Nancy "Nan" Grangaard

Nancy “Nan” C. Grangaard, 79, of Waukon died Sunday, January 29, 2023 at her home in Waukon. Memorial services will be held Friday, February 3 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Waukon, with Pastor Bryan Robertson officiating. Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery, Waukon. Friends may greet the family from 9:30 a.m. until time of services Friday at the church.

Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon is handling arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Waukon EMS Association and Waterville Community Center.

Nancy “Nan” Carolyn Gronna was born April 16, 1943 in Waukon, the daughter of Dorothy “Dot” and Robert “Bob” Gronna. Nan grew up on the Gronna farm, a pioneer homestead in rural Waterville. She enjoyed telling her grandchildren and great-grandchildren stories of the place she called home. Nan was very close to her sister, Patricia “Pat,” and her brother, Tom.

She was baptized at the East Paint Creek Synod Church and grew her strong, humble and wise faith throughout her 79 years. She read her “Jesus Calling” devotional book daily and saw God working in many ways. She and Orrin were passionate members of St. John’s Lutheran Church and enjoyed having their family together, attending church.

Orrin and Nancy were wed January 31, 1963 at East Paint Creek Synod Church in rural Waterville. The couple lived in Huntsville, AL while Orrin finished school and began work in the Aerospace Industry. In December of 1963, Orrin and Nancy welcomed their first son, Robert Orrin. John Thomas and Peter Andrew Gronna followed. Orrin and Nancy and their three sons returned to northeast Iowa in 1976, buying a farm in the Waterville area.

Nan was a proud mother of her three sons, and supported and assisted Orrin in their ownership of Systems Equipment. Outside of raising her family, she cleaned for local businesses, volunteered at the hospital and clinics, and was a loving member of the St. John’s Thursday Club; St. John’s having been where she and Orrin made lifelong friends who turned into family.

At age 70, Nan traveled to Australia and snorkeled with sharks, and while living in their snowbird home in Florida, she went skydiving. In the summer of 2022, Nan got her boots out and rode horseback again - with her granddaughter and great-granddaughters, bringing back many memories. Nan was known as a very loving, care-taking woman. She gifted flowers during struggling times and delivered baked goods.

Nan enjoyed the simple things in life. She and her sister, Pat, hosted “Granny camp” where their grandchildren would do crafts, make forts and swing on the outside swing. Nan loved her greenhouse, her pottery, quilting and sewing, and her Norwegian heritage. In 2022, Nancy got to fulfill one of her dreams and traveled to Norway with her son, John, and great-grandson, Gus.

Nan was noted for being organized and neat, keeping keepsakes and cherishing memories. She held a love for “bunnies” and gnomes; she journaled throughout her entire life, documenting days and passing on the memories. She enjoyed kisses with her great-grandchildren and reading her Granny books to them. She had a quiet way of loving immensely, always making those around her valued.

She devotedly visited Orrin during his stay at Gundersen Tweeten Care Center in Spring Grove, MN, and missed him each day he was gone.

Nan peacefully passed away in her home, in her chair, January 29, 2023. In her keepsakes, she told her family, “Thanks for the memories and love! Carry on!!”

She is survived by her three children: Robert (Nita) of Waterville, and John (Shelly) and Peter (Katy), both of Waukon; seven grandchildren: Carly (Brandon) O’Neill, Taylor and Gunnar Grangaard, Betsy (Brent) Benjegerdes, Ben (Brooklyn) Grangaard, and Jacob and Emily Grangaard; five great-grandchildren: Maren, Blaire and Hank O’Neill, Gus Benjegerdes, and Bentlee Grangaard; her sister, Patricia (Stan) Anderson; her brother, Tom Gronna; her sisters-in-law, Marilyn Preus and Rosalie (Ken) Grosch; and many cherished nieces and nephews.

Nan was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Orrin, in 2020; her sister-in-law, Norma (Col. Ralph) Nelson; and her brother-in-law, Reverend Nelson Preus.

Honorary casketbearers were Nan’s sons and their wives. Casketbearers were Nan’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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