Don Gruber was born August 16th, 1933 to Paul and Vilda Gruber in their farm house south of Cozad, Nebraska. He graduated from Cozad High School in 1951. Don attended the University of Nebraska, where he was a member of Farmhouse Fraternity. He graduated, a proud Cornhusker, in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture.
In 1955, Don married Shirley Knispel and they moved to the east coast where he served two years in the Marine Corps, reaching the rank of Captain. He served an additional year in the Reserves. After his discharge from the Marine Corps in 1957, Don and Shirley returned to Nebraska to farm south of Cozad, where they lived until moving to Mesa, Arizona in 1985.
Don’s favorite hobbies were piloting small airplanes, dancing, riding motorcycles, traveling, and golfing. He was active in International Flying Farmers, school board, church boards, Nebraska College of Agricultural Technology Board, and irrigation district board.
Don and Shirley have four children: Tracy (wife Lana, Phoenix, AZ); Keri Ohlson (husband Doug, Alliance, NE); Teresa (husband Reid Scott, Washington, DC); and Kim Sunia (Mesa, AZ.) Don’s greatest joy was spending time with his seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Vilda; sister, Jan Nielsen; brother-in-law, Donnie Nielsen; and son in law, Pita Sunia.
Don died Wednesday, January 10th, in Mesa, Arizona. His memorial service and celebration of life were held Saturday, January 13th, also in Mesa.