Calvin M. (Kern) Grimes Jr. died Sunday, Dec. 26, on the Vineyard and surrounded by his loving family. He was 81.

He was born in Boston on Jan. 12, 1940, the son of the late Calvin M. Grimes Sr. and Marguerite E. Perry Grimes. He was educated in the Boston public schools, attending Patrick Campbell Junior High School and Brighton High School, where he studied auto mechanics. While in school, Kern was an entrepreneur and established a successful paper route with a hand-built cart to deliver the Sunday papers around the neighborhood.

Upon completion of high school, he entered the National Guard and was stationed in Fort Dix, N.J. and Fort Knox, K.Y. When he returned home to Boston, he joined his father and worked in the family business, Grimes Oil. He attended business school and learned everything he could about the oil business. In 1969, Grimes Oil became incorporated. Kern became president and CEO of the family business, which expanded under his leadership. Grimes Oil gained national recognition in 1979 when it was named the ninth black-owned business in the country.

In addition to running a successful business, he was also an active community member. He was actively involved with the Boys and Girls Club as well as being a board member at The Dimock, a community health center.

He was predeceased by his parents Calvin Sr. and Marguerite, and his sister Rae V. Wells. He is survived by his loving children Darlene Grimes of Boston, Lori Grimes of Middleboro, Kern Mitchell Grimes of Washington, D.C., Ashley Smallwood of Birmingham, Ala. and C. Trevor Grimes of West Tisbury. He also leaves his adoring grandchildren Tariq Lee-Grimes, Kristie Grimes-Mallard, Bianka Pereira and Lexington Jackson; his beloved partner Lee Anderson; and his nieces, nephew and cousins. He will also be missed by many loving friends and business associates.

Memorial services celebrating his life will be held in Boston and on Martha’s Vineyard in the spring.

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