Donald L. Grove

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Donald L. Grove (Grover) 88, passed away Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, in Red Wing, Minn.


He was born Feb. 27, 1935, at Osage, to Laurence and Ella (Sharley) Grove. He grew up in New Hampton and attended New Hampton Public Schools, graduating with the class of 1953.


Grove was a three-sport athlete at New Hampton High School. He lettered in football, basketball and track, and in his senior year was elected football team captain. That year, he was also named to the first team Northeast Iowa Conference football team, all state honorable mention and was a recipient of the Tate Cummins WMT award for high school football.  In 2009, he was inducted into the New Hampton Hall of Fame.


Grove was a member of the high school band, glee club and mixed chorus.


Following graduation in 1953, he enrolled at Iowa State Teachers College and earned a major letter on the 1954 football team.


After two years of duty in the Army, Grove entered Upper Iowa University, UIU, Fayette, where he earned a varsity football letter as a junior. In his senior year, Grove was named team captain and won all conference recognition on the Iowa Conference football team.


Following graduation from UIU with a B.S. degree in 1962, he taught science at South Tama and later Britt High Schools. His first administrative post was principal at Janesville High before he moved to Central Schools, Elkader, as principal, where he served for 28 years before retiring in 1996. He was in education for 34 years. While at Elkader, he was instrumental in computer use in the classroom and administrative use, among other curricular practices.


During his career, he served on the representative council of the Iowa School Administrators and was a member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Upper Iowa Conference Secondary Principal’s Association. He was a member of the ISEA and NEA. He was given the IHSAA Board of Control Administrator Award in 2003.


Grove received his master’s degree in school administration from the State College of Iowa, Cedar Falls, and his specialist degree in school administration from Drake University, Des Moines.


On Aug. 19, 1961, Don was united in marriage to Jane O’Connor at New Hampton. One of his special memories of this day: their wedding cake was chocolate angel food!


Don and Jane were faithful members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Elkader. When the church was to be refurbished, he attended numerous meeting to share ideas, voice his opinion and show his support.


Don is survived by his children, Kathy (Tom) Greiner of Spring Valley, Minn., and David J. (Jen) Grove of Red Wing, Minn.; five grandchildren, Emily (Jacob) Meisner, Molly (Adam) Reicks and Mathias, Margaret and Amelia Grove; brother, David A. (Leah) Grove of Cumberland, Wis.; and two great-grandchildren, Sully and Ramsey Meisner.


He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Jane and sister, Muriel Ratka.


His philosophy: “If I live to be 70, I will be satisfied – more than that is all gravy!”


Words to live by: “Do not take counsel of your fears!” -Gen. George S. Patton Jr., ret. “Don’t let the dirty bastards get you down!” -James D. O’Connor


He will be missed greatly by those who knew and loved him!


Memorials may be directed to the family


Visitation was Dec. 20, at Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Elkader and before Mass time at the church. Mass of Christian Burial was Dec. 21, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Elkader, Rev. John Haugen presiding. Inurnment was at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Elkader.


Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elkader is assisting the family.

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