Dr. Harvey E. Groskreutz, 84, passed away peacefully in his sleep on October 30th, 2019. Harvey was a kind and intelligent man. Born on a farm near the small town of Wells, Minnesota in 1935, he grew up helping his father and five siblings plant, harvest, and attend to livestock, while also developing a love for tinkering with mechanical equipment. After graduating from high school as one of a class of 13, he went on to attend Wartburg College for his undergraduate degree, University of Iowa for his Master’s of Physics degree, completing research regarding the VanAllen Radiation Belt, and University of Louisville for his PhD in Quantum Physics, and working as a physics professor for Thomas Moore College, Mankato State University and U of L for many years, among others.
In addition to his main profession, Harvey was many different things to many people. Harvey was a leader in the community, being a decades-long member of the New Albany Kiwanis Club, serving once as Treasurer and twice as President. He was an elder, Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, and choir member at Second Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY. He enjoyed working with children, volunteering as a Cub Scout pack leader, soccer coach, and teacher of electronic summer enrichment courses for elementary school children in New Albany, IN.
Harvey enjoyed a multitude of hobbies. He received his pilot’s license, often shuttling his young family from city to city in small planes. He loved the outdoors, walking the links and golfing with his close friends, and hiking and camping with his family. He attended many New Albany High School basketball games with his wife and a group of other parents met through their children’s Involvement in soccer. He loved watching sports, particularly Cardinal football or basketball (or falling asleep while they were on). He was a skilled craftsman, completing multiple woodworking projects with his son, Mark. After building his own motor for a bicycle when he was young, he was very excited after retirement to purchase a motorized bicycle and relished the opportunity to ride his Whizzer around town. He also spent an inordinate amount of time working on cars, often roping his family into helping him, mostly due to his inexplicable devotion to Renaults, especially the Fuego (Google that one!).
Harvey’s interests in church and skiing intersected in his 20s, luckily leading him to attend a church young adult ski trip and meet who would become the most important person in his life, Jean. She often mentions how she knew after their first official date he was the one, but it took him three months to come to the same conclusion. They were married June 27th, 1964, and had been married for 55 years at the time of his passing. Throughout their marriage they were each other’s constant companions, skiing for many years after that first meeting, raising a family of three, traveling extensively around the US and Europe to visit family or attend school reunions. They also loved sharing time playing board and card games, completing puzzles, watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy most evenings, and listening and dancing to polka music every chance they got.
But what Harvey’s family and friends appreciated about him most was his personality. His random interjections into conversations and quirky insights were often a source of laughter around the dinner table. He was often referred to as gentle, compassionate, silly, and sweet. A week before he passed, he delighted in dressing up as a mad scientist for his nursing home’s Trick or Treat children’s event, and anyone who met him can attest that's not far off from his actual persona, smart and wacky. His thoughtful words and actions, his playfulness on the ordinary days of life, and his love of family will be greatly missed.
Harvey is survived by his loving wife Jean Groskreutz; his children Alan Groskreutz (Gema Lopez), Mark Groskreutz (Renee), and Katherine Groskreutz (Kyle Snyder); siblings Donald Groskreutz (Mardella), Roger Groskreutz (Jeanette), Margaret Melcher and his sister-in-law: Bonnie Groskreutz; five grandchildren, Lara, Luke, Dani, Helena and Julia, and a plethora of nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Alfred and Helena (née Brandt) Groskreutz, sister Dorothy Osland and her husband Ronnie, brother Gerald Groskreutz, brother-in-law Gerald Melcher, and infant niece Susan Melcher.
Visitation will be held Sunday, November 3rd from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Naville & Seabrook Funeral Home, 1846 E. Oak Street, New Albany, IN 47150. A memorial service will be held on November 4th at 10:30 am at Second Presbyterian Church, 3701 Old Brownsboro Rd, Louisville, KY 40207, with a light luncheon to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any gifts please be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, www.lbda.org.
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