Dale George Grothusen, 101, originally of Ellsworth, died December 7, 2020 in Salina. He was born December 17, 1918 on a farm in Ellsworth County to William and Christine (Strella) Grothusen. He was a farmer and stockman, retiring in 2003.
When he was eight, the family moved to a farm northeast of Ellsworth, which was to be his home for nearly the remainder of his life. At that time the farmhouse had few comforts and no indoor plumbing, which he later added among other household additions and improvements throughout his life. He attended Ellsworth public schools.
He served in the US Army Air Force during World War II. He was a waist gunner and engineer on a B-17 bomber, flying 51 missions over northern Italy, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Germany, and France. His crew flew out of Amendola Air Field near Foggia, Italy. In later years he reunited with surviving crew members to reminisce. He traveled to the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC on an Honor Flight, in recognition of his military service.
Dale married another Ellsworth County native, Dorothy Neuschafer, on June 30, 1945 on Mercer Island near Seattle, WA. Following his discharge from the service that year, they returned to the family farm where he took over the wheat farming operation from his parents. He took well-deserved pride in improving the land through soil cultivation and conservation, while also tending his herd of Herefords. During his early years of farming and raising cattle, he also worked part-time for Cities Service Gas Company and for Ellsworth Township as a trustee and road maintenance worker.
He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Ellsworth, where he also served as a church elder, VFW Post 6485, and American Legion Post 174, all of Ellsworth. He was a long-time blood donor. He and Dorothy enjoyed playing pinochle with their card club friends for many years, visiting their grown children, and traveling to Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) and Germany. In later years they continued their lifetime enjoyment of polka music and dancing, traveling to polka fests in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Texas, and Arizona.
Dale will be remembered for his love for his family and the land he farmed, his sunny disposition, his warm sense of humor, his generosity to others, and his ability to build, redesign, or repair just about anything he needed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Ralph, Lloyd, and Jack, and sister Dorothy Remley. He is survived by his wife Dorothy, his daughters Marsha Drebelbis (James) and Ruth Obadal (Charles Hammonds) and son William H.G. Brooks (Richard Black), and many nieces, nephews, and extended family.
At Dale’s request, his body will be donated to the University of Kansas Medical Center for education and research. Burial of the remains will be at Ellsworth Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date, provided by Parsons Funeral Home. Memorials are suggested to the First Presbyterian Church, PO Box 154, Ellsworth KS 67439.
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