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Ikes In Action: The Grimshaw Legacy (Your Endowment In Action)

Outdoor America 2018 Issue 4
Endowment_Grimshaw brothers pic

In any organization, there are individuals who deserve recognition for their contributions to the principles and objectives of that organization. For the Izaak Walton League of America Endowment, Michael and Gerry Grimshaw were two such people.

The sons of a traveling preacher, the brothers grew up in Indiana. They were life members of the Izaak Walton League and the League’s Indiana Division, and they belonged to the Fort Wayne (Indiana) and Dwight Lydell (Michigan) Chapters. Ardent conservationists, they were also affiliated with many other conservation groups, including the Indiana Wildlife Federation, for which Mike served as president.

Mike and Gerry spent many days at the state legislature in Indianapolis lobbying for natural resource conservation. Like many Ikes, they used personal vacation time to work on League causes. They were instrumental in making hunter safety education mandatory in Indiana, and they taught hunter education classes at the Fort Wayne Chapter for 20 years. Mike and Gerry were also involved in collecting and donating regional bird and animal species for a local natural history museum.

Like many brothers, they could disagree and fight “like cats and dogs,” providing a never-ending source of amusement for their friends. While Mike was a devotee of classical music, Gerry was major fan of the Indy 500 and had memorabilia going back to the 1940s. Their travels took them from South America to Canada.

In the late 1990s, the brothers moved to Lake County, Michigan, where they had a hunting cabin in the heart of the Pere Marquette State Forest. They upgraded the cabin to make it a comfortable place to live and spent their time working on wildlife plantings and habitat structures around the property and enhancing the trout stream that flowed through it. Gerry died in 2004; Mike in 2007.

The Grimshaw brothers left a sizeable estate to the IWLA Endowment to support conservation projects within the League. The Endowment Board decided to use only revenue generated by interest and dividends from the estate for grant-making purposes (not touching the principal).

While some conservation projects have been awarded grants in the name of the Grimshaws, the Endowment Board intends to identify one project every year to receive the Grimshaw Legacy Award. It’s a fitting tribute for two men who gave so much to conservation, the League, and the IWLA Endowment.

We are extremely grateful to John Trimberger of Michigan, who was a close friend of Mike and Gerry Grimshaw and executor of their estate, who provided much of the background information on the brothers presented here.

Miles Greenbaum, IWLA Endowment Board President