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4500 Jenny Lind Road
Fort Smith, AR | 72901
700 Jefferson St.
Van Buren, AR | 72956
Robia Grim

Robia Hanks Grim

Friday, June 7th, 1935 - Sunday, December 23rd, 2018
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Robia Hanks Grim, 83, of Fort Smith, AR, was at home and surrounded by her loving family when she was called to the Lord on Sunday, December 23, 2018. She was born in Akron, OH on June 7, 1935 to Albert W. Hanks and Ella Mae (Williams) Hanks. After graduating high school in Los Alamos, NM in 1953, Robia enlisted in the United States Air Force during the Korean conflict. She met the love of her life, Richard Lee (Dick) Grim, in boot camp. They were married on July 2, 1954. Robia received an honorable discharge after she and Dick conceived their first child. To this union, three children were born: Robert Alan (1956), Laura Jean (1959) and William Scott (1962).

Robia loved her family with all her heart. She was a strong supporter of her husband, Dick, and a fierce protector of her family throughout his 20 plus year career in the Air Force. All told, the family lived in 20 homes, in 8 states and overseas. The family’s happiest time was when they were all together for two tours in Misawa, Japan. Everyone immersed themselves in the culture. Robia took classes in punch picture embroidery, clothing pattern making and flower arranging. She also learned to speak basic Japanese. In Japan, Robia was a member and served as Worthy Matron of the Oriental Star Chapter #6 of the Order of the Eastern Star. At the end of their second tour, the Grim’s moved to Arkansas to be closer to Dick’s parents.

Both Robia and Dick suffered a devastating loss when their first born, Robert, succumbed to AIDS in 1987. Robia experienced a degree of healing by helping with the formation and operation of Fort Smith Fights AIDS (FSFA) from 1988 through 1996. After working in a variety of office positions, at a time when many people begin to think about retirement, Robia embarked upon a new career. Fulfilling a life-long dream, she entered and completed nursing school. After graduating in 1990, Robia was hired as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at St. Edwards Mercy Medical Center. In 1994, she was selected as LPN of the year by the graduating class she mentored at St. Edwards. In addition to her work and volunteer activities, Robia also served as a hospital and hospice volunteer.

Robia was preceded in death by her son, Robert Alan Grim and a sister, Betty Sasser. She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Dick; daughter, Laura Pitman and husband Ron of Oklahoma City, OK; son, William Grim and wife Linda of Houston, TX; grandchildren, Vance and wife Leslie Pitman and great grandsons Gavin and Leyton of Springdale, AR; granddaughter Rhonda Pitman and boyfriend Jesse Galwinske of Los Angeles, CA; granddaughter Sarah Harris, husband Troy and great-grandson Jason of Memphis, TN; granddaughter Rachel Grim of Denton, TX; two sisters, Bobbie Phillips of Gettysburg, PA and Nancy Harrald of Brighton, TN; brother, Albert (Butch) Hanks and wife Janice of Tuscaloosa, AL; brother in law George Grim of Robert Lee, TX; sister in law Cindy Hays and husband Hank of Fort Smith, AR; brother in law Melvin Handley of Onaga, KS; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

Private burial was held at the United States National Cemetery in Fort Smith under the direction of Ocker-Putman Funeral Home. For those moved to do so, donations may be made in Robia’s memory to the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 467, P.O. Box 10431, Fort Smith, AR 72917.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    U.S. National Cemetery
    6th and Garland
    FORT SMITH, AR AR 72901
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
Burial will be private.


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Minzhe Wu

Posted at 02:27pm
I would like to express my sorrow and condolences to you and your family. I pray you and your family find the fortitude to bear this great loss.
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Sandra Pyle

Posted at 05:28pm
Thank you so much for letting me know about Robi. Many memories came to me after your call. I will have a mass said for her. I became a Catholic 3 years ago. My sympathy goes to your family. December the 23 is the day that both of my grandmothers passed many years ago . Then my niece was born on that day. Her name is Angela...truly a day meant for angels. Sandie

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