January 17, 1935 - August 29, 2020


Peter Wenzel Gruenes of Eden Valley, Minn. passed away on Saturday, August 29 surrounded by family at the age of 85. A loving husband, father, and grandfather, Pete was born January 17, 1935 in Richmond, Minn. to Anton and Anna Gruenes. He and Grace married in 1964 in Independence, Wis. and had just celebrated 56 years of marriage in August.

Pete spent his life serving his community, God, his family, and country. He served in the Army in the late 50’s, graduated University of Wisconsin School of Banking in 1969, and worked for years in banking. His civic engagement included nearly 60 years of membership in the Lions Club and terms on the city councils of Independence, WI and Eden Valley, MN. He was a eucharistic minister, a member of the Assumption Catholic Church council, and a devoted man of God. His work ethic was unmatched—something he passed along to his children.

Pete’s generosity, strength, and love for his family knew no bounds. Despite health challenges in recent years, his concern was always for Grace and for others. He was fiercely devoted to his family and was always there to lend a hand, a car, or an ear. He will be remembered for his kindness and quiet sense of humor.

Pete had a passion for sports and the outdoors. An avid fisherman and birder, he shared that love with his children and grandchildren. His family has many fond memories of time spent fishing, feeding and watching birds, and going on walks. He was always a farm boy at heart, cultivating incredible gardens until he couldn’t any longer, at which time he switched his focus to beautiful planters of flowers. Pete was a huge fan of the Minnesota Twins – rarely missing a game on TV. He enjoyed watching sports so much that he once fell off the roof adjusting the TV antenna for better Packers game reception – despite being a Vikings fan. He was a sharpshooter in basketball, a pitcher in fastpitch softball, and played third base for the EV Hawks. Pete loved polka music, Polish culture, and a good trip to the casino.

Pete had many passions in life, but family was paramount. He traveled to all of his kids’ games and didn’t miss a single grandkid’s basketball game, track meet, or performance. He was very close to his siblings—gathering for many dinners at the farm. He cared deeply for is wife Grace. He showed his love for her in many ways large and small including two dozen roses last week for their 56th wedding anniversary.

Pete is survived by his wife Grace (Kampa) Gruenes; son Tim (Wendy); daughter Kristin (Chip) Tancil; son Paul (Dana); grandchildren Evan, Zoe, Lauren, Jessica, Pike, and Kayla; and siblings Al, Tony (Mary), Joe (Anna Mae), Jack (Mary), and Theresa. He is preceded in death by his Father and Mother Anton and Anna (Kalthoff) Gruenes; brother Fr. Bernard; sister Margaret; and inlaws Arnie (Theresa), and Cathy (Ft. Bernard), Rosie (Al).

A special thanks to the dialysis units in St. Cloud and Litchfield and the VA in St. Cloud for their loving care.

Mass of Christian burial will be 10:00 a.m., Saturday, September 5, 2020 at Assumption Catholic Church in Eden Valley. Rev. Aaron Nett will officiate. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., Friday, September 4 and one hour prior to the service on Saturday all at the church. Burial will be 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, September 8 at the parish cemetery in Eden Valley.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Assumption Catholic Church, Eden Valley.