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Larry Gruenberg, 62

Lead Summary

Larry Gruenberg, age 62 of Fredericksburg, died Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, at MercyOne New Hampton Medical Center.
Friends greeted the family 4 – 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, at the Hugeback - Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in Fredericksburg. Interment will be in St. John Cemetery, Sumner.  Online condolences for the Gruenberg family may be left at
Larry Gene Gruenberg was born Nov. 1, 1958, in West Union, the son of Robert and Beverly (Brandenburg) Gruenberg. Larry grew up on farms near Hawkeye and Sumner and helped his parents with a variety of chores, including milking cows and raising pigs. He received his education in Sumner, and after high school, he continued farming until the 1980s, when he became a truck driver. As a young man he could often be found spending weekend time at the former Chip's Ballroom in Lawler.
On May 12, 1979, in Sumner, he married Debra Zabel. To this union three sons — Travis, Eric and Jason — were born. The couple later divorced.
Larry drove his semi-trailer truck all over the United States and even made a few trips into Canada. At times, he’d be gone for two to three weeks, but when he was home on the weekends, the Gruenberg boys always knew where they were headed — the stock car tracks in West Union on Friday and Independence on Saturday. He taught his boys the value of hard work, and there were many a day, they helped Dad work on his trucks — changing oil, fixing brakes and greasing various parts.
Larry eventually gave up over-the-road trucking and worked a variety of jobs in and around Fredericksburg, and his last job was with the Farmers Win Coop in Fredericksburg.
He enjoyed having a beer or two with his buddies, he could fix dang near anything and a lot of folks in Fredericksburg will always remember him as the man who drove his John Deere gator around town. Larry loved his boys, but he absolutely adored his three grandchildren — Riley, Parker and Piper. He often took them to tractor pulls and there was no better day for Larry than the ones in which he was just Grandpa.
He was diagnosed with lung cancer right after Thanksgiving, and he put up a valiant fight against the disease. A few years ago, one of his best friends, Lenny Franzen, passed away, and just before Larry’s death, he told a buddy that “I’m ready to go see Lenny.”
And as much as they will miss their dad, grandpa and friend, those who loved Larry are appreciative that he isn’t suffering anymore and is hanging out with Lenny today.
Survivors include three sons, Travis (Denise) Gruenberg of Sumner, Eric (Liz) Gruenberg of Fredericksburg and Jason Gruenberg of Sumner; three grandchildren, Riley, Parker and Piper Gruenberg; two sisters, Roberta (Troy) Cleveland of Olathe, KS, Rebecca Fedeler of Sumner; several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; step-father, Everett Hyman; brother-in-law, Walter “Junior” Fedeler

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