Orrin Grangaard Jr.
Orrin H. Grangaard Jr., 80, of Waukon, Iowa, died Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, at Gundersen Tweeten Care Center in Spring Grove, Minn. Private family memorial services will be held at St. John's Lutheran Church in
Waukon with Pastor Bryan Robertson officiating. Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery, Waukon. Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon is handling arrangements. The service will be livestreamed on Martin-Grau Funeral Home's Facebook page starting at 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21. Memorials may be directed to Veterans Memorial Hospital or St. John's Lutheran Church, both in Waukon, or to Gundersen Tweeten Care Center in Spring Grove. Condolences may be sent to Nan Grangaard, 508 Fourth St. SE, Waukon, IA 52172.
Orrin Herbert Grangaard Jr. was born March 9, 1940, in Decorah, Iowa, the son of Orrin Sr. and Ruth (Johnson) Grangaard. He was baptized at First Lutheran Church in Decorah and confirmed at St. John's Lutheran Church in Waukon, Iowa, in 1958. Orrin graduated from Waukon High School. He then attended Luther College in Decorah for one-and-a-half years before going to the University of Alabama, graduating in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. Orrin also attended graduate school for one year.
On Jan. 31, 1963, Orrin married Nancy "Nan" Gronna at East Paint Creek Synod Church in rural Waterville, Iowa. The couple lived in Huntsville, Ala., while Orrin finished school and began work in the aerospace industry. In 1965, they moved to the Twin Cities, Minn., where he worked at Honeywell as a senior development engineer in aerospace and defense, before taking a job at Bison Instruments. Orrin, Nan and their kids returned to Northeast Iowa in 1976, buying a farm in the Waterville area. Besides farming, Orrin also worked at Bituma Corp. in Marquette, Iowa. In 1987, Orrin created Systems Equipment and became a well-known and highly respected name in the asphalt industry. He took great pride in in his work, always grateful for those who took part in making Systems Equipment successful. He may not have always been easy to work with, but he was kind and generous and continually gave credit to his employees. During Orrin's carrer as an electrical engineer, he gained many patents from the aerospace industry to the healthcare industry. He truly made an impact on the world.
Orrin was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church and the Waukon Golf and Country Club. He enjoyed building model trains and remote controlled airplanes, participating in the local RC Club as well. He also liked playing golf, crosswords and jigsaw puzzles, dominos, playing cards and was an accomplished bridge player. Orrin was a motorcycle fanatic, owning a Norton, a 1953 Ariel, Honda and a BMW. When he was younger, he had his own bay at his dad's John Deere shop, where he only worked on his bikes and would get help from the other mechanics there. He even made the trip to Sturgis when he was 16 years old. Orrin continued riding until just a few years ago. He was also a lover of all things John Deere and collected memorabilia from Grangaard Implement.
He is survived by his wife, Nan of Waukon; his three children, Robert (Nita) of Waterville and John (Shelly) and Peter (Katy), both of Waukon; seven grandchildren, Carly (Brandon) O'Neill, Taylor and Gunnar Grangaard, Betsy (Brent) Benjegerdes, Ben (Brooklyn) Grangaard, and Jacob and Emily Grangaard; four great-grandchildrenm Maren, Blaire and Hank O'Neill and Gus Benjegerdes; two sisters, Marilyn Preus and Rosalie (Ken) Grosch, both of St. Paul, Minn.; a sister-in-law, Pat (Stan) Anderson of Florida; brother-in-law, Tom Gronna of Decorah; and many cherished nieces and nephews.
Orrin was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Norma (Col. Ralph) Nelson; and brother-in-law, (Reverend) Nelson Preus.
Honorary casketbearers are Orrin's sons and their wives. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren will serve as casketbearers.
Online condolences may be left at www.martinfunerals.com.