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James "Don" Van Groll

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James "Don" Van Groll Obituary
Van Groll, James "Don"

James D. "Don" Van Groll was born to Antone J. and Hope Glenn (Thompson) Van Groll on June 19, 1918, near New London, WI. On April 22, 1942, he married Ruth Naomi Detry, daughter of John J. and Eleanor Detry. They were residents of the west side during their working years, after which they spent their summers in Ephraim and their winters in Tempe, AZ. They celebrated 60 years of a marriage "Made in Heaven" before she was called home on May 7, 2002.

Don was a graduate of Washington High School New London; Badger Green Bay Business College, and the Central States School of Banking, a school for bankers sponsored by the Wisconsin Bankers Association and conducted on the campus of the University of Wisconsin- Madison. He began his career in banking in July of 1936, with the West Side State Bank and continued with the organization through its transition to West Bank and Trust, the formation of its holding company United Bank Shares, the opening of United and East Bank, its merger with Valley Bank Corporation to become Valley Bank of Green Bay, and its sale to Marshall and Ilsley of Milwaukee. His career was interrupted for military service with the 475th Headquarters squadron of the U.S. Army Air Force, stationed in Thermal, CA, where he earned the rank of Sergeant. During his career as a member of the American Institute of Banking, he taught classes in banking at the local level, served as State Vice President and as a member of the National Forum and Seminar Committee. As a member of the Bank Administration Institute, he taught a class in Audit and Audit/Procedures at schools for bankers sponsored by the Institute and conducted on the campuses of Michigan State University at East Lansing, MI and Iowa State University at Ames. At the time of his retirement from active management, at the end of 1981, he was Senior Vice President, and served as a member and Secretary of the Board of Directors. He continued to serve as an Advisory Director until September 1994.

Don served his community as a member of the board of the Visiting Nursing Association, serving one term as President. He was a charter member of the West Green Bay Lions Club and a life member of Council 617 of the Knights of Columbus and served as treasurer of both organizations. He served his church as a lector and Eucharistic Minister at St. Agnes in Green Bay, St Rosalia in Sister Bay, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Tempe, AZ. Don returned to live in Green Bay in 2002.

He is survived by his daughter, Mary Sandra (David) Kuntz, Ohio; his two granddaughters Emily and Laura; nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later time. Inurnment will be at the Shrine of Good Shepherd Mausoleum. Online condolences may be expressed at

In memory of James, donations may be given to St. Bernard Catholic Church, 2040 Hillside Ln.

Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette on July 17, 2013
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