Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Obituary ~ Carl "Bud" Grupp, Jr.
May 28, 1934 ~ July 12, 2015

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
July 14, 2015

Mason City businessman Bud Grupp remembered for big heart and humor

MASON CITY -- Carl "Bud" Grupp Jr. is being remembered as a fun-loving, gracious man whose heart was as big as his sense of humor.

Grupp, 81, died Sunday at the Manly Nursing and Rehab Center.

As a young man he managed his father's grocery store on North Federal Avenue and was a salesman in later years.

He was a member of the Mason City Kiwanis Club for more than 50 years.

He is also remembered for playing Santa Claus for 38 years at the IOOF Home in Mason City and at churches, YMCAs and schools throughout North Iowa, a tradition carried on by his son Jeff when Grupp was no longer able to do it.

“Bud never met a stranger," said Lorris Long, a friend and fellow member of the Mason City Kiwanis Club. "He knew everybody and everybody knew him. He was very personable."

Long said for many years Grupp would come to the Kiwanis Club meeting armed with his latest joke. "He was a real character," said Long, "and I say that in praise."

Grupp was the account representative for Bankers Advertising Company for 14 years, retiring in 2000. He called on business clients throughout North Iowa, selling them pens, calendars and other promotional items, usually sharing a joke or a story.

Prior to that he was an advertising salesman for the Globe Gazette.

Globe Publisher Howard Query, who was advertising director at the time, said he will always remember Grupp's sense of humor, which was a little off-beat at times.

"One day, Bud was gone from the office for a long period of time. When he returned, I asked him where he had been," said Query. "He said he had been getting his hair cut.

“I asked him if he thought he should be doing that on company time. Bud said, 'Why not? It grows on company time.' That was Bud," said Query.

Grupp took great pride in his portrayal of Santa Claus over the years, purchasing new Santa suits from time to time and even taking his hairpiece and beard to barber shops and beauty salons for touch ups.

He spent the last eight years of his life at the Manly Nursing and Rehab Center.

"He had a way of making everyone around him feel better," said Kimber Kleven, the administrator. "He was especially kind to other residents and new residents coming in. He wanted them to know that everything will be OK."

"Bud also had a great relationship with the staff. He would talk with them and try to get to know them better. He was a wonderful man and he will be missed," said Kleven.

In a 2008 interview with the Globe Gazette, Grupp recalled one of his fondest memories playing Santa Claus.

He said he was at the IOOF Home and came across a woman sitting alone in a corner. Grupp said he took the lady's hand and got her to dance — to the amazement of staff members who said the woman had pretty much kept to herself and hardly spoke.

"Some people don't get out much and don't see many people. I like to think that maybe I brightened their lives a little," he said.

Grupp's obituary appears in Wednesday's Globe Gazette and is available at globegazette.com.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
December 07, 2008

Santa Claus role stays in the family

MASON CITY — Carl “Bud” Grupp of Mason City has a special memory of playing Santa Claus at the IOOF Home.

“It was years ago. I was there for a Christmas party. I always had a lot of fun with the residents,” he said. “On this particular day, I took a lady’s hand and asked her to dance. She stood up and we danced a little.

“Later a nurse came up to me and told me how remarkable that was — because that woman pretty much kept to herself and hardly said anything to anyone, the nurse told me. And I got her to dance.”

Grupp, 74, played Santa Claus for various organizations, including the IOOF Home for 38 years, and then passed the torch to his son, Jeff. When the two of them attended the annual Christmas party at the IOOF Home on Saturday, it marked 50 years of playing Santa for the Grupp family.

Jeff, 45, lives in Hanover, Minn., but has come down each year for the past 12 years for the party.

Pam Klukow, who took over as activities director at the home this year, will experience her first “Grupp Christmas. It’s a wonderful thing they do,” she said.

Grupp has been plagued by a series of illnesses in recent years and has lost a leg due to diabetes. But he has not lost his zest for life or his sense of humor, two attributes he shares with Santa Claus.

In addition to his 38 years entertaining at the IOOF Home, Grupp also performed at area churches, YMCAs and schools throughout North Iowa.

Even Santa has his limits, though.

One time, a tavern called and offered him unlimited free drinks. “You couldn’t give me enough liquor to play Santa Claus in a bar,” he said.

Grupp said he has tried to take good care of Santa’s garb. He purchased several Santa suits over the years and took his hairpiece and beard to barber shops and beauty salons for touch ups.

“The IOOF Home was always a special place for me,” he said.

“Some people don’t get out much, don’t see many people. I liked to think that maybe I brightened their lives a little.”

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
July 15, 2015

MASON CITY -- Carl “Bud” Grupp Jr., 81, of Mason City, passed away Sunday, July 12, 2015, at the Manly Nursing and Rehab Center.

A celebration of life will be held 11 a.m. Friday, July 17, 2015, at Wesley United Methodist Church, 1405 S. Pennsylvania Ave., with the Rev. Steve Hansen and the Rev. Keith Scott officiating. Interment will be in Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Major Erickson Funeral Home, 111 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Mason City, and continue at the church one hour before the service. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.majorericksonfuneralhome.com.

The youngest of eight children, Carl was born May 28, 1934, to Carl and Bess (Owen) Grupp of Mason City. A son, brother, soldier, grocer, husband, father, grandfather and friend, Bud spent his formative years managing his family grocery on North Federal after his honorable discharge from the Army following service in Korea.

Started by his father, Grupp’s Jack and Jill neighborhood food stores operated in the Mason City community for 65 years. To those he touched, he was fondly known as “Carl P,” “Uncle Bud” or simply “Bud.”

A community person, Bud was a member of Kiwanis for over 50 years, and a charter member of the morning Kiwanis. He served many roles at Wesley United Methodist Church. He was a very passionate and charitable Santa Claus. Hundreds of North Iowa children, young and old, have shared their Christmas wishes with Santa (Bud) Claus. Between Bud and his son Jeff, the Grupp Santas have made over sixty consecutive annual appearances at the I.O.O.F. Home and for other area community organizations. Anyone that knew Bud, knew his love for animals, especially schnauzers.

Bud had the good fortune of two loving marriages. He married Wilma Jane (Willye) Lehman of Lyle, Minnesota, February 23, 1958. On April 16, 1983, Bud and Carlynn Draman Reich were united in marriage. Between them, they share the love of four children, Greg (Teri) Grupp of Sioux City, Jeff (Jackie) Grupp of Hanover, Minnesota, Larinda (Travis) Becker of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, and Brad Reich of Tacoma, Washington. Also left to cherish his memory are seven adored grandchildren, Mariah, Carl, Amanda, Melissa, Rebecca, Alison and Anna; two great-grandchildren, Kylie and Grayson; special cousins, Tom and Peg Bowen; and extended family.

Carl was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Wilma, sisters Ruth Snyder and Mary Jeanne Grupp; five brothers: Richard, Jack, Roger, Donald and the Rev. Robert Grupp, as well as other family members.

The family expresses heartfelt gratitude to the community of friends and caregivers at the Manly Care Center, North Iowa Hospice, Wesley United Methodist Church, neighbors and friends for their loving hearts and helping hands throughout Bud’s journey.

Arrangements: Major Erickson Funeral Home and Crematory, 111 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Mason City, IA 50401, 641-423-0924. www.majorericksonfuneralhome.com

Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, November of 2016



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