Age 93, passed away peacefully at his farm in Elk River, May 4, 2019, surrounded by family.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Elaine F. Grice; his parents, Simon W. Gruys and Nellie F. Vandergon; his siblings; Reimt Gruys, Marie Miller, Herman Gruys, Viola Berg, Joanne Knox, John Gruys and Sylvia Gruys; grandson, Michael Gruys.
He is survived by his daughters, Ila Hauge, Shari Rickers (Ron), Donna Mullin (Grover) and Joy Benson; his grandchildren, Kraig Scott, Lacey Scotthennen, Rhonda Berry, Sabrina Hendrickson and Shawna Brown; great-grandchildren, Tanner Scott, Conner Scott, Gavin Hendrickson, Landon Brown, Trenton Brown and Elizabeth Hennen; and many nieces and nephews.
He was born in Silver Creek Township, MN, on the family farm April 19, 1926, confirmed at the Dutch Reform church, graduated from Maple Lake HS, and obtained steam engineer licenses at Dunwoody before serving in the Army during WWII, obtaining the rank of Sgt. After the war he graduated from The College of Commerce and Science in Minneapolis with a degree in Business Management where he met Elaine Grice and married in 1948.
Initially employed as a budget and credit manager at B.F. Goodrich Co., he and Elaine moved to Elk River where Richard began farming; had a small dairy herd and sheep (for Elaine), and was hired at the Rural Cooperative Power Association (RCPA) because the electric company wanted someone with a Business Degree and Chief Engineering License who would know all the parts that could wear out in a year and have them in inventory. His career at RCPA/REA/UPA included positions as a clerk, steam engineer, control operator, chief engineer and atomic nuclear operator engineer, retiring in 1986 as a Sr. Control Supervisor. At the request of the company, Rich returned to work another 5 years to train his replacement.
He served as a Deacon in the Presbyterian church where he was married, started the weekly retired UPA breakfast group, owned the MFA insurance agency, was a Master Mason, a long-time member of the Legion and continued to farm as a hobby throughout his life in Minnesota and South Dakota.
He took great pride in his work, farming and his family and was well known for having a quick wit and a joke or story for every situation or person. Please send memorials to the American Cancer Society or the American Legion in Elk River, MN.
A “Celebration of Life” service will be held at 10:00 on Thursday, May 16th, 2019 at Dare’s Funeral Home, 805 Main St. NW, Elk River, MN 55330 TN 763-441-1212. Visitation one hour prior and a reception will follow at the Elk River American Legion Post 112, 525 Railroad Dr. NW, Elk River, MN 55330, TN 763-441-3150
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