The Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 35, August 28, 2022, Article 12

ORVILLE "JIM" GRADY (1944-2022)

Numismatic literature dealer Orville "Jim" Grady has passed. Thanks to Stephen Searle for alerting me. -Editor

Orville Grady Orville 'Jim' Grady
March 9, 1944 - August 22, 2022

Orville "Jim" Grady, 78 years, of Fremont, Nebraska, passed away Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, at his home.

He was a husband, father, student, soldier, numismatist, and bookseller born on March 9, 1944, in Dodge County, Fremont, Nebraska, to Lowell and Eva Grady. Orville was the eldest of five children – sisters: Judy (Everly) and Denise; brothers Thoms and (Kevin deceased). Married Debra (Piper) in 1973, they had one daughter, Jennifer. Graduated from Fremont High School in 1962, served seven years in the United States Army from Jan. 19, 1965, to Jan. 27, 1972.

Orville took basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Montana, subsequently assigned to Crete and Louisville, Nebraska (Nike Hercules Missile sites); Fort Bliss, Texas (Battery "B", 4th Battalion, 62nd Artillery); Fort Sill, Oklahoma (Pershing NCO School). Served two tours of duty in Germany, Team B, 508th USA Artillery Detachment at Erle (nuclear NATO Nike Site) hosted by 221st Royal Dutch Air Force and Battery D, 4th Battalion, 41st Artillery in Schwabish-Gmund (Pershing Nuclear Missile Unit) earned several letters of commendation at each unit in which he served. Graduated Cum Laude from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1978 earning a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in International Studies and with a German Language minor, member of the German Honor Society.

Orville's passion throughout his life was Numismatics; bought and sold Numismatic literature on a part time basis from 1982 to 2015, served as Secretary of the Omaha Coin Club from 1981-1987 and President from 1988-1990, member of the Cataloging Committee of the Byron Reed Historical Society. He was known nationwide for his knowledge of Numismatic Literature, as a collector of United States Indian Wars period tokens and United States Mint Medals issued from 1789 to 1890's. Orville's other passionate interests were International Politics, History, and United States politics.

George Kolbe writes:

"I did not know Orville well. He seemed to be a credit to our field and it was clear he loved books."

Tom Harrison writes:

"I'm sorry to hear that Orville Grady has passed away.I remember purchasing a number of items from his early auction sales in the mid 1980s. While occasionally listing higher end material, the majority of his catalogs listed individual catalogs and periodicals valued from $5.00 to $20.00. I met and enjoyed a nice chat with Orville about 15 years ago when I took my nephew to the Missouri Numismatic Society's annual coin show in St.Louis. Both his cataloging efforts and the challenges of traveling to coin shows were certainly a labor of love. Rest in peace, Orville."

Michael Sullivan writes:

"I met Jim Grady in the early 1990s. Being located in Nebraska gave him access to some Midwest collectors and bookstores from which he secured inventory away from the East Coast/West Coast dealers. We would talk by phone from time to time about the hobby, collectors, auctions, and material he had acquired.

"With the dispersion of the Boys Town coin collection in 1990 by Superior Galleries, Jim was subsequently able to handle part of the numismatic library collection including some items secured in library sales. I was fortunate to secure one rare Foote Counterfeit Detector via Boys Town and Jim.

"He was a pretty pragmatic and humble guy, but never had access to a leading numismatic library, leading to a series of ho hum literature auction sales. Jim's passing does bring fond memories of when we had numerous numismatic literature dealers, frequent literature auctions, and a bit of collecting frenzy."

Joel Orosz writes:

"Numismatic literature dealers tend to fall into two categories, the Coastal and the Mid-Continent. Most of the marquee collections have been sold by the Coastals, while the Mid-Continent guys tended to offer the meat-and-potatoes collections. O. J. was the consummate Mid-Continent dealer. Rarely did he offer a plated Chapman, or a priced-and-named Woodward, but he was the guy to see if you were trying to fill gaps in your runs of 20th century catalogs, or if you delighted in ephemeral material, or if you were trying to find an obscure reprint, or an offbeat periodical.

Besides having the goods of all descriptions, O. J. had the decency—Minnesota Nice moved south to Nebraska—to treat everyone with respect and consideration. He was a member of The Silent Generation who helped to build the pastime of numismatics into a mass hobby. He served us all well, and we who knew him will salute his accomplishments and honor his memory."

Grady Mail Bid Sale 8 hardcover David Fanning writes:

"I was sorry to hear about Jim Grady. I remember receiving his mail-bid catalogues in the 1980s, back when there were several numismatic booksellers plying their trade in this country on a full-time or (more generally) part-time basis. His sales always had a lot of useful material in them, even if he didn't usually get to offer the best material on the market. I was pleased when he contacted me a few years ago to help him sell some remaining items, and we had several nice conversations over the course of a year or so. I have fond memories of the hobby in the 1980s and I'm sad to think that another link to that era is no more."

Like many others, I looked forward to Jim's catalogs over the years and often found a few items to buy or bid on for my library. I met him in person once or twice at coin shows, and purchased some numismatic ephemera from him within the last year or so. Sorry to hear this news. -Editor

To read the complete obituary, see:
Orville Grady (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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