Rev. Stephen LeRoy Gronseth (1926 - 2014)

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Funeral services for Rev. Stephen L. Gronseth, 88, will be conducted by Pastor Grant VanLishout on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Atlantic. Interment will be in the Exira Cemetery in Exira. The honorary casket bearers will be Elyce Gronseth, Kayla Gronseth-Boyer, Alliah Nelson, Nicole Nelson, Jayda Nelson, Elizabeth Nelson, Dina Abel, and Dara Bartz. The casket bearers will be Wade Nelson, Chris Nelson, John Nelson, Justin Nelson, Jared Nelson, and Ben Heath. The Kessler Funeral Home in Exira is in charge of the arrangements.
Reverend Stephen LeRoy Gronseth, the son of James Rudolph and Julia (Grandstrand) Gronseth, was born July 31, 1926, in Minneapolis, Minn., and died Nov. 16, 2014, at the Atlantic Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Atlantic, at the age of 88 years, 3 months, and 15 days.
Stephen was baptized and confirmed at Rosedale Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. He attended and graduated from Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis in 1944. He enlisted into the U.S. Navy. During his tour of duty he served with the Navy Seabees in Okinawa, Japan. He was honorably discharged on June 11, 1946, and returned home to Minneapolis where he attended McPhail College of Music, graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Music.
In 1949 he was united in marriage to Florence Salo at Rosedale Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Five children, Stephen, Gregory, Rosanne, Elizabeth, and Judith were born to this union. Stephen taught music in public schools for several years. He then served as the Organist/Choir Director in several different churches in many parts of the country until 1962. Stephen studied at the Northwestern Theological Seminary graduating with a Theological Degree and was ordained in 1966. He first served as Pastor at St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Hurst, Texas. Florence died suddenly in 1968. Stephen continued his ministry at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church of Medicine Lake in Plymouth, Minn., followed by Zion Lutheran Church in Deerfield Beach, Fla., and St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Albia. In 1985 he moved to Kimballton, and became the Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and Bethany Lutheran Church. On Nov. 29, 1986, he married Carol Nelson at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kimballton. Stephen continued as Pastor until he retired in 1991. During retirement he was the Chaplin at the Salem Lutheran Home in Elk Horn. He also served as the Interim Pastor in Griswold, for a time and then assisted other churches in the area during transitional periods. In 1994 they moved to Atlantic. Stephen continued serving until he completely retired in 2000 following heart surgery.
Stephen was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Atlantic. Stephen was known for his absolute faith in the Lord. Stephen had an innate love of music especially the organ. His beautiful tenor voice could be heard throughout the church as he sang hymns or directed the choir. He touched many lives through his ministry, music, and his upbeat positive loving attitude. He truly cared for people, was always positive, and believed in each and every one.
Preceding him in death was his wife Florence Gronseth; an infant daughter Elizabeth Gronseth; his parents; his brothers and sisters, Ivadell Gronseth, James and wife Marge Gronseth, Luther and wife Helen Gronseth, Magdalene and husband Amos Stolee, Phil and wife Angie Gronseth; his brother-in-law Sherman Limburg; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law Harold and Ann Schroeter.
Survivors include his wife Carol Gronseth of Atlantic; his children Stephen Gronseth of Colorado Springs, Colo., Gregory Gronseth and Rosanne Gronseth both of Minneapolis, Minn., and Judith Gronseth of St. Paul, Minn,; his grandchildren Elyce Gronseth of Gainesville, Fla., and Kayla Gronseth-Boyer and husband Scott of Colorado Springs, Colo.; his step-children Wade and wife Roxanne Nelson of Harlan, Christopher and wife Wendy Nelson of LeRoy, Ill., and John and wife Erin Nelson of Downs, Ill.; his step-grandchildren Patrick Nelson, Cody Nelson and fiancee Brittani Martin, Alliah Nelson, Elizabeth Nelson, Justin Nelson, Jayda Nelson, Nicole Nelson, Jared Nelson, Dina and husband Josh Abel, and Dara and husband Cory Bartz; his step-great-grandchildren Gracie, Brinkley, and Bo Bartz, and Mason, Landon, and Leighton Abel; his sister Joyce Limburg, of Apple Valley, Minn., his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Verla and husband Ben Heath of Atlantic, Doug and wife Sherri Schroeter of McKinney, Texas, and Neil and wife Lavonne Schroeter of Brayton; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Funeral Home
Kessler's Exira Funeral Home
234 W South St
Exira, IA 50076
(712) 268-2662
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Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Nov. 21 to Nov. 28, 2014
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