Robert L. Grunert, 63, of Academy Street, Chaumont, died Monday morning at his residence under the care of his family and Hospice of Jefferson County.
Born October 16, 1948, in Vancouver, British Columbia, he was the eldest son to Wilfred and Phyllis Toews Grunert. Robert and his family eventually moved to Pleasant Hill, California. Robert became a citizen of the United States in his teens, which was the deciding factor to one day give back to his country and join the armed forces.
Following high school, he attended Cedarville College in Arkansas, where he received an Associate of Arts degree. On June 30, 1971, Robert enlisted in the United States Army, intending to serve in Vietnam. He was a member of the field artillery and was stationed overseas on three occasions, twice in Germany and once in Korea. Robert also served in Operation Restore Democracy in Haiti and provided base security in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield.
He graduated from the Sergeants Major Academy in 1993. His final duty station was Ft. Drum; on June 30, 1995, he retired from the U.S. Army as a First Sergeant following twenty four years of service. After his military retirement, Robert worked as the manager of the automotive department at Sears in Watertown, retiring on February 11, 2012.
He married Doris Spinner on December 24, 1982, in Baldwinsville, NY.
Mr. Grunert was a member of the American Legion and lector and Eucharistic minister at All Saints Church in Chaumont. He was also an endowment lifetime member of the N.R.A.
He enjoyed fishing, computers, skeet and trap shooting with his sons, playing the trombone, and spending time with his grandchildren. He also enjoyed fixing things and eating M&Ms, which he was always willing to share.
Surviving him are his wife, Doris, two sons, Michael and Matthew, his daughter and son-in-law, Lesley and Jason Wood, of Ft. Carson, Colorado, two grandchildren, Tamra Agen and Joshua Bertschler, two brothers, David and Cindy Grunert of Annapolis, Maryland, Douglas and Beverly Grunert of Kelowna, British Columbia, and a sister, Patricia and Ed Devlin of Vernon, British Columbia.
A Catholic Mass will be held Tuesday, July 10, at noon at All Saints Church in Chaumont, with Fr. Steven Murray and Fr. Pierre Aubin concelebrating. Military burial will follow at St. Vincent of Paul Cemetery in Cape Vincent. Calling hours will be Sunday, July 8, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and Monday, July 9, 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home.
Following the teachings of Jesus Christ, Robert shared his love with all children, wishing that they may have the opportunity to learn more of Jesus love for them. Accordingly, in lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations to be made to the Robert L. Grunert Memorial Fund at I.H.C. Elementary School.
Arrangements are with the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at www.reedbenoit.com