Earl Grandpre

January 30, 1926 ~ February 27, 2022 (age 96)


 Mass of Christian Burial for Earl Grandpre, 96, formerly of Conde will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, March 5th at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, Groton.  Father Greg Tschakert will officiate.  Inurnment with military honors will be held in the spring at the Conde Catholic Cemetery under the direction of Paetznick-Garness Funeral Chapel, Groton. 


Visitation will be held at the church on Friday from 5-7 p.m. with a rosary and wake service at 6:30 p.m.


Earl passed away on February 27, 2022 at Mother Joseph Manor in Aberdeen.


Setting the tone for his life, Earl’s birth certificate on January 30th, 1926, read “Baby Boy” Grandpre. The mistake was never corrected and caused much confusion when he applied for Social Security in later life. It also resulted in a lifetime of quick wit and storytelling.  Earl was the youngest child of Herman and Mae (O’Neil) Grandpre and was a constant companion to his father. He attended grade school in a one room school near the farm and could recite poems he learned up until the very day he passed away. He went on to the high school in Conde and lived in the dormitories as many “country kids” did then. It was in high school, that he met “his girl” Olga Hynes. Though they were not impressed with each other then, they went on to marry and rear a family of six on the Grandpre farm. He tried his hand at raising sheep (too stupid), chickens (too stupid), and milk cows (too much work and the kids wanted milk from town). He settled on pigs (smartest animals ever).


Earl joined the army in 1944 and was stationed in Europe as a radio man. Upon his return, he attended what was then Northern Normal to study architecture. However, when his brother left the farm, he returned home to farm with his father. The skills he learned at college served him well the rest of his life as he was always inventing better methods to perform the chores. Ingenious devices for sorting hogs and treating hogs were developed.


Earl was the longest serving member of the Donald A Lewis Legion Post. He was proud of his service and was a very active member. He took on the project of creating a memory board of all servicemen who had served in the Conde/Turton area. This project involving scanning and sizing all pictures sent to him. This board is now on display at the Conde Community Building. He was also a lifelong member of St. John the Baptist Church in Conde. He created a map of the Catholic cemetery and spearheaded the fundraiser to create a perpetual fund for its upkeep.


Over the years he built many wonderful keepsakes for his family. The glider swing on the farm was the scene of many a family story telling event. Each child was allowed to request a large project. This resulted in china closets, desks, and gun racks and gun cabinets. Every Christmas, he would create seven wood working projects (one for each kid and one for mom.) We each received music boxes, plate racks, end tables, clocks, plant stands, gun cabinets and gun racks, etc.


After he retired, he took up the computer. He wrote five books into which he scanned the pictures. Three family history books, one book about the church and two books that compiled Facebook postings to the Conde Site, were enjoyed by family and friends alike. One of his last projects was compiling a list of his father’s and his favorite songs. He saved the links to the music in a spread sheet in order that the entire family could enjoy them.


His final project was to use his architecture skills and build a replica of the family farmhouse from popsicle sticks. Sadly he was not to complete this project but had drawn the template.


He was constantly singing as a school bus driver, farmer, church member, around the house, and throughout Nano Nagle and Mother Joseph. He was known for it among the residents at the home.  


He loved nothing better than to pull a practical joke on people and would spend much time devising clever pranks. He called himself the Great Pretender, but there was no one as real in his love of his God, His country and his family.


Earl was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 68 years and his siblings: Neil Grandpre, Florence Jones and Dorothy Hanna.


He is survived by his children: Paula Thomas (Ray Otterson), Fargo; Suzanne (Kim) Gross, Sioux Falls; Bob (Becky) Grandpre, Elkhorn, NE; Donn (Renee) Grandpre, Aberdeen; Brian Grandpre, Aberdeen; Joan (James) Monson, Aberdeen. Grandchildren: Michael, Nikki, Ramey, Jessica, Kelli, Patrick, Nathan, Jenny, Ryan, Lisa, Andrew, Brian and Parker. Great Granchildren: Diem & Wrenley; Evan and Ali; Gavin, Cory & Jordyn; Josiah, Maddie, Zelda and Finley.


Family prefers memorials that will be distributed to the Conde Catholic Cemetery.

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