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Mike Grimes: A Life to Celebrate

FSG lost a dear member of its community on July 10th. Mike Grimes, the Service Manager for FSG National Accounts, joined the FSG family in 2006.

It was difficult to overlook Mike. He was a large presence, but if you were able to crack his shell you experienced his kind and selfless nature. At work, he was focused, determined, and ready to offer assistance. His dedication to FSG was hard to ignore as evidenced by his focus on helping his team take care of FSGNA’s customers, all with his unique temperament and style. Beyond being a hard worker, Mike proved to live out FSG’s mission statement (below) by positively impacting those who encountered him, whether it was at work, a cookout, or on the street. 

“Willingly contribute to the quality of life of all employees, customers, vendors, and the general community, specifically our good, unselfish works of service that originate in pure hearts, seeking to honor God and His desire.”

FSG Constitution

In honoring Mike, it would be appropriate to reflect on just how he impacted those around him. 

“I met Mike when I started working for FSG in 2007. At the time, he was a Service Team Lead and I was in the Billing Department. Part of my job was to deliver audit folders to each of the Team Leads at the end of each day. Mike had such an intimidating demeanor, I would try to wait until he left for the day to put his audits on his desk. Over the course of a couple of years, we talked more and I was able to see his sarcasm and humor. I thought it would be a good idea to set him up on a date with my sister-in-law. After some initial convincing on both sides and several short months, Mike had made such an impact on Rebecca, the kids, and the whole family. Before we knew it, we were planning their wedding.

Rebecca and I have been the best of friends since I joined their family twenty years ago, she means the world to me. I am so thankful for the unconditional love that Mike had for her, and her for him. He stepped right into the role of husband and father so flawlessly. What he was able to give Rebecca, Casey, Miyah, and Maverick is difficult to sum up in a few words. He was everything to them and I am blessed to have had a front-row seat for it.

Mike played several roles in my life: a coworker, a friend, a brother, an uncle to my kids, a best friend to my husband, the list continues. Of course, we had our moments when we didn’t see eye-to-eye at work, but our family bond was stronger than any disagreement. Since he was a coworker and family, I had the privilege of seeing him just about every day. He was intertwined into every aspect of my life, always there. There is definitely a void now that could never be filled. 

Mike had such a difficult time letting down his walls. He appeared to be tough and intimidating on the outside, but inside he was as soft as could be. I’m thankful that we have so many people at FSGNA that worked with him for so long, they got to know the real Mike. They were able to see and hear how much he loved his family, they got to see his sense of humor, they witnessed the compassion he had for others. For those that weren’t lucky enough to witness it firsthand, Mike could rap just about every hip-hop song from the 80s and 90s with enough enthusiasm to embarrass his kids. He was the cook not just for daily dinners for his family, but for every family get together we had and just about every FSG company function. He enjoyed fishing, whether for bass or sharks. As long as his line was in the water, he was a happy man. He would also want me to add that he held the lake record for Blue Catfish in Lake Waxahachie, certificate and all. 

Several years ago, my father-in-law was hospitalized and placed in hospice right at Thanksgiving. Our family Thanksgiving is always hosted at Mike and Rebecca’s house, potluck style, with Mike frying the turkey and the rest of the family bringing the sides. With my father-in-law in the hospital, we were spending all of our time there. Mike didn’t want Thanksgiving to be ruined, so while we were at the hospital, he stayed home and took care of the kids. He also didn’t want Thanksgiving to be postponed, so he and the six kids cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal for the extended family. We all received a text letting us know that the food was ready. Those that were able to, went home in shifts to get a good meal and those that weren’t able to leave were sent to-go boxes for each household to take home. We were all especially thankful that year. That’s the type of man Mike was for us. He didn’t want anyone to go without, and he was always there to help carry any heavy burdens. My husband said it perfectly; Mike was the pillar of our family and we will never be the same now that he is gone. 

My life is filled with reminders that Mike is still with me. I see him in the faces of his children, in the eyes of Rebecca. We had so many meaningful memories together that we can reflect on for years to come.”

Sherri Wendler, FSG National Accounts

“I met Mike while working at Richardson Ready Electric nearly twenty years ago. Because he was such a large man, he earned the nickname of ‘Sasquatch.’ Whenever there was wire to pull, a heavy object to move, or a transformer that needed setting, we always had Big Foot around. My kids were small when I met Mike and I’m sure they thought he was some sort of giant. 

Mike was a shirt off his back kind of guy. If you expressed that you needed help, he would drop everything to help you. A great number of employees found Mike unapproachable, but the ones that knew him would not hesitate to bring him concerns or issues, work-related or otherwise. Most people just don’t realize how funny he was. He always made you feel welcome and would take every opportunity to joke and have fun. Upon hearing the news of Mike’s passing, I didn’t want to accept it was true. I had to make a few phone calls just to confirm and it didn’t seem real until I came into the office and he wasn’t there. Mike taught me to never forget where I came from and always be respectful to coworkers, you may end up working for them one day!

People remain with you in your thoughts and memories of them. As long as we remember and continue to share stories about Mike, he will always be with us.”

Jason Lorance, FSG National Accounts

“Mike was my best friend. I met him while working as his helper while wiring a restaurant for a company in Richardson. I moved to Iraq for two years, but we managed to keep in touch. When my contract was up, Mike helped me get my foot in the door at FSG and I’ve been here for thirteen years. Whether it was a river trip with the family, vacation to Dolphin Island, cook-outs, crawfish boils, or poker nights, he never ceased to demonstrate that he was an upstanding individual loved by those around him. He cared for and raised his stepchildren as though they were his own and ensured that his special needs stepson receives the proper care and education he requires. He taught me that friends and family are everything. If it weren’t for Mike, I don’t know where I’d be. Mike’s everlasting friendship and love for his family set him apart from anybody I have ever known. This is so surreal, he will be missed.”

Robert Toles, FSG National Accounts

“I arrived at National Accounts in 2004 and Mike joined a few years later. Back then, we were a tight group of about thirty and that’s when the National Accounts familial culture was born. Since taking on the Service Manager role in 2015, Mike, Chris Wendt, and I oversaw the Operations of FSGNA. If there were issues, we would walk through them to come up with the best solution for both FSG and the customer. Sometimes we’d get heated, and other times we’d leave laughing. Either way, it was business and we remained family in the end. That was the best thing. We could disagree strongly, but at the end of the day, we were still friends.

It’s odd now. In March, Wendt left, but Mike and I had started growing closer and leaning on each other even more. Now, there’s only one of us left, and that’s a very surreal challenge. The week after Mike passed, I caught myself calling his extension once and starting to walk down to his office twice. Each time, I remembered that I couldn’t ask him questions anymore. 

Mike was a key partner in the day-to-day operations of FSGNA. He had grown a great deal since taking the role of Service Manager. It was cool to witness the transformation, which made me proud of and happy for him. He was in the details, and I saw him working with his team every day. 

Mike’s love for his family was inspirational. The way he helped raise the kids was amazing, and it made me proud to be his friend. If you are lucky enough to have gotten past his fake gruff exterior, you understand what a great human Mike was, and how he made the world a better place by passing through it. If you weren’t that fortunate, take this as a lesson to start treating the people in your life as though it’s the last time you see them. Get to know them, build the relationship, and see where it leads. Mike helped grow FSGNA into what it is today, and his spirit will always be here with us. Especially every year at the Mike Grimes Annual Crawfish Boil he initiated. Always let people know how much you appreciate them. Don’t gamble that you’ll have another opportunity to tell them because you might not. I’ll always remember watching Mike walk by my office on his way home Friday, July 9th. I regret not yelling, ’Goodbye!’ at him.”

Chris Wills, National Accounts

“Mike was a humble and modest leader with more than fifty employees and thousands of monthly transactions. He was a true gentleman, and beneath his large stature, was just a big heart. He always took the time to check on others, genuinely invested in their well-being. Once we joined FSG in the Northeast, I began to call on National Accounts. Some of my first interactions with anyone at FSGNA were with Mike. He helped me understand the service side of our business, and the complexities we ran into on a daily basis. As a “lighting guy,” I needed that kind of education, and Mike made it a point to teach me. At the same time, he always made it a point to bust me for any mistakes I made and continued to remind me for years to come through his genuine sarcasm and wit. 

Over the last fourteen years, I became friends with Mike. We would share vacation pictures and any misadventures we ran into in life. Whenever I came to FSGNA, I always made it a point to sit and spend time with Mike, go for a bite after work, and make sure to thank him for all he’s done for the entire Northeast over the years. 

Whenever discussing business situations, Mike’s level-headedness made it easy for him to choose the right thing to do, and we made those decisions together. Mike showed me that you could be a leader and a friend to those you work with. 

It’s human nature to take our friendships for granted, especially when we’re young. I spoke to Mike almost weekly and truly miss those talks, his sense of humor, and of course, his sarcasm. There are things I have implemented in my daily life that are due to Mike. While he is gone, his legacy lives on in all of us who had the honor of working alongside him. I consider him as someone who helped me along the way, and I’ll continue to help others in his honor.”

Leon Mowadia, FSG New York Lighting

“My interactions with Mike became more frequent upon appointing him to a full-time Service Manager position at FSGNA. There were several competing for the job, but Mike’s competency around FSG’s technologies, his sense of urgency, and electrical experience won him the position. A quiet man with a tough demeanor, his loyalty to FSG showed through his ability to continuously provide assistance to those that needed it. I was able to witness Mike mature and improve throughout the years. You are taught to care for your team and more about the leadership that guides them. Mike’s absence leaves a hole in our office and I’ll miss him.”

Bob Graham, National Accounts

“Most would describe Mike as a big man with a rough exterior and an intimidating personality. Anyone who took the time to get to know him would refer to Mike as an outgoing individual with a witty sense of humor and a caring demeanor. Over the past thirteen or so years, I grew to know Mike on a more personal level and was fortunate enough to be a small part of his life and witness his true character. We shared a lot in common, whether it was our obsessive need to have the best lawn on the block or sharing our best smoking recipes for barbecue. Mike invested himself fully, taking pride in his work, his interests, and his family, while staying humble about his accomplishments. Mike established traditions in order to bring everyone together as a family, such as annual gatherings and cookouts. I’m going to miss the days when Mike would walk through the office with a stern look on his face to get a reaction, and then turn around to crack a joke to put everyone at ease. Mike was truly one of a kind. He’ll be missed by many, but never forgotten.”

Randy Allen, FSG National Accounts

“I met Mike when he started at National Accounts in 2006 as an electrician. He was always joking and clowning around, making people laugh. He quickly became a Service Team Lead and was promoted to Service Manager.

Mike was a friend. He built a community. Whether it was frying the turkeys for Thanksgiving potlucks, or cooking all the crawfish and fixins for our annual crawfish boil, or going on lake trips with his team for an annual teambuilding fishing and camping trip. He was a boss, but a friend, too. Although he looked menacing, he was a very caring and sensitive person. We jokingly used to tell new people that he was a ‘big teddy bear with a beard.’

When he and his wife, Becca, married, he had an instant family. Becca comes from a very close, rather large family and they immediately welcomed Mike as one of their own. Mike never had children of his own but loved Casey, Miyah, and Maverick as his own. He was their father.

Mike loved to laugh and loved to fish even more. He will be missed. It doesn’t even seem real. Tell everyone you love that you love them; don’t wait. Tomorrow really isn’t promised to any of us.”

Kristina Stapp, FSG National Accounts

The Mike Grimes Annual Crawfish Boil

Mike Grimes’s absence will leave a hole at FSG, but let his legacy serve as a reminder to live intentionally and whole-heartedly. FSG will miss you, Mike. Rest in Peace.  

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