HJ-ED-DHJ Obituaries

Harold W. Grudem

Harold W. Grudem, age 90, of Burnsville, Minn., formerly of Dassel, died Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2006.

He was born in Flasher, N.D. to John and Ellen Grudem, and soon moved with his family to Zumbrota, Minn., where he graduated from high school.

He then graduated from Winona State Teacher’s College with a degree in education. While at Winona State, he was an outstanding student athlete, receiving eight athletic letters, and playing in the NAIA national basketball tournament two years in a row.

Harold was a loving husband, father, and grandfather, as well as a prominent Minnesota educator and coach.

His first teaching and coaching position was in Dassel, where he met and married his wife, Dorothy Haapala Grudem.

From Dassel, Harold was inducted into the US Army during WWII, serving with distinction in several areas of the Western Pacific.

Upon discharge from the US Army Air Force, he resumed his teaching and coaching career in Dassel. Harold continued his education and received a master’s degree in administration from the University of Minnesota.

He served the school communities of Cleveland, Dassel, Preston, Ellendale, Kasson and Mantorville, Long Prairie, and Jackson. At Jackson, he was the founding superintendent for one of the state’s first vocational technical schools.

He then moved to Burnsville, where he served the community as the founding superintendent for the Dakota County Vocational Technical School until his retirement.

Harold felt strongly about the importance of quality education for all Minnesota students. He was a member of the board of directors of several community development corporations and received awards for innovation in curriculum for rural Minnesota schools, providing vocational training for citizens displaced from the family farms for re-entry into other industries.

He felt strongly about giving back to the communities he served, and was also a member of the board of directors of several churches in those communities. He was currently a member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville.

Harold was an avid sports fan, regularly traveling to support his sons and grandsons in their athletic pursuits. He played golf regularly, and liked to attend Vikings and Twins games. He and Dorothy enjoyed their extended stays in Arizona, playing golf, dining, and enjoying the desert and the numerous friends and colleagues that had retired to Arizona, or who were there as “snow birds,” as well.

Harold is survived by his devoted wife, Dorothy; two sons, Dag of Sun Lakes, Ariz., and Rolf of Minneapolis; grandsons Reier and Birk of Minneapolis; a daughter-in-law, Adriana of Minneapolis; and a brother, Clifford Grudem of Zumbrota.

A memorial service for family is being planned for a later date.

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