Gordon GronhovdGordon Gronhovd, 82, died Friday, November 6, 2009 at Valley Memorial Home, Wood Side Village, Grand Forks.
Gordon Gronhovd, 82, died Friday, November 6, 2009 at Valley Memorial Home, Wood Side Village, Grand Forks.
Gordon was born January 26, 1927, in Grand Forks, ND, the son of Edwin and Helmina (Hendrickson) Grondhovd. Gordon attended elementary and high school at Nekoma, ND, Public School. He then enrolled at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, and later transferred to UND to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering which he obtained in 1950.
In 1949, Gordon married Dorothy (Dee) Hylden of Park River, ND. In 1950, Gordon and Dee moved to Racine, WI, where Gordon took an engineering position for J.I. Case. After testing the LA Case tractor for a year, he switched to a project engineering position for General Motors in Milwaukee. In 1953, Gordon landed a job as a lignite researcher at the new federal laboratory (Bureau of Mines) in Grand Forks. Twenty years later, he would become the director of this enterprise which today is known as UND’s Energy & Environmental Research Center. As a world expert in low-rank coal, he traveled to Bulgaria and Australia.
Throughout his career, Gordon always found time for family activities. Every year, he hitched up a tent-trailer to the Ford Customline and took the family on a road trip to national parks or a city such as Washington, D.C. Photography always interested him, and these trips were impressively documented with his Argus C3. He liked sports and was proud of his three sons’ hockey careers and was one of the first parents to film all of the games. His faith was a central part of his life. He always prized the fellowship and sense of community he found at United Lutheran and Hope Covenant and liked to help on church projects, such as the construction of Camp Shalom. Through exposure to the Summer Institute of Linguistics, he and Dee became aware of Wycliffe Bible Translators and began an association that became a lifelong passion. In support of Wycliffe, they were able to travel to Mexico and Colombia as well as make their annual visit to the Tucson headquarters.
Growing up on a farm near Nekoma, Gordon returned to the farm to visit or help out any time he could. After retiring from his professional responsibilities in the early 1980s, he and Dee purchased a small farm near Park River. The “Summer Place” (as Dee called it) became an entertainment center for family and friends. Gordon and Dee loved to have visitors over to visit and eat. It also became a perfect spot for the grandchildren (and their friends) to get a good taste of outdoor life. The Park River farm provided a great outlet for Gordon’s legendary ability to work hard and fast. It also gave him the satisfaction of transforming any questionable piece of machinery he could find into a fully operational implement. Gordon and Dee were to remain quite active at the farm and in town up until the last year of their lives.
Gordon’s wife, Dee, died March 30, 2009. Survivors include their three sons, Paul, Grand Forks, Allen and Keith (Sue), Minneapolis; brothers, Walter and Norris,;and sister, Esther (Clyde) Allen; plus many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Memorials are encouraged to Wycliffe Bible Translators or Hope Covenant Church in Grand Forks.
Funeral Service: 10:00 a.m. Friday, November 20, 2009 at Hope Covenant Church, Grand Forks, ND.
Visitation: One hour before Funeral Service at Hope Covenant Church.
Interment: 1:30 p.m. on Friday, November 20, 2009 at Pleasant Valley Cemetery near Lankin, ND.
Online Guestbook: www.stennesfuneralhome.com
Arrangements by Stennes Funeral Home, East Grand Forks, Minnesota.