Marcus Grice

Obituary of Marcus L. Grice

Marcus L. Grice, Jr.

Marcus L. Grice Junior, 89, of Mendota Heights passed away on Saturday, October 7, 2023, at Our Lady of Peace hospice in St. Paul Minnesota. He was born Nov. 12, 1933 in Marianna, Ark. to Ammie Olivia and Marcus Lenton Grice. The family moved to Chicago, IL when Marcus was 2 years of age, where he grew up with his four siblings.

He was educated in Chicago Public Schools, and after graduating from Wilson Jr. College, served four years in the U.S. Air Force where he taught electronics, giving him the rudiments for his career in communications later on. He taught math and science in Champaign, IL, after completing his education at the University of Illinois (BS and MS in biology). After teaching for three years, Marcus changed direction and accepted the position of staff trainee with Western Electric, the manufacturing arm of the Bell System. Starting his career at the notable Hawthorne Works in Cicero, IL, where he was the first Black staff trainee, he moved up the corporate ladder, and in 1976 became the company’s first Black manager. After retiring from AT&T Lucent Technologies, the new name for Western Electric, he found a new calling as a consultant for Right Associates, an outplacement firm where he worked in Dallas and in Minneapolis. He was passionate about his ten-year career at Right Associates because it took him back to his first love, teaching.

Marcus was a member of the Beta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi at the University of Illinois and active in the local graduate chapter of the fraternity until recently. He served on numerous boards over the years, including the Chicago Youth Centers, and as a hearing officer for the University Civil Service Board. After moving to Minneapolis in 1994, Marcus and his wife, Mary, attended Park Avenue United Methodist Church until health made it difficult to regularly attend and participate.

Marcus was preceded in death by his parents, Marcus and Ammie Grice, his siblings, Earl, Zeophus Paul, Zenobia Goggins, and Shirley Burt. He leaves to cherish his memory and celebrate his life his wife of 60 years, Mary, his son, Marcus Kendall of Brighton, England (Susana), his daughter, Mira Sheff of St. Paul, MN (Harry), and three loving grandchildren, Marcus Antonio, Reidun Mary Sheff, Harry Haakon Sheff, and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.

A celebration of life is being planned for a future date, with details to follow.

Memorials preferred to Our Lady of Peace Hospice (

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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Willwerscheid Funeral Home & Cremation Service - Grand Avenue Chapel
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