Grace Grissom, founder of Mrs. Grissom’s Salads and founding member of the Refrigerated Foods Association, Arlington, Va., passed away May 26 at her home following a short illness.
Funeral services are scheduled for June 1 at 11 a.m. at Brentwood United Methodist Church in Brentwood, Tenn.
Mrs. "G," as she was known, remained active in the family business for almost six decades, maintaining regular office hours at the Nashville, Tenn., headquarters until a few days before her death. After a brief stint working at The Southern Railway Co., Knoxville, Tenn., Mrs. G., along with her husband Herbert and young daughter, Herberta, moved to Nashville to become partners in a friend's food business. After a year of partnership, the Grissom's bought out their friends and launched Mrs. Grissom's Salads in the spring of 1955. In 2005, Mrs. G. appointed long-time Grissom general manager and son-in-law, Kenneth Funger, to the CEO position. Although leaving the day-to-day business to Funger and other long-time trusted company executives, she remained steadfast in making sure the original recipes were faithfully followed and that the consistency and quality customers had grown to expect from Mrs. Grissom's products never faltered from the standards she set in the beginning.
A pioneer in the business world during the 1950s when very few women ran their own companies, Mrs. G. was honored by Nashville Woman magazine for showing how one woman can make a difference by following her dream and for encouraging others to have the courage and confidence to follow theirs. She was also recognized by many other business organizations for her outstanding achievements during the course of her career as the name and face of the company.
She is survived by husband W. Frank Evans; son-in-law, Kenneth Funger, both of Nashville; sister, Gladys Tallent of Columbus, Ohio; nephew, Jack McGhee of Nolensville, Tenn., and niece, Sharon Eads of Spring Hill, Tenn. She is preceded in death by her late husband, Herbert, who helped launch and build the company's retail network until his death in 1998; their two daughters, Herberta and Sylvia, who passed away in 2012 and 2011, respectively.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Martin Methodist College, 433 West Madison Street, Pulaski, TN 38478.
Visitation is scheduled for May 31 at Brentwood United Methodist Church from 5-7 p.m., and June 1 at 10 a.m., with the funeral to follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery.