Grambling, Ethel (Mrs. J.B.)


Born in Chicago, Ill., on May 29, 1895, of parents of Swedish descent, Ethel Schlegal grew up in Chicago’s north side.
In her late teens she accepted Christ and joined the Broadway Methodist Church. She became very active in the youth program of this church. James Berry Grambling, a young Louisiana vaudeville star, recently turned servant of the Lord, had also become active in the Epworth League of the Broadway Church. It was inevitable that the two should meet. After a four-year courtship, Ethel accepted young Grambling’s proposal and on August 22, 1918, in a service in her parents’ home, she became Mrs. James B. Grambling.
She moved to Shreveport, La., with her new husband where he began work at Noel Methodist Church and also became a student at Centenary College. While living in a house they had been given permission to build on the college grounds, she gave birth to their two sons: James Berry, Jr., born January 13, 1920 (tragically killed in a gun accident on August 19, 1933) and Robert Franklin, born May 10, 1921.
Shortly after the birth of their second child, her health began to fail. She remained in poor health the rest of her days, though she fought bravely to meet the exhausting demands of a minister’s wife. Only a radiant faith helped her keep going during the thirty-eight years of her husband’s active ministry.
During the fifteen years of their retirement her health did not improve, and on May 16, 1975, around noon, she gave up the fight without struggle or pain and went to join her elder son, Jimmy, in the Father’s House of Many Mansions.
Her memorial service was held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, May 19, 1975, in the chapel of Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Funeral Home with Dr. Carl Lueg and Rev. Henry Bowdon, Jr., conducting the service. Burial was in the Grambling family plot in the Greenwood Cemetery in Ruston, La., with Rev. Henry Bowdon, Jr., and Dr. Merlin Merrill holding graveside rites.
Mrs. Ethel Grambling is survived by her husband, Rev. J. B. Grambling; her son, Mr. Robert F. (Bob) Grambling; two sisters, Mrs. Helen McClellan of Carthage, Mo., and Mrs. Ruth Heins of Chicago, Ill.; two grandchildren; and a great host of friends.
As long as any are living who knew her, Ethel Grambling will be remembered as one who, by God’s grace, was able to maintain a loving, caring spirit in the midst of continued physical infirmity.
Her memory will always be cherished by those who knew and loved her. She has left behind her a great heritage of faith.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1975; p. 187 By Carl F. Lueg

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