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Never say never. That’s the theme of 83-year-old Wille Dell Grimes’ life.

Growing up in rural Poplar Grove, the closest school after Willie Dell seventh grade year was nine miles away in Bamberg, S.C. This made it very difficult for Grimes to complete school in the 1940’s and ended up not finishing. At the age of 17, she was married to Jack E. Grimes and went on to have 12 children – five boys and seven girls. Two children died at the young ages of 3 and 5. She lost an adult son, age 64, on March 30 of this year.

After spending over 30 years raising children, Grimes’ children and grandchildren encouraged her to return to school. In 1993, Mrs. Grimes returned to night school where she shared classes with kids who were young enough to be her own children. Her family was in full support of her dream and she excelled in many areas.

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