School 17


Peggy Harris Grissom

January 12, 1930 ~ September 26, 2018 (age 88)

Peggy Harris Grissom, born in Lowell, NC, January 12, 1930 and passed away peacefully on her own terms September 26, 2018.  She was the youngest daughter of Ira James and Jenny-Rose Gibson Harris.  Educated first in Lowell Schools, she graduated and first attended Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA, and then graduating from her beloved Wake Forest College.

After graduation, she began a career in education in 1950, first at Dallas High School, then Mount Holly High School before joining the staff at Lowell High School, and in 1955, opened the new school at that period, John M. Holbrook High School.  Mr. Holbrook had been a mentor to her in her childhood and her early years in teaching. 

In 1961, she joined her older sister, Bennie Harris Edwards, at Piedmont Junior High School in Charlotte and from there opened Ranson Junior High School before moving to Olympic High School in 1970, where she completed her career, retiring in 1991.

While at Olympic, she was Advisor for the Student Council, Executive Council, and other clubs.  During her entire career, she touched and inspired the lives of many students who also had successes in diverse endeavors.  She remembered many of her students and would beam with pride at their accomplishments, no matter how small or large.  She was proud of her career and the friends and acquaintances she made through the years.  She was a staunch supporter of the NCAE and the NEA.

She married C. Kenneth Grissom in 1953 and had three sons.  They eventually settled in McAdenville, NC,   where she lived the remainder of her life.  After retirement, Ken and Peggy spent many happy times at their “second” residence at Ocean Isle Beach, walking countless hours on the beach, becoming involved in the community, and just watching the sun rise and set over what they considered one of the most beautiful spots on earth.  She enjoyed the time eating oysters with her five grandchildren and just enjoying the beach life.  She also connected with many of her Wake Forest friends and families.

After retiring, she maintained close contact with her colleagues from Olympic, whose friendship meant so much to her.  She never lost her passion for people to learn and grow, and she exemplified that by her voracious reading and maintaining a focus on current events and not letting public education and its many benefits fall from focus.  She truly inspired many people. 

She was pre-deceased by her husband and best friend, Ken, parents, Ira and Jenny-Rose Harris, brothers Ira, Junior and Jack Harris; Sisters Lena Rose Harris and Bennie Harris Edwards. 

Survivors include sons Charles Kenneth Grissom Jr., Gastonia, NC; Robert James Grissom, and Ira Harris Grissom, McAdenville, NC.  Grandchildren Cal Grissom, Maggie Grissom, Hank Grissom, Ben Grissom and Josh Grissom, who she fiercely cherished every moment with them.  She is also survived by many nephews and nieces and their children, and Brother-in-Law Ralph P. Edwards of Blacksburg, VA.   Also, Andre Kee, her special care taker.

The family would also like to thank the late Dr. Will Massey and Dr. David Locklear for the many years of care and concern; the nurses and physical therapists from Kindred At Home; and a special thank you to the staffs from Caromont ICU, CCU, and Fourth Floor teams.  The care and compassion displayed allowed our Mother, Grandmother, Aunt, Teacher, Mentor, and Cherished Friend, to spend her final days in comfort and leave this world on HER terms.

A Service to celebrate the life of Peggy Harris Grissom will be held at The Presbyterian Church of Lowell on Saturday, October 6 at 11 AM by Minister Joseph Taber, IV with visitation following the service in the Fellowship Hall.  Those attending are welcome to join in lunch provided by Peggy and the Family.  Interment will be private.Memorials may be made to the Elizabeth McGirt Holbrook Scholarship fund at The Presbyterian Church of Lowell, 207 East First Street, Lowell, NC, 28098. 

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