Esias Grimes

Esias Grimes

2008 - 2021

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Obituary of Esias Grimes

It is with unimaginable grief we share the passing of the light of our lives, Esias, on Tuesday, January 26th, 2021, as a result of an Epileptic seizure. He is the son of Shadley and Daniel Grimes of North Liberty, IA. Esias Tesfaye Grimes was born in Dawro, Ethiopia on June 27, 2008 and named Yabetse Tesfaye by his loving mother, Berhanesh. She made an impossible decision to turn her rights over to Gelgela Orphanage when he was just a few weeks old, in order for him to get the care he needed. At the age of 3 months, Yabetse was referred to the Grimes family for adoption and they joyfully accepted. There were months of paperwork, but the family was united in early June 2009, when Yabetse Tesfaye, now named Esias Tesfaye Grimes, was 11 months old. Esias overcame many obstacles in his life before and after his adoption. He was diagnosed with a list of medical conditions and faced challenges every day to do things we all take for granted. Somehow, he always did it with a shining smile on his face. This was not a sweet, innocent smile as you might think, this was an ornery, sly, hilarious, amazing smile that lit up the world. He had an infectious laugh and a bright, positive attitude. The word used over and over to describe Esias is JOY. He was full of joy and he brought joy to everyone around him. Even in the midst of hard times, when he was hurting or scared, he was brave and strong and courageous. He was determined that if anyone ever broke into our house (something he was afraid of), he would defend all of us and fight the bad guys. Esias was a typical kid in many ways, he loved riding his bike or scooter around the neighborhood. He played video games like it was his job, and in fact, he hoped one day it would be. He told us many times he wanted to be a “YouTuber.” His prized possession was his Nintendo Switch and he loved “Facetiming” with Yosie and Malcom so they could play video games together during the quarantine. There were many things that Zizi, as we called him, needed support doing. It was the greatest joy and privilege of his parents’ lives to do those things for him. Esias was the baby of the family, as the youngest brother to sisters Eden and Elly, and brother to Danny. Eden was another mom, making sure he was doing his chores and homework. Eden and Esias enjoyed watching a favorite show together after their schoolwork was done. Elly was his protector who could understand what he needed better than anyone else. She and Esias played Minecraft together and he loved that time so much. The girls and Esias have a unique sibling bond. Esias and Danny had a special brother bond, too. When Danny joined the Grimes family in 2015 from Ethiopia, Esias was so proud to be Ethiopian! Esias lived for time with his cousins and extended family and would beg to see them and ask when we could be “all.” The chaotic family gathering was his favorite thing. Esias adored his pets, cats Penny and Pax, and his best bud Casey, the boxer. They were wrestling buddies, each helping the other expend their energy. He was rambunctious, loud, and goofy. He loved sneaking around the house and scaring us. The walls and floors are nicked and dented from his shenanigans riding his balance board or scooter in the house, throwing darts at the wall in his room, doing flips and rolls from the furniture to the floor. He was so physical with his love. We will cherish those nicks and scratches. Despite his challenges, he was smart. When he couldn’t express what he wanted to say, he would find a way to communicate by combining gestures, sign language, words, writing, and things around the house to help us understand. He was so clever. Recently, Esias had earned a place on the Honor Roll at North Central Junior High School, where he was a 7th grader studying online this year. School was difficult for Esias, but every day he showed up ready to face it. He was blessed to have so many teachers, paraeducators, administrators, and therapists who believed in him and advocated for his education. Countless doctors, nurses, therapists, and staff at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital are to be thanked for their kindness during the many stays, appointments, and tests. He did not enjoy the hospital, but you all made it bearable. Esias is survived by his parents, Daniel and Shadley (Stanton) Grimes, brother Daniel Peter Grimes and wife Eyerusalem, older sisters Eden and Elly Grimes, grandparents Denny and Diane (Cavner) Stanton and David and Tanya Grimes, grandpa Lee Hughes; great-grandparents Evelyn Stanton and Lloyd and Dorothy Cavner. Loving aunts, uncles, and cousins: Tiel (Stanton) and Claude Howard, Jr. and their children Nia, Yosef, and Simone; Brynn (Stanton) and William Anderson, and children Marcus and Malcom; Darin and Katy Grimes, and children Dakota, Samantha, and Levi; Douglas and Monica Grimes and children Ethan, Kelsey, Keely, Bethany, Eleazar, and Chloe Grimes; Trish and Chris Higgins and children Hannah, Alivia, Samuel, and Jessa; and Angela and David Giancola and children Gianna, Layla, and Dominic; many great aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, neighbors, and the Ethiopian community that loved him. Esias is also survived by his loving birth family in Ethiopia. His grandmother Dian (Woldruff) Grimes-Hughes welcomed him to heaven with open arms, dancing, and dessert, along with his brother Jaren Mikiyas. His next hug came from great-grandpa Walter “Tuffy” Stanton, then cousins Cole, Gage, Simon, and Avery Stanton and many loved angel babies from both sides of the family. Esias (eh-ZI-us): God is my salvation Tesfaye (TES-fi): My hope Private family services will be held at 2pm Sunday, January 31, 2021, at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City. The services will be livestreamed for friends and extended family. For a complete obituary, to share your support and memories with Esias’ family and find a link to the livestream details on his Livestream Link at under obituaries. Memorial fund information

Private Family Service

2:00 pm
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Gay & Ciha Funeral And Cremation Service
2720 Muscatine Ave.
Iowa City, Iowa, United States