HAMILTON, Ill. -- Charles "Charley" O. Grigsby Jr., 94, of Hamilton, died at 7:50 a.m. Saturday (Aug. 13, 2011) in the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.
Charley was born Feb. 27, 1917, in Lawton, Okla., to Charles O. Grigsby and Susan Pearl Kline. He married Lorraine White on Oct. 4, 1947, in Floral Park, N.Y. The love of his life, Lorraine, passed away on Jan. 14, 2008.
His family moved to Elvaston, where he attended a one-room schoolhouse. He started his college career at Carthage College under Dr. Kibbe and completed his bachelor's degree at Iowa State University in 1941. He was the secretary of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and business manager of the Agricultural Magazine while at ISU. The journals that he kept for decades are housed at the archives there.
When World War II broke out, Charley enlisted and became one of the few trained on radar as it was introduced to U.S. forces. He was the "eyes" for a fleet as they were being stalked by U-boats. After his military service, he worked for Kraft Foods, where he established the Cracker Barrel program in upstate New York. He received the J.L. Kraft award for his achievements at Kraft.
Charley then set out to make his own mark. For two decades, he spent time involved in petrochemicals. Charley developed and marketed the first pigmented epoxy paint, Lorraine Protective Coatings. He also worked for High Strength Plastics in marketing and product development as well as Mobile Chemical as a senior research chemist. He continued this work later in his development of Zero Rust, a rust inhibiting coating. His next venture took him back into the cheese business. He invented a cheese for the new delicatessen market, Lorraine Cheese, which was a form of baby Swiss. Lorraine Cheese became the second-largest seller of its type in the world and had distribution throughout the U.S. The process for making Lorraine was so innovative that it was granted one of only seven patents in cheese making.
Later, Charley set his sights on developing herbal ointments, Native American Healing Ointments (NAHO). This became his life's work. The most noteworthy development was Super J, formulated to control joint pain and help with bacterial and fungal infections. He was acknowledged as an advocate for Native Americans by being named an elder in the Thunderbird Society. His interest in Native Americans stemmed from his memories as a child in Lawton, Okla., which was also home to the Comanche. Charley and Lorraine promoted the history and legacy of Native Americans.
He was a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Nauvoo. Charley and Lorraine enjoyed their latter years in their home on the Mississippi River in Hamilton.
Charley was known by all for his tireless energy and drive. His work positively impacted people across the country. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Charley and Lorraine enjoyed more than 60 years together. They had nine children, all of whom survive, Chuck Grigsby of Las Vegas, Nev., Susan Alaimo of Hollywood, Fla., Kathy Jorgenson of Casselberry, Fla., David (and Nancy) Grigsby of Davidsonville, Md., Laurie (and Ralph) VandenBoom of Quincy, Mary (and Bill) Urquhart of Pasadena, Calif., Michael (and Alicia) Grigsby of Springhill, Fla., William (and Kristi) Grigsby of Naples, Fla., and Jeanne Grigsby of Ballwin, Mo.; 20 grandchildren, Todd and Casey Jorgenson, Brenda Lanzilli, Rachel Lee, Mitch VandenBoom, Kelly, Sarah, Leeanne, Jonathan and Meredith Grigsby, Christopher and Corey Miller, Jonathan Bell, Abigail, Brian and Christine Urquhart, Jenny and Dayna Grigsby, Erik and Eileen Prough; and six great-grandchildren, Anthony Lee, Lorenzo and Carter Lanzilli, Dexter Miller, Jason Bell and Madelynn Grigsby.
SERVICES: 11 a.m. Saturday in Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 150 N. Wells St., Nauvoo. Burial will be in Glade City Cemetery in Blandinsville, directly following the memorial service.
VISITATION: There is no visitation, but friends are invited to attend the memorial service and graveside service.
MEMORIALS: The Thunderbirds (Native Americans) for the benefit of the Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota.
ARRANGEMENTS: Lamporte-St. Clair Funeral Home of Hamilton; www.lamportefuneralhomes.com
Condolences may be expressed online at www.whig.com
Published by Herald-Whig from Aug. 17 to Aug. 19, 2011.