News Release

Celebrating the Life of Kelly

“What is your only comfort in life and in death?”

“That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ” was the answer of those gathered to remember and celebrate the life of student Kelly (Learned) Grinkey. On April 21, Grinkey, a day to the year after she was diagnosed with acute leukemia, finished her valiant battle with the disease and found wholeness and rest in the arms of Christ.

Husband Joshua Grinkey, and sister Amanda Learned ’09, tried to put into words their memories, feelings, and love for this cherished wife and “best friend.”

“Because of her, I have a better understanding of the kind of love Jesus has for us,” said Joshua.

The Trinity family joined with Joshua, Amanda, parents Robert and Michal Learned, and Kelly’s other siblings Kate, Tammy, and Regan, in a year of fervent prayer for her strength and healing.

Amanda, who graduates on May 16, gave the gift of her bone marrow to help her sister fight the leukemia.             

After her diagnosis in 2008, Kelly underwent numerous chemotherapy treatments, but each biopsy revealed that cancerous cells remained. Measures were taken to prepare for a bone marrow transplant, and the family was tested to determine a match. Although the prospects of a sibling being a perfect donor were slim, Amanda was a 100 percent match.

The sisters, two years apart in age, had always been close. Amanda came to Trinity as a freshman, and Kelly soon transferred. They were to graduate together this month.

Chaplain Bill Van Groningen encouraged the community by reminding students, faculty, and staff that the best way to honor sisters and brothers in Christ who have passed is “to courageously keep on living” in the hope and confidence of Christ’s resurrection here and now. During the memorial service, Kelly, a music major, was also remembered by Dr. Mark Peters, professor of music, and friend and fellow student Autumn Van Dam ’09 of Burbank, Illinois.

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