On Tuesday, October 20, Gary Grote, loving husband, father and grandfather died at 77.
Gary was born on March 22, 1943 in Red Wing to Lorenz and Ruth (Matthees) Grote (both deceased). He was the middle of three sons, between Kenneth (deceased) and David (Kathy Miller). The family was known for their HUGE garden and the cribbage and horseshoe tournaments at the family hobby farm in Hay Creek.
Gary graduated from Red Wing HS in 1961. He joined the Naval Reserve in 1964 and came home from boot camp to marry Karen Stinson. They were stationed on Whidbey Island where he taught water safety survival and they welcomed daughter Darcy. After being honorably discharged, they returned to Minneapolis and Gary worked as a mechanic at Ford and later, Cedar Avenue Repair. In 1967, son Richard was born and Gary and a partner bought the shop, soon turning it into a neighborhood fixture. The family lived in Eagan and enjoyed camping every weekend with friends.
After moving to Prior Lake in 1981, Gary swam across the bay every summer evening. Gary and Karen divorced. A few years later, Gary reconnected with Red Wing native Sue Engeldinger and they married in 1996.
In retirement Gary and Sue made rain gauges that they sold at craft fairs. They also enjoyed boating and travel. Gary continued to fish locally and on many memorable trips with friends.They moved off the lake and enjoyed their new neighbors and garage visits. They were happily married until her death in 2018.
Gary is remembered for his big smile, sparkling blue eyes, quick laugh, cribbage skills, and amazing cannonball.
He is survived by two children Darcy Dickson (Bernard) and Richard Grote (Patty Nilsen), five grand children, brother David, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A celebration of life will take place when we can get together safely.