John H. Grinstead, Sr. – Obituary

By  | April 16, 2017 | Filed under: Laughlin Service Funeral Home, Obituaries

John H. Grinstead, Sr., 92, of Huntsville, passed away Friday, April 14, 2017. He was born on March 12, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio and attended high school in Butlerville, Indiana.

He served in the US Navy from 1942 to 1945 and was involved in the Normandy Invasion. As a Naval Gunner Merchant Marine, he made five trips across the North Atlantic and received the Bronze Star. He was invited to witness the Casablanca Conference in 1943.

He met Bonnie Scott Todd at Bethel College, and they married in 1950. He graduated from Bethel College in McKenzie, Tennessee with a BS degree; George Peabody College/Vanderbilt with an MA degree; and from the University of Alabama with an MED degree. He also took some classes towards his PhD. He lettered in sports and was considered for a place on the Cincinnati Reds.

Mr. Grinstead served for 35 years as school administrator principal at Chapman and Westlawn Schools in Huntsville. He never met a stranger and always brought out the best in people. A planner by nature, he planned his life, as well as his death, and left us with an example of a life well lived along with the great love he had for his family.

Survivors include his wife, Bonnie Grinstead; sons, John H. Grinstead, Jr. and Michael R. Grinstead; and grandsons, Conner and Brandon.

Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at Laughlin Service Funeral Home. The funeral service will follow at 1 p.m. in the funeral home chapel. Burial will be in Maple Hill Cemetery. (

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