Willard Gropel

Jan. 25, 1942-May 5, 2014

IVANHOE – Mass of Christian Burial for Willard James “Bill” Gropel, 72, of Brooklyn Park is at 1 p.m. Monday at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 111 N. Sherwood, Ivanhoe with visitation one hour prior to Mass at church. Arrangements with Kozlak-Radulovich Maple Grove Chapel 763-416-0016.

Bill died Monday, May 5, 2014, after complications from lung cancer.

He was born Jan. 25, 1942, to Stein and Phyllis (Grim) Gropel in Marion, S.D. His family moved to Ivanhoe in 1946. Bill graduated from Ivanhoe High School in 1960. He married Florence (Guza) Gropel May 4, 1963. He graduated from IBM School and worked in Omaha, Neb., before moving to Sioux Falls, S.D., to join Western Surety’s IBM Dept. He worked at Best Business Products and Sioux City Brick and Tile and then joined the sales team for Minnesota Paint Co. He was promoted to brand manager at Valspar Paint Company in Minneapolis in 1977 where he worked for 21 years retiring in 1998.

Bill had many talents and interests. He had a passion for music and was an avid collector of 45 RPM records and has collected thousands. He was a talented craftsman and was always willing to help out on family projects from finishing a basement to painting a house. Bill could fix anything, and if it wasn’t broken, he could make it even better, always reinventing or finding new uses for things and would use many of the odds and ends he collected. He always had people smiling at his Ole and Lena jokes and of course his puns.

Bill is survived by his wife Florence of 51 years; three children: Lance Gropel of Maplewood, Lee (Jay) Gropel Swenson of Orono and Dawn (Dave) Condon of Orono; one brother: Greg (Jane) Gropel; four grandchildren: Claire Condon, Paige Condon, Eli Swenson, Billy Swenson; eight step-grandchildren: Jessica Condon, Sarah Swenson, Elisa Swenson, Minnie Swenson, Noah Swenson, Natalie Swenson, Jillie Swenson, Calvin Swenson; two step-great-grandchildren: Brooklynn Condon, Carter Condon.

He was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Karey and son Mark.