On behalf of the employees and Board of Directors of the WWTA I am shocked and saddened to announce the sudden passing of Cleveland T. Grimes. Cleveland was the Waste Water Treatment Authority’s Executive Director, and more importantly, he was a friend to the Board and to the entire 28 member staff of the WWTA who he considered his family.
We will miss Cleveland in so many ways, most significantly, his laugh that echoed throughout the hallways of our offices assuring everyone no matter what the crisis of the day was, everything was going to be all right. This is such a professional and personal loss. Cleveland was an inspiring leader, who was always positive, always optimistic, unfailingly polite and always committed to doing the right thing in a very, difficult job. He was truly the consummate professional.
Cleveland’s knowledge of the WWTA was encyclopedic, dating back to the Authority’s inception in 1991. Cleveland’s institutional knowledge is irreplaceable, as is his ability to work with homeowners, businesses and politicians on state and federal levels. He was also widely respected by his peers and regulatory community. It seems incomprehensible that Cleveland will not be here tomorrow to lead us forward helping Hamilton County’s growth and development as he has for so many years.
Cleveland’s passing is a devastating loss and we share the grief that his wife Mary Knaff Grimes and his children Ryan Grimes and Julian Cleveland Grimes are now dealing with. Cleveland and his family are in our thoughts and prayers and Cleveland will remain forever in our hearts.
Memorial Contributions may be made to Olivet Baptist Church, 740 E. MLK Blvd. Chattanooga, TN 37403 to benefit the Cleveland Grimes Scholarship Fund, benefiting youth education, youth soccer and children with intellectual disabilities.