F. Nephi Grigg, founder and former president of Ore-Ida Foods Inc., inventor of the Tater Tot and philanthropist, died Friday, Jan. 6, 1994 at LDS Hospital. He was 81.
Mr. Grigg was born in Nampa, Idaho, on May 6, 1913, and was a great-grandson of LDS Apostle Parley P. Pratt.Mr. Grigg's entrepreneurial roots sprouted early. At age 12, he began peddling fresh produce from the family garden door-to-door around his Nampa neighborhood. He married Addie Christine Crummett on Christmas Eve in 1936. The ceremony was held on the running board of an old Dodge car in Ontario, Ore.
A local car dealer had promised to give the car to the first person married in his parking lot on Christmas Eve.
Years later, when recounting the story of his marriage later to his children, Mr. Grigg said it showed that when "opportunity passes by, you have to grab it by the forelock because it's bald behind."
In the late '30s, he and his brother Golden bought rights to homestead some land in Vale, Ore. Among their customers was Joe Albertson, who started the Albertson's supermarket chain. The brothers bought a bankrupt frozen food plant in Ontario, Ore., at an auction in 1951. It became Ore-Ida Foods, first selling frozen corn and then potatoes. In 1965, Ore-Ida was sold to the H.J. Heinz Co. Grigg joined Heinz' board of directors and continued working at the plant until 1969.
During his business career, Mr. Grigg served as president of the Frozen Potato Institute of America and director of the board of the National Frozen Foods Association.
He served as president of the Scottish Mission for the LDS Church and devoted much of his time to business consulting and Scouting. He received both the Silver Beaver and Silver Antelope awards from the Boy Scouts of America.
He contributed heavily to the LDS Hospital Deseret Foundation and through his contributions, the cardiovascular research laboratory at LDS Hospital, which bears his name, was established.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, Jan. 11, at the Mount Olympus Stake Center, 3862 E. Oak View Dr. Friends may call beginning at 10:30 a.m., with the service at noon. Burial will be at Memorial Estates, Mountain View Cemetery.