Age 73 of Lake Elmo, formerly of Elk River, passed away peacefully at
home on August 10, 2019.
Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, Herb & Luvurne.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Pat Tesch Greupner; daughter, Jennifer Greupner; sister, Judy (David) Greupner Butcher; other relatives & friends.
Jerry Greupner lived a colorful life that reached far and wide. He was an engaging man with a quick wit and a wonderful sense of humor. Jerry often referred to life as a “grand adventure”, saying “I’ve lived a grand life,” which he certainly did! He was born on February 10, 1946, grew up in Elk River, MN with his parents, Herb and Luvurne Greupner, and sister Judy. He attended Elk River High School where sports and music started the theme of his life. He played baseball, hockey and football for the Elks, performed tuba in the band, sang tenor in the choir, and was even the student band leader before graduating in 1964. Jerry joined the Army immediately after high school and was stationed in Chicago, where he played with the 5th Army Band. After the Army, he attended grad school at River Falls to become a high school counselor. He married his wife, Pat, on July 26th in 1969, and they were lucky enough to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary just two weeks before he died.
Military Bands and performing his tuba was a big part of who Jerry was. He joined the Army National Guard Band in 1982, then transferred to the 451st Minnesota Army Reserve Band in 1990, and finally retired from that in 2002. Over the span of his life, he performed the tuba in a number of ensembles, including, but not limited to, orchestras, bands, brass quintets, brass bands, and up until the last couple months, was a member of the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band and The Above Average Tuba Quartet. Music was a special connection he had with his daughter, Jennifer. They enjoyed playing in ensembles together, including the occasional tuba-horn duet for church and special ensembles that traveled to Europe. He loved music and his eyes sparkled whenever he spoke about his time in the military bands. Above all styles of music, Marches were his favorite, which stemmed from his time in the Army.
Golf was another facet of his life that meant a lot to him. Playing his tuba and playing golf were essentially the two activities that he continued throughout his entire life. He owned The Golf Shoppe in Stillwater with a small group of friends for about a decade. He coached golf at Farmington High School until he retired, and then was an assistant golf coach for a number of years at Rosemount High School. If it wasn’t raining and there wasn’t snow on the ground, as long as the greens were open, you could find him on the golf course.
The bulk of Jerry’s career was spent working at Farmington High School. At one time or another, in addition to coaching golf, he also coached baseball and volleyball. He cared so much for his students, and everyone knew it because in his 30+ years of being a high school counselor, he rarely ate lunch. Instead, he spent his time talking and connecting with students. Students came first.
Jerry always enjoyed learning about people. After retiring from Farmington High School, he worked at the University of Minnesota reading applications until he got sick in 2017. If there was a silver lining to his illness, it was all of the new people he got to talk to whenever he went in for treatments or stayed overnight in the hospital. One of the things he enjoyed most was learning about people’s unique and interesting lives. Everyone was fascinating to him. He truly got a kick out of people and had a knack for making people feel special.
We were all better for having known Jerry Greupner. He loved his family and dogs, and had a calm strength to him that made everything ok, even when it wasn’t. He will be missed dearly by his family and all who knew him.
Visitation 5-8 PM Friday, August 23rd at Bradshaw, 2800 Curve Crest Blvd., Stillwater. Funeral Service 11 AM Saturday, August 24th at First United Methodist Church, 813 Myrtle St W, Stillwater, with visitation beginning one hour prior. In lieu of flowers, send donations to a charity of your choice or Sheldon Theatre Brass Band, 8549 75th St S, Cottage Grove, 55016.
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