- March 16, 2023
Ronald Lynn Gruenwald was born May 12, 1943, in Maquoketa, Iowa, and died Feb. 23, 2023, in Venice, Fla., surrounded by his wife and daughters after a short battle with esophageal cancer.
He was the son of Harvey Louis and Dorothy Marian (Beck) Gruenwald. He grew up on farms in the Maquoketa area and graduated from Elwood High School in 1961. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. His education was interrupted by his military service in the Army Signal Corps. He was in Viet Nam from 1967 to 1968. Upon his return, he was stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., where he served in the Honor Guard for military funerals on the West Coast. Following his discharge, he returned to the University to continue his education. There he met his wife, Jo Ann Halstead, the daughter of Forrest and Elaine (Stebbins) Halstead. They were married on Feb. 7, 1970, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pecatonica, Ill. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he worked for Northwestern Bell/Qwest from February 1970 until July 2005. Ron and Jo lived in the Cedar Rapids area until moving to Country Club Estates in Venice, Fla., in 2008 after Ron was diagnosed with a chronic respiratory condition.
Fly fishing was one of his great loves. He also enjoyed art, music, cooking, reading cookbooks, and making beer and wine. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, was a church Deacon and especially enjoyed visiting the shut-ins. He also served as president of the Parent Teacher League at Trinity Lutheran School. Ron and Jo also hosted exchange students from 1987 through 2000. They enjoyed domestic travel with their daughters and despite his health conditions, Ron and Jo enjoyed international travel and cruising. After moving to Venice, he enjoyed fishing and visiting with many of his older neighbors to learn their stories. He was known for his strong opinion on politics and enjoyed a good debate.
He is survived by his wife, Jo; his daughters, Stephanie (Mark) Hookham of Dysart, Iowa, and Dr. Kristin Young of Adel, Iowa; grandchildren, Trey (Maddy) Hookham, Tate and Elle Hookham, and Brianna and August Young; his sister, Sharon (Donnie) Davison of Maquoketa, Iowa; sister-in-law, Patricia (Peter) Schmitz of North Wilkesboro, N.C.; seven nieces and nephews; and many cousins. In addition, he is survived by good friends Karen and Ron Keilholtz of Marion, Iowa, Shirley and Jerry Kruckenberg of Lowden, Iowa, and the Darlene and LeRoy Magby families.
He was preceded in death by his parents, in-laws and all his aunts and uncles.
He will be interred at the Sarasota National Cemetery in Sarasota, Fla., March 27, at 1 p.m. A reception will follow in the Activity Building at Country Club Estates in Venice from 3 to 5 p.m. There will also be a Celebration of Life from 1 to 5 p.m. May 20, 2023, at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 1735 11th St. NW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Memorials may be made to Tidewell Hospice, Trinity Lutheran Church or to a charity of the donor’s choice.