John Grimmer (1949-2018)

John Edward Grimmer, 68, who lived in Garrison, died Jan. 23, 2018, of cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

John was born March 11, 1949, in Iowa City, Iowa, to George and Imogene (Loseke) Grimmer. He graduated from Shaker High School in Latham, New York, and graduated from Princeton University and Columbia Law School. He married Ellen Haven, who died in 2015.

An attorney, John specialized in maritime law and participated in several notable cases, including the 2002 Prestige oil spill off the coast of Spain and the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.

John’s talents ranged from gourmet cooking to scuba diving to computer technology, as well as making plumbing and electrical repairs at his own and his family’s residences. He loved animals, especially his dogs. He also loved the ocean and spent much time on the southern coast of Maine, where family members have lived since 1977.

John is survived by his son, Darius Hartwell, and two grandchildren, Delilah Hartwell and Isaiah “Zeke” Hartwell, of Portland, Oregon; and two sisters, Anne Grimmer of Washington, D.C., and Mary Grimmer of Biddeford, Maine.

A celebration of John’s life took place on Jan. 27 at St. Mary’s Church in Cold Spring, followed by interment at Cold Spring Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Nature Conservancy ( or the Hudson Highlands Land Trust (

Edward Thompson

Edward Thompson (1928-2018)

Edward T. Thompson, 90, of North Salem, a former worldwide editor of Reader’s Digest, died with family at his side on Feb. 13, 2018, his 90th birthday. Among his survivors is a son, Evan K. Thompson, of Cold Spring.

Ed was born on Feb. 13, 1928, in Milwaukee, the son of Edward Kramer and Marguerite (Maxam) Thompson, He attended MIT and, after a brief career in chemical engineering, followed his father, who was the managing editor of LIFE and founding editor of Smithsonian, into magazine journalism.

After working as a writer for McGraw Hill and Fortune, he joined Reader’s Digest in 1960 and became its editor in 1976. After leaving the Digest, he was involved in several publishing ventures and was a consultant on projects for Jann Wenner.

Besides his son in Cold Spring, Ed is survived by his wife, Susan; his brother, Colin Thompson of Rockville, Maryland; his son Edward T. Thompson (Agnes) of Cresskill, New Jersey; his daughter Anne Thompson of Bethesda, Maryland; his son David Thompson (Carol) Culver City, California, and his daughter Julie Robison (Neal) of Wallingford, Connecticut. He also is survived by 12 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

The family is planning a celebration of his life for early spring. Memorial donations may be made to North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corps ( or the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey (

Behind The Story

Type: Obituary

Obituary: Reports the death of an individual, providing an account of the person’s life including their achievements, any controversies in which they were involved, and reminiscences by people who knew them.

Articles attributed to "staff" are written by the editor or a senior editor. This is typically because they are brief items based on a single source, such as a press release, or there are multiple contributors, such as a collection of photos.