A Legacy of Love

Barbara Jean (Davis) and Allan Grimm

Allan Grimm's wedding"Wow! Who is this girl?"

Those were the first thoughts that popped into Allan Grimm's head when he walked into a party at his friend's apartment in August 1963 and saw Barbara Jean Davis sitting cross-legged on the floor. She was on the phone with her boyfriend, trying to convince him to drive up to Denver from Colorado Springs to join the party. The boyfriend never made it to the party, and for the next 56 years, Al and Barbara Jean were inseparable.

They were married the summer of 1964 on the DU campus. "When we got engaged, Barbara Jean told me we had to get married in Evans Chapel," Al says. "She loved that place." Barbara Jean had grown up near campus and received her education degree from DU in 1958. When Evans Chapel was relocated, brick by brick, from downtown to the University Park campus in 1960, she would often watch workers as they reassembled the historic structure, and she frequently spent time there after it was complete. Years later, when Al and Barbara Jean would come back to Denver, they always made a point to stop by campus and sit in the chapel.

Following graduation, Barbara Jean taught in the Denver Public Schools, and she later took a teaching position with the Sisters of Loretto at Havern School. She was a gifted teacher and loved what she did. Al worked at American Crystal Sugar, where he was offered a promotion in 1971 that required the couple to move to northern California. "In hindsight, she was doing much more important work than I was," Al says. "But in those days, that's just what you did." Over the next two years, they had several family members with serious illnesses, and Barbara Jean spent much of her time traveling back to Colorado to care for them. She never went back to work full time, but she continued serving others in various ways until her passing in 2019.

Al and Barbara Jean had many ups and downs over the course of their marriage, including losing almost everything in the stock market crash of 1987. Two years later, Al transitioned from the food industry to wealth management where, over the course of 27 years, he built up one of the most successful teams of advisors within the company. Following Barbara Jean's passing, Al found some of her journals from the late '80s and early '90s, when times were toughest. There was no doubt, no criticism—just an unfailing hope and belief that they would get through it together.

In 2012, Al and Barbara Jean met with an attorney to update their trust documents and discussed charitable gifts that would be distributed after they were both gone. It was Barbara Jean's idea to include a gift to DU for the upkeep and maintenance of Evans Chapel, which had meant so much to her. While she was alive, they made the decision not to notify the University of their gift, as they "didn't want the recognition," Al says. However, after Barbara Jean's passing, Al felt it was important that he notify the University of this gift, and he's glad that he did. Because of the conversations with DU, Al was able to put a fund agreement in place that will establish the Barbara Jean (Davis) and Allan Grimm Endowment for Evans Chapel.

To Al, this gift is about honoring Barbara Jean's wish that Evans Chapel remains in good condition for years to come, so that future generations of students and alumni can create their own memories there. "She was simply the best," Al says. "That's all there is to say."

To learn more about supporting DU with a gift, contact Jon Kraus at jon.kraus@du.edu or 303.871.4619. We are happy to work with you and your financial advisor to determine the best option for you.