Eight Bells: Oliver Grin

Published on April 9th, 2020

Oliver Grin

Oliver D.W. Grin, M.D., 77, retired neurosurgeon and avid sportsman, died April 2nd, 2020 due to complications from a heart procedure and stroke this past December. He was surrounded by his wife and three children in his home in Naples, FL.

Well recognized for his career as a neurosurgeon, his many sailing accomplishments include top finishes in national and international sailing competitions, including the Chicago-Mackinac Race, Port Huron-Mackinac Race, Onion Patch Series, Newport Bermuda Race, Block Island Race Week, Key West Race Week, Miami-Montego Bay Race, culminating in representing the United States in winning the Commodores’ Cup in Cowes, England.

In addition to sailing, Ollie completed multiple marathons, enjoyed golfing with his friends and family, and flying his plane.

Born in Buffalo, NY in 1942, “Sonny” spent his early childhood years in Buffalo, NY; Duluth, MN; and Bay City, MI. He was a 1960 graduate of Bay City Central High School. He earned additional academic degrees from Delta Community College, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan Medical School. Oliver did his neurosurgical residency at the University of Iowa.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Carolyn, his three children: Martin (Erin), Oliver (Lora) and Hulda (Kyle) Black, and his eight grandchildren: Caroline, Elizabeth, Catherine, Emily, Oliver, J.W., Titus and Lila. Surviving siblings are Ron (Nancy) Grin, Mina (Tom) Nemrava and Marcia Irish, along with many nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were his parents, Emma & Oliver Grin and James & Jean Woodhouse, and two brothers, Randy Grin and Harry Woodhouse.

Over the past five years, Oliver was motivated to write an inspirational memoir for his grandchildren and other youth. One month prior to his death, Oliver’s dream became a reality when Blue Eyes was published on Amazon. He dreamed of sharing his story of grit, hope and determination to inspire others to never give up on their dreams.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a memorial service will be announced at a later date. The family would love to hear remembrances online via Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Service.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Mayflower Congregational Church in Grand Rapids, MI or Little Traverse Sailors in Harbor Springs, MI.

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