Joseph Wayne Grimsley, Jr.

Joseph Wayne Grimsley, Jr., age 56, of Chesapeake, Virginia, died suddenly on Wednesday, July 8, 2020.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Wayne and Linda Cravotta Grimsley, and his mother-in-law, Elsie Buckner Clary. Wayne is survived by his wife, Rhonda Clary Yates Grimsley; sisters, Julie Grimsley Perry of Zebulon, N.C. and Christy Grimsley Broughton (Eddie) of Wendell, N.C.; father-in-law, Smithy Clary of Lawrenceville, Virginia; sister-in-law, Andrea Clary Walker (Will) of Willow Springs, N.C., as well as several nieces and nephews.

Wayne grew up in Raleigh, N.C. and remained in the area attending college at UNC Chapel Hill where he received his bachelor’s in Journalism and his master’s in History at NC State University. Wayne loved drawing, reading, writing, the Braves and politics. He was very active with the Democratic Party throughout his life. He began his career as a reporter and a desktop publisher, and after receiving his Ph.D. at Mississippi State University in History, he became the head of the History Department at Halifax Community College and then finally moved to Tidewater Community College in Virginia where he was currently teaching American history. His writings include a biography James B. Hunt: A North Carolina Progressive, McFarland that was published in 2003.

He met and married his soul mate and wife Rhonda and they lived happily in Chesapeake, Virginia for 14 years. They loved to travel, watch old movies, read and spend time with their family and their cats. Wayne was a loving and passionate husband, son, brother, friend and colleague that will be missed terribly. He was taken from us too soon.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Joseph Wayne Grimsley Memorial Scholarship Fund at Richmond Community College set up in remembrance of his late father to the RCC Foundation, P.O. Box 1189, Hamlet, NC 28345 or online donations can be made at The Scholarships are awarded based on academic merit and leadership potential and help benefit students enrolled in RCC with their education expenses.

A private funeral service will be held.

Arrangements are by Williams Funeral Home & Crematory, Lawrenceville, Virginia. Condolences may be expressed at