Ronald K. Grooters, M.D.
West Des Moines
Dr. Ronald Keith Grooters, 72, passed away on Saturday, May 10, 2014 after suffering through brain cancer. He was surrounded by family and friends at Edgewater Retirement Community in West Des Moines, IA.
The son of Mina and "Tuff" Grooters, Ron was born on April 13, 1942 in Boyden, IA. He attended Iowa State University for pre-medicine, and the University of Iowa where he graduated from medical school, became an avid Hawkeye fan, and met his bride, Kay Ellen Christensen.
Ron completed his general surgery residency at Iowa Methodist, then was recruited to be a Chief Surgeon and Major in the Army, as well as part of the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, NC. After his service in the Army, he finished his cardiovascular and thoracic surgery training at the University of Missouri.
Dr. Grooters returned to Des Moines and was the first heart surgeon to practice at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. Of his many hospital appointments, Ron served as Chief of Surgery, President of the Medical Staff, on the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee of the Iowa Health System. He was an ardent researcher, which led to several grants, dozens of presentations and publications including two books, and patents for a life-saving aortic cannula to be used during surgery. He was awarded "Surgery Instructor of the Year" in 1981 and 2010 by Iowa Methodist Medical Center, and the "Heart of Life" award from the
of Iowa in 2001.
Ron is survived by his wife, Kay Grooters; his daughters, Dawn, Julie and Lori; sons-in-law, Tyler, Brad, and Serkan; grandchildren, Annemarie, Elizabeth, Jayden, Kaya, Campbell, Emma, Raina, Uzay, and Palmer; his brother, Daryl Grooters; sister-in-law, Amy Grooters; brother-in-law, Roger Christensen; sister-in-law, Jeanne Christensen; many more family members; and a host of many close friends. His parents preceded him in death.
All are invited to Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines on Tuesday, May 20th for a Memorial Gathering of family and friends beginning at 9:30 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life Service in the worship center at 11 a.m. and a reception honoring Ron.
Memorial contributions may be made to Lutheran Church of Hope, Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, or Ballet Des Moines.
Published in Des Moines Register from May 15 to May 18, 2014