may be left at