Les C. Grimsley, 90, of Mabton passed away Friday, March 28, 2008, at Sun Terrace in Sunnyside surrounded by his loving family.

Dad was born Oct. 16, 1917 in Nevada, Mo. to Clarence Moses and Stella (Thurston) Grimsley.

He spent his early years in Fort Scott, Kan. He came west at the age of 18 to work on a farm for Doc Harris.

Dad was a jack-of-all trades. In his early years, he worked as a carpenter, on the railroad and in construction on various dams. Dad was also quite the entrepreneur. He owned several businesses over the years, his first being a restaurant in Grandview, where he met and married his wife Helen in 1948. Together they owned and operated a restaurant and lumberyard in Mabton before moving to Arizona in 1961. Once again, they found themselves in the restaurant business. The Hut Café was born, and later they added The El Cochise Motel and RV Park, The Monterey Motel, Grimsley Trailer Sales and Terrace Mobile Estates to the family business.

Dad and Mom retired in 1979 and returned home to Mabton to be near family and friends.

Dad was a kind, gentle man with a great sense of humor. His favorite way to spend the day was with his children and grandchildren or in better times drinking coffee with his buddies at the Mabton Mini Mart.

Les is survived by his daughters, Barbi Vega of Mabton and Didi (Bud) Roettger of Prosser; 11 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren; his sons-in-law, Daniel Zavala of Gladstone, Ore., Bud Roettger of Prosser, and Ali Dominguez of Yakima; his sisters-in-law, Rose (Fred) Grimsley of Sierra Vista, Ariz. and Eva Lou (Floyd) Grimsley of Vashon; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen (Schlax) Grimsley; one son, Leslie; two daughters, Sharlene Grimsley and Marlene Zavala; two grandsons, Daniel and Joshua; his parents; six brothers; and his sisters.

Viewing and visitation will be held today, Tuesday, April 1, 2008, from 3 to 8 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, April 2, 2008, at 1 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside, with burial to follow at Mabton Cemetery.

Those wishing to share their memories or sign Les's on-line memorial book may do so at

Smith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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