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Memorial Services for James E. “Opi” Grodhaus, will be held at 10:00 AM Monday, April 30, 2018 at Grace Lutheran Church in Albert Lea, MN. Pastor Jennifer Gonsalves will officiate. Visitation will be held at the church one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN. Military honors will be accorded by the Albert Lea Area Veterans Groups.
James died Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at his home in Albert Lea, surrounded by his family and close friends. He was 80 year of age.
James was born August 16, 1937 in Dillies Bottom, Ohio, the son of Fred and Irene (Erwin) Grodhaus. He joined the US Army at a young age and served as a Signal Sergeant, Warrant Officer Aviator, Instructor Pilot, Aircraft Maintenance Officer, and an Instrument Examiner. When he retired, he spent the next 20 years working as a commercial pilot flying fixed wings and helicopters. Jim did three tours in Vietnam. Jim was a very proud American and felt honored to serve with his brothers and sisters.
On May 27, 1960, he was united in marriage to Kathe Reich in Bamberg, Germany. They had three children, Jurgen, Lissa, and Jeannie.
Jim traveled all over the world during his life, but considered Colorado Springs his home for over 50 years before moving to Albert Lea, where he resided for the past 8 years.
Jim loved reading, music, crossword puzzles, and playing guitar. He wrote poetry and music. He enjoyed visiting with people and having good debates. His family, and especially his grandkids, were his pride and joy. James was a foster grandparent and loved being around children.
Jim is survived by his wife, Kathe Grodhaus, of Albert Lea, MN; son, Jurgen Grodhaus, of Black Foot, ID; daughter, Jeannie (Scott) Jackson, of Albert Lea, MN; graddaughters; Amanda (Clint) Kreutzbender, Natasha (John) Clarey, Katherine Helms, and Mary Helms. Great grandchildren include; Hunter and Kyle Kreutzbender, Kendal, Kallen, and Maria Clarey, Aurora and Tristan Helms, and Emilia Helms; brother, Chuck (Pat) Davis of Palatka, FL, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
James was preceded in death by daughter, Lissa Parrish; sister-in-law, Marga Swain; father and mother-in-law, Alfred (Eugenia) Reich; 11 siblings; and his parents.