A retired Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. high school teacher drowned while attempting to clear an overflow pipe at a private lake in southwestern Bartholomew County.
The victim was Lloyd Grimm, 80, who was reported missing at about 8 p.m. Thursday in the 10000 block of South County Road 800W, Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting said.
Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputies searched the area, private property where Grimm and his wife Beth lived, and found the victim in high water near the lake’s dam, Deputy Coroner Jay Frederick said.
Grimm had been a high school social studies teacher for decades, starting in 1962 when the school was called Columbus High School.
Susan Scott, a North High School assistant principal, said she was a new teacher at North in 1979-1980 when she met Grimm, who was well known for his creativity and as an alternative thinker who had a calling on social issues.
Scott remembered him as a leader among the teaching staff, reminding teachers of what was ahead during those turbulent years, she said. She also remembered him as a person who loved the outdoors and was always active.
Among his family members are a son, Tim Grimm, an international musician and recording artist from Columbus, the coroner’s office said.
On tour in the Netherlands, Tim Grimm remembered his father as a dedicated teacher who taught not just in the social studies area, but also history, English and psychology, including writing a textbook that was used in government classes.
“He was well-versed in so many fields,” his son said. “He would always keep up with what was going on in the world.”
Tim Grimm remembered spending time in various locations around the country, including California and Maine, as his father embarked on summer teaching fellowships throughout the country.
Describing his father as strongly opinionated, he said Lloyd Grimm in no way every forced his opinion on anyone.
Former students often asked Tim Grimm how his father was doing and wished him well in his retirement.
“He treated the students who were mature and interested in learning as an equal,” his son said. “He had high expectations and standards for the students.”
Funeral arrangements are pending as family members return to Columbus, he said.
Nolting said it appeared Lloyd Grimm was clearing debris from an overflow pipe in the lake’s dam when the drowning occurred.
Grimm would go to the area along the lake nearly every day to clear debris from the pipe, Nolting said.
Investigators were at the scene of the drowning overnight working to remove Grimm from the area of the 12-inch overflow pipe where his body was found, the coroner’s office said.
“Never underestimate the power of water,” Nolting said after the incident.
The coroner was sent to the private lake at 1 a.m. Friday and left the scene at late morning.
Bartholomew County received about 3 inches of rain from Tuesday night into Thursday morning, resulting in a flood warning being issued by the National Weather Service. High water is believed to have been a factor in Grimm’s death, Nolting said.
The Bartholomew County Water Rescue team was called out twice Thursday afternoon — once for a car stuck in high water at County Road North and County Road 300E, a second time for an abandoned boat found at 2466 E. Southern Crossing. No injuries were reported in those incidents.