FITCHBURG, Mass. – Richard E. Grote, 73, of Fitchburg, passed away Thursday, April 26, 2018, at Oakdale Rehab and Skilled Nursing in West Boylston, Mass., following a two-year battle with cancer.
Mr. Grote was born Feb. 22, 1945, in Kimball, Neb., the son of John and Janice (Umphenour) Grote. He was raised in the Kimball and Bushnell, Neb., areas until 1952, when the family moved to Lingle. He received the remainder of his education there, graduating from Lingle Public High School in 1963, having participated in basketball, football, track and band. He also played junior Legion baseball during the summers and worked two summers during his late teen years on a striping crew for the Wyoming Highway Department.
After high school, he attended Goshen County Community College – now Eastern Wyoming College – in Torrington, where he earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration. He continued on at the University of Laramie, graduating in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree.
After graduating from UW, Mr. Grote was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and was sent to Vietnam, where he served as an Airborne Ranger. He was awarded the Bronze Star with three Oak Clusters and the Cross of Gallantry with Palm. He achieved the rank of major and was honorably discharged in 1974.
Mr. Grote lived more than 20 years in Auburn, Mass., before moving to Fitchburg for the last 15 years. He continued his education in Massachusetts, earning an MBA from Nichols College. He worked as a project manager for the former Digital Equipment Corp. before his retirement in 2007. He continued to enjoy working with computers into his retirement years.
He was a member of the American Legion Post 279 of Auburn and a communicant of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Fitchburg.
Richard Grote is survived by his wife, Mary C. (Foss) Grote; his daughter Kristine Nordman and grandchildren Kayla, Connor, Alexis and Liam, all of Auburn, Mass.; a brother, David Grote and his wife, Judith Vioski, of Ave Maria, Fla.; and a sister, Carol Ann Carr and husband William, of Lingle.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Delores R. King, as well as several great-nephews and great-nieces.
A funeral Mass was on Thursday, May 3, 2018, at St. Joseph’s Church. Inurnment followed in Massachusetts Veterans Cemetery in Winchendon, Mass.