Jerry “Butch” Gruber, was born in 1944 in Padua, MN, and was dealt “the hand he couldn’t play” on September 21, 2020, at his home surrounded by family. He was the son of Leonard Gruber and Kathryn (Essler) Gruber-Borgmann.
Jerry AKA “Gruber” grew up in Padua (“God’s Country”) as his “Padua” license plates proved how proud he was of that heritage. He attended a one room school house in Padua and graduated from Brooten High School in 1962. Gruber was a soft spoken, humble, kind, and gentle man who was loved by many, especially his family.
He grew up to love competition in his life whether it was playing softball, golfing, or playing his hand in thousands of cribbage tournaments. He was inducted into the American Cribbage Congress Hall of Fame, an honor he was so proud of.
Gruber worked at Ford Motor Company until his retirement in 2011. After retirement, Gruber volunteered his time at the Veterans Hospital in Minneapolis.
Gruber is survived by siblings: Jan Trustheim, Blaine; Diane (Herman) Bartz and Jill (Ken) Bauer, all of Waite Park; John Gruber, St Cloud, MN; Borgmann step family siblings; many nieces, nephews, and his cribbage family.
Gruber was preceded in death by his parents, Stepfather Ferd Borgmann, sister, Jeanne Love; brother-in-law Elwood Trustheim.
A private family service is planned and according to Gruber’s wishes - celebrations of his life will be held at a later date – one in Padua and another in the Minneapolis area – as Covid restrictions allow.
In lieu of flowers, Gruber’s preference for memorials could be to any of the following: WACOSA (an organization which his brother, John, attends that serves those having developmental challenges in the St. Cloud and Sauk Centre areas), the American Cribbage Congress Youth Program, or the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).