James “Roger” Grier


James “Roger” Grier of Plymouth WI peacefully passed away at home surrounded by the love of his family on December 10, 2020.

Roger was born April 10, 1933, in Duluth, MN, to James Claire Grier and Anne (Blakely) Grier. The family moved to Bemidji, MN, where Roger attended grade school and graduated from Bemidji High School in 1951. He proudly served his country in the US Army in Korea and then retired as a Captain from the Minnesota National Guard after serving 20 years. He attended the University of Minnesota and graduated from Bemidji State University with a degree in Business Administration. His newspaper career began at the Bemidji Pioneer where he worked in advertising and it went on to include management positions at the Duluth (MN) News Tribune and Herald, publisher of the Trenton (NJ) Times, publisher of the Albany (NY) Capital Newspapers and Vice President and Group Executive for Newspapers of the Hearst Corporation. He retired from Hearst and moved to Plymouth, WI, becoming a newspaper management consultant and traveled the world where, among other things, he helped newspapers in markets just emerging from communism become financially independent. He finally retired for good at age 82 after serving on the boards of several family-owned newspaper groups. Locally, Roger was an active member of First Congregational UCC in Plymouth, holding many positions of leadership over the years and was a member of the Plymouth Educational Foundation.

Roger’s passion in life was helping others. He strongly believed in the importance of education and helped many young people achieve their dreams of a higher education. He was a mentor to many, always listening well and then offering advice and encouragement. He loved living on the edge of the Kettles and enjoyed watching the many trees he planted through the years grow to be healthy and tall. He was an avid gardener and regularly spoke to “his babies”, encouraging them to grow. He lovingly tended his field of poppies each spring – many of the seeds originally came from Italy, where he first fell in love with them. He loved to travel and made friends in all corners of the globe. Most of all, he loved his family and was so proud of the people they have become.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Barbara (Thomson) Grier of Plymouth, his children: Deborah (Greg) Guy, Fond du Lac, WI, Sandra (Jerry) Bodin, Lake City, MN, Pamela (Kenneth) Brunini, Nashua, NH, Laurie (Ashot) Geodakov, Bellevue, WA and James (Jessica) Grier, Plymouth, WI. He is further survived by grandchildren Jeremiah (Kristi) Guy, Timothy (Moltu) Guy, Rebekah (Chris) Collins, James Grier Brunini, Katya and Sonya Geodakov and Eleanor, James Bennett and Charlotte Grier, great grandchildren Josh, Caleb, Sophia and Solomon Guy and exchange students Jasmina Arsova (John Klejnot) and Darko Arsov. He is further survived by stepbrother Rolf (Peggy) Kolden, brother-in-law Robert (Sue) Thomson, sister-in-law Janet (Russell) Patience and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Roger was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws Dougal and Doris Thomson and stepbrother Marc Kolden.

No service is planned at this time due to Covid-19 precautions. A celebration of life will take place later in 2021. According to his wishes cremation has taken place.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to First Congregational UCC Memorial Fund, Plymouth Education Foundation or Safe Harbor can be made.

The Suchon Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting the family. For online condolences, please visit

The family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. George Schroeder, St. Nicholas Hospice, Home Instead caregivers Brenda, Gloria, Kat, Lynn and Morgan and the staff at Woodland Village for the compassionate care given to Roger.

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