Mrs. Marjorie A. (Perry) Birk Grindstaff was honored with a private funeral service at St. Paul Lutheran Church and private burial at Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson. The Rev. Joshua Schmidt officiated. Once the threat of COVID-19 has passed and the family can freely travel, they plan to announce a gathering and memorial service to celebrate her life.
Marjorie, 95, passed away Saturday, April 10, 2021, at St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau. She was born near Jackson on Nov. 11, 1925, to Theodor C. and Addie Bennett Birk. She was baptized at Emmanuel Lutheran Church on Jan. 10, 1926, near Jackson.
Marjorie was confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Jackson by the Rev. Walter Keisker. Her confirmation verse was John 6: 68. “Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
She graduated from Jackson High School in 1943. She was employed by the Hosiery Mill for several years.
She was married to Perry H. Grindstaff on Nov. 22, 1947. After their marriage, Marjorie assisted with her husband’s business.
Two children were born to this union: Bradley David (Chiyoka) Grindstaff of Osaka, Japan, and Brenda Sue (Steve) Grindstaff Ferst of Tallahassee, FL, grandchildren are Melanie I. Grindstaff (Ryan Beaulieu) of Florida, Amanda D. (Daiki) Grindstaff Iwasa of Tokyo, Japan, Christopher R. Grindstaff of Osaka, Japan, and Joel Perry Ferst of Texas, and great-grandchild is Ashton K. Beaulieu, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of nearly 49 years, Perry, who died on Sept. 20, 1996, her five sisters, her younger brother, Jimmy Birk, and, sadly, by several nephews. Her sisters included Evelyn (Ed) Puls, Doris (Ray) Williamson, Mildred (Robert) Finley, Betty (Lee Edward) Myer and Helen (Howard) Reynolds.
Marjorie was an active member of St. Paul Lutheran Church. Throughout the years, she taught Sunday school, helped with Vacation Bible School, and served on the Stewardship, Evangelism and Nominating Committees. She was secretary of both the Voters Assembly and the committee for St. Paul’s 100th Anniversary. She was also a “greeter” for many years and served 37 consecutive years on the Shut-in Visitation Committee, as of 2017. She was an active member of St. Paul’s Concordia Women’s Guild, an organization in which she has held every office. She was a charter member of the Concordia Guild.
Marjorie also participated in civic activities. When the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center was built in 1986, Marjorie was appointed by the Cape Girardeau County Commissioners as one of the five members of the center’s first board of trustees. Through the years she was an active member of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce, serving on numerous committees, including as secretary of Jackson’s Committee for America’s Bicentennial Celebration in 1987, the high point of which was a reenactment of the signing of the U.S. Constitution by prominent community members. She received the R.A. Fulenwider Meritorious Community Service Award from the Jackson Chamber of Commerce in 1995. She was a “Rotary Ann” and a Paul Harris fellow.
She loved the ideas and goals of the Girl Scouts and did volunteer work with Girl Scouts for 45 years. Her duties included: co-leader of a troop for 11 years, secretary of the Jackson Neighbor Association for 15 years and work on various council and neighborhood committees, including involvement in setting up the day camp at Cherokee Ridge. In 1975, she received the highest award given by the Girl Scouts to an adult volunteer — the Thanks Badge. She was also named a Woman of Distinction by the organization in 1992.
Her activity with the American Legion Auxiliary Post #158 started in 1947. She held every office in the Auxiliary several times, including serving more than 20 years as chaplain. She was also a volunteer at the Missouri Veterans Home in Cape County. Before it opened, she volunteered at the John J. Pershing Veterans’ Hospital in Poplar Bluff. In recognition of this work, she received Community Service Awards from both the American Legion Auxiliary Post #158 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post.
A Jackson native, she was an active member of the Jackson Heritage Association for many years. She received the JHA’s Unsung Heroes Award.
Her hobbies included gardening, reading, needlework, sewing, traveling, playing cards, and visiting friends and family. The multitude of photo albums she put together throughout her life will be cherished by her family for years to come. Her cheerful personality and devotion to the groups that were meaningful to her, her family, friends, church, and community, will never be forgotten.
For those wishing to remember Marjorie with a memorial contribution, please consider St. Paul Lutheran Church, School, or Radio Broadcast. Checks may be mailed to St. Paul Lutheran Church, 223 W. Adams St., Jackson, MO 63755.
To share an online condolence with the family, visit www.mccombsfuneralhome.com, go to Marjorie’s personal obituary page, and click on the tribute wall tab.