Gilbert Grotheer passed away on April 30, 2020 at age of 89 in Sacramento, CA. Gilbert was
born in San Francisco, CA in 1930 to Edna Louise and Gilbert Charles Grotheer. The eldest of
nine children, his siblings are Shirley (passed), Robert, LouAnne (passed), Betty, Rodger,
Harry (passed),Beverly, and Nancy. They lived in San Francisco then moved to a ranch in
Verona, CA in 1943. Before school the two eldest boys milked cows, mowed alfalfa and learned
to drive trucks and tractor early on. Gil even drove all the kids to school at times. The family
eventually relocated to Carmichael, CA in 1947 where the father converted a garage into
bedrooms for the large family. Gilbert's father was a carpenter and taught the sons to do
carpentry. Gilbert's mother, Edna Louise was a very kind and loving mother and homemaker.
The large family played a lot of games and made home made kites and wagons and had the
usual childhoods with plenty of playmates.
Gil looked for work at 17 in 1947, found none so joined the United States Navy serving on
the light cruiser, the U.S.S. Duluth. Gil earned his G.E.D. in the navy and was assigned to the
engine room on board. The light cruiser had training exercises including shooting off their big
guns which later affected Gil’s hearing. Gil served in the U.S. Navy until 1950.
Later as the United States was releasing servicemen post World War II, he married Dorothy
in 1952 and they had Frankie Jean in 1953. After his marriage to Dorothy ended, Gil met and
married Johanna Rosina in 1956. Taking his wife Johanna, daughter Frankie, father in law John
Nellen, he joined the United States Army and served as a sergeant of the Motor Pool in Alaska
in the Army Corps of Engineers. In 1957 daughter Anna Louise was born. He received an
honorable discharge from Fort Lewis Army Base. The base was under the jurisdiction of the
United States Army Joint Base Garrison Joint BaseLewis-McChord. Fort Lewis was named
after Meriwether Lewis of the famed Lewis and Clark expedition and is one of the largest and
most modern military reservations in the United States. It was merged with the United States Air
Force.s McChord Air Force Base Realignment and Closure Commission later in February of
It consists of 87,000 acres of prairie land cut from the glacier-flattened Nisqually Plain. It is
the premier military installation in the northwest and is the most requested duty station in the
Army. Much of the second Infantry Division in residence along with Headquarters, seventh
Infantry Division, 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command and first Special Forces Group.
Fort Laewis’s geographic location provides rapid access to the deep ports of Tacoma, Olympia
and Seattle for deploying equipment.
Winter of1959 Gilbert drove his family back to Carmichael, CA where he bought the house
next to his Mom and Dad’s on Angelina Ave. Here Gilbert and Johanna had their 3rd child,
Dennis John born 1961. Gil went to work at Aerojet Rocketdyne Library Aerospace
Manufacturing in Rancho Cordova, CA. Gilbert worked on the Polaris Project and the Minute
Man Program. Part of his duties included riding a bicycle to scattered areas to check big ovens
with motors within them, reaching heat up to 200 degrees. Once he crashed his bicycle on duty
and suffered a hand injury.
From 1972 - 1985 Gil worked for the Department of Justice as a Mechanic, Dept of Trans.
He retired in 1985 then worked for twenty odd years driving Tour Bus for All West Tours and
Frontier Tours. He travelled all over the United States, Canada and Mexico, many times having
his wife by his side. Gilbert worked until age 74 when he retired. His wife of more than fifty two
years, Johanna died in August 2008. He met and married Bonnie Kadinger-Yoda, in 2009.
They shared elven years and enjoyed golf, travel, boating, fishing and oil painting also attending
Saint John’s Lutheran church every Sunday,
He is survived by his children Dennis John, Frankie Jean and Anna Louise. His wife Bonnie
and her children Timothy Reynaga, Lisa Soto, and Rebecca Pop. Also Grandchildren, Great
Grandchildren and one Great Great Grandchild. Memorial to be announced at a later date and
interment will be at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, CA.
Thank You the Grotheer Family
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