Harold Grimes loved kids, football and barbecue and was well known throughout the historic Osborne community where he grew up in the south end of Lake Worth.
Mr. Grimes died Saturday from complications related to diabetes at Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach. He was 57.
The Lake Worth native played defensive lineman for the Lake Worth High School Trojans in the early 1970s and later played for a semi-pro football team in Delray Beach.
He was a recreation assistant for Lake Worth's Recreation Division from 1973 until 1994 and later worked in recreation for Palm Beach County, said Sheila Thomas, his sister.
Mr. Grimes was a coach in the Lake Worth Optimist football league during the late 1970s and early 1980s and later served as a youth basketball coach.
He was among a group of residents that pushed for the 1998 construction of the city gymnasium on Wingfield Street. He served on the board of the Lake Worth Community Development Corp., a nonprofit affordable housing group.
Thomas said people knew her brother as Uncle Harold.
"Everybody from 1 to 90 years old, everybody, loved Uncle Harold," Thomas said.
Mr. Grimes enjoyed drawing and loved to cook barbecue. He operated Harold's Ribs & Catering with cousins Oscar Grimes and Arkansas Graham and was often seen sitting by his smoker during youth football games at Memorial Park.
"He was famous for his barbecue sauce," Thomas said. "We let him leave and didn't get the recipe."
Mr. Grimes suffered from diabetes and had both legs amputated below the knees in the late 1990s.
Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell said he was shocked to learn of Mr. Grimes' death.
"He always had a kind word to support everyone else," Maxwell said. "The world needs more Harold Grimeses."
A viewing is scheduled for 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Friday at the Norman J. Wimbley Gymnasium, 1515 Wingfield St. A microphone will be set up in the gym for those who want to pay tribute to Mr. Grimes, Thomas said.
A funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 900 N. Seacrest Blvd. in Boynton Beach.