William Don Grisham

Mar 8th, 1933 - Mar 31st, 2018
William Don Grisham

William Don Grisham, known to all as Don Grisham, 85, went peacefully to be with his Lord Jesus Christ at 8:04 am on Saturday, March 31, 2018. He was born March 8, 1933 at home in Marion to Harvey Newton and Myrtle May (Miller) Grisham and weighed in at over 10 pounds.

Don married Carlyne Mae Crain on June 5, 1956 in Hernando, Mississippi and together they shared 53 years of marriage until her death on October 31, 2009.

Don lived in Marion his entire life where he attended Third Baptist Church. He enjoyed singing and was part of a barber shop quartet in the 50’s. Don enlisted in the Air Force ROTC after high school and served through 1959. He went to college at SIU-C where he carpooled with Sammy DeFrank and brothers Warren and Steve Douglas. He graduated with an Education degree and was hired by Marion Unit 2. He first taught 5th grade at McKinley School, then P.E. followed by Geography at MJHS. While working on his master’s program he was nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship. Don is remembered by many of his students as one of their favorite teachers. Don was actively involved in coaching baseball, boys’ basketball, and girls’ basketball in both recreational leagues in Marion as well as at MJHS. His most memorable team lost in a buzzer beater shot for the state title. Don also managed the Marion swimming pool and park concession stands for several years during the 1970’s. After retiring from teaching, he ran for the Marion Unit 2 school board. He tied Jim Connolly in the election and won by a coin toss. He served one term and was proud of the new Lincoln School that was constructed during that time.

Don and Carlyne loved traveling throughout the United States and Europe. Don was an avid fisherman and hunter. He spent many hours hunting quail, rabbits, squirrels, and the occasional deer with both his family and friends. He loved to skitter fish for bass at Horseshoe Lake with his friend Floyd Strobel and especially his son, Randy. He also enjoyed marathon fishing trips on the Ohio River, its tributaries, and Kentucky Lake for crappie and bluegill with friends Boogie Goodman and Steve Smith. Don loved having fish fries and sharing his catches with friends and family.

Don is survived by his daughter Donna and her husband Jeff Parks of Marion, IL; 2 sons who reside in Nashville; 5 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Carlyne Grisham; two brothers, Hartley Grisham and Dean Grisham; and sisters, Ruth Dunn and Helen Dunn.

Private services will be held.

Memorials may be made to the VA Community Living Center, mailed in care of Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home, 800 North Market Street, Marion, Illinois 62959.

Share a memory, message, or condolence



21 Guestbook Messages

  • Guest: Edwina Kent (John)

    From: Marion , Illinois

    Date: April 2, 2018

    So sorry to learn of the passing of Mr. Grisham. He was a great friend to our family. He will truly be missed. Prayers for all of the family.

  • Guest: Melanie Smith-Yearack

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: April 3, 2018

    Hated to hear this news. Mom and I were talking just the other day how much fun our families had together back in the 60s/70s. Our parents would play cards, and us kids would play together often.
    Don was a fun guy, and good teacher.
    We will be remembering you all in prayer.

  • Guest: Lesa Pritchett Ellis

    From: marion, Illinois

    Date: April 3, 2018

    Mr. Grisham was my all time favorite teacher.I enjoyed talking to him when he would come into my work. He even remembered who I was after all these years. Truly a wonderful Man , teacher .

  • Guest: Carley Faulkner

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: April 3, 2018

    Mr. Grisham kept me in line I teased him he disciplined me he caught me smoking in the bushes at the junior high school could have made it tough on me but let me go after that I respected him and quit teasing him I didn’t get very good grades in his class because I was busy in my own world but I did learn a lot from him he taught me to respect my teachers he gave me a break at every turn rest in peace mr. Grisham you are truly one of the great teachers in my life thank you from the class of 1981

  • Guest: M IKE JOBE

    From: MARION , Illinois

    Date: April 4, 2018


  • Guest: Chuck Cooksey

    From: Marshfield , Missouri

    Date: April 4, 2018

    My condolences to the Grisham family. Coach Grisham was my first basketball coach. He ran tryouts and left me with a statement that I used for years with my Jr. High players. While trying out for 5th grade basketball Coach told us to shoot a right handed layup and when I told him I could shoot a left handed layup but not a right handed one, he told me “I would never be really good if I couldn’t shoot either handed layup”. I felt determined to teach myself how to shoot a right handed layup. Later as a coach, I had players say they couldn’t shoot a left handed layup and I passed on the words from Coach Grisham. Most of them worked and learned how to shoot a layup from either side. Thanks Coach Grisham for these influential words.
    To Donna Jo, Greg, & Randy,
    I hope that all else is going well and you can take comfort in knowing that your dad was such an influence to so many people. I have a lot of childhood memories that have a connection to the Grisham family (especially with Greg). Take care.

    Chuck Cooksey

  • Guest: Grant guess

    From: Denver, Colorado

    Date: April 4, 2018

    This was not only the best teacher I had growing up or my favorite teacher I had growing up but this man was an inspiration for me to learn. May you rest in paradise. Thank you for your military service and thank you for your service to the children of Marion Illinois.

  • Guest: Yolanda Borum Deutchman

    From: Springfield , Illinois

    Date: April 5, 2018

    My deepest sympathies….,his brother Hartley was very dear friend of my father, Henry Borum…..and I met Don and his wife at 3rd Baptist Church several times on visits home…..💔🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  • Guest: Keith wall

    From: Mariom, Illinois

    Date: April 5, 2018

    So sorry to hear of coach Grisham’s passing. I was on that team that lost the state title at the buzzer. He knew how to motivate young men. He was always in my corner all my life encouraging me when I needed it. I loved the man and will miss him.

  • Guest: Wayne Caplinger

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: April 5, 2018

    The world needs more guys like Don Grisham. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. Rest in peace, Don.

  • Guest: Tim Hess

    From: Enid , Oklahoma

    Date: April 5, 2018

    Everyone has a favorite teacher, and he was mine. You will be missed Mr. Grisham. Marion has lost a great soul.

  • Guest: Judy Crawford

    From: Carterville, Illinois

    Date: April 5, 2018

    We were saddened by the news of Don’s passing. He leaves behind so many wonderful memories of times spent teaching with both him and Carlyne. May God bless.

    John & Judy Crawford

  • Guest: Vicki Escue

    From: Makanda, Illinois

    Date: April 5, 2018

    Donna, I remember your dad, from when I was a kid. Kyna & I, walked over to visit with you. I am sorry for your loss. My condolences to you & your brothers. I will keep you in my prayers.

  • Guest: Mary Lou & Jack Atwood

    From: Carbondale, Illinois

    Date: April 5, 2018

    What a true loss! Don was an outstanding member of Mary Lou’s high school class & Don, along with Jack & so many Marion youths, played so much ball together at the old Marion City Park. What a great lovable guy! We will all miss Don!

  • Guest: Consi & Ed Kubitz

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: April 5, 2018

    Donna & Jeff,
    We are so sorry for you & the family’s loss. He was a wonderful man. Our loss however, is Heaven’s gain. May God comfort you during this time of grief.

  • Guest: Marsha Billingsley

    From: Goreville, Illinois

    Date: April 5, 2018

    Fond memories of Mr Grisham. I sold real estate for him awhile when he had a real estate business in his home.

  • Guest: Steve & Jan Eigenrauch

    From: Goreville , Illinois

    Date: April 5, 2018

    Dear Donna and Jeff,
    We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad. He was such a kind man and wonderful teacher. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
    With love,
    Steve & Jan Eigenrauch

  • Guest: Richard Cannon

    From: Carbondale, Illinois

    Date: April 6, 2018

    Sorry for your loss. We will all miss him. The Marion Class of 1951 will miss him at our monthly gatherings. We had a very good gathering at Don and his beautiful wife’s home a few years back. Don cooked his famous fish for all of us.
    He was quite an positive influence an all our class.

  • Guest: Laura Germann

    From: Carbondale , Illinois

    Date: April 6, 2018

    Mr. Grisham was my teacher during the Iran hostage crisis. We kept count of the days they were held on the chalk board. Each day he spoke about them and helped we students to understand the gravity of those months and truly think about what those people endured. I’ll never forget that. He was a wonderful teacher and very good person. May he rest in peace.

  • Guest: Lee and Diane Rudolph

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: April 7, 2018

    Sorry, we just found out that Don had passed. He was a fine friend across the street for many years. He invited us to use his basement when severe storms were near. He is at peace now.

  • Guest: Sheryl Gene Hargrave

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: April 10, 2018

    Don was one of my most favorite teachers at the Jr high school…..he had a beautiful smile and a wonderful personality. …he will be greatly missed..R.I.P Mr Grisham…prayers for all his family and friends.