DAVID JOE GROEN was born on March 5, 1961, to Carl and Dora (Timmerman) Groen in Onawa, Iowa. He was raised in Midland Township, Iowa and attended Central Lyon High School in Rock Rapids, Iowa. He was baptized on November 25, 1962, and confirmed on May 15, 1977, at the Bethel Reformed Church in Ellsworth, and went on to be a member of the Reformed Church Youth Fellowship group. Prior to his high school graduation on May 15, 1977, he was active in the 4-H Club where he had the opportunity to earn the title of Grand Champion Beef Heifer at the state fair. He also enjoyed participating in wrestling and playing the drums and piano. However, his mechanical abilities shined through at an early age as he began tinkering with small engines.
On October 17, 1981, Dave was united in marriage to Bonnie Frederick at Bethel Reformed Church. The couple made their home in Ellsworth, Minnesota, where he began putting his mechanical skills to use at George Bruns Farms. They relocated to Sheldon, Iowa while Dave was employed at Vogel Tire Company and later lived in Round Lake, Minnesota where he worked at Sathers. He also helped at Rock County Implement and M & M in Luverne, Minnesota before Dave and his family made one last move to Kenneth, Minnesota. Dave opened his own shop in 2003, and continued to operate Dave Groen Repair for the following 12 years. On Friday, February 14, 2020, Dave died peacefully surrounded by his family at his home in Kenneth at the age of 58 years, 11 months, and nine days.
Dave was a current member of Bethel Reformed Church in Leota, Minnesota where he took great pride in his role as a valet service assistant. He also volunteered for his communities through the Kenneth Fire Department, Kenneth First Rescue Responders, and Kenneth City Council. In his spare time, he still enjoyed tinkering with machinery while restoring vintage lawnmowers or making recycled art tractors. He could also frequently be found outdoors, whether he was mowing his lawn, fishing, hiking, or planting flowers in his wildflower patch. There was not much better than a side-by-side ride on a nice day, with his beloved dog, Minnie, and the tunes cranked to K101. His family will always remember the evenings being marked with his comical catch phrase, “Hey woman, what’s for supper?” Above all, Dave’s nature will be dearly missed. Dave was caring, kind, and hard-working. He never hesitated to help someone in need regardless of what he was doing. He had a huge heart.
Dave is survived by his wife, Bonnie of Kenneth; his children, Kristy (Phil) Vander Ziel of Leota, Rebecca (Kevin) Van Batavia of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Matthew (Renae) Groen of Spirit Lake, Iowa, and Michael Groen of Brookings, South Dakota; grandchildren, Ty, Benjamin, Nevaeh, Amelia, Emma; and siblings, Karen (Michael) of Worthington, Minnesota, Ken (Rhonda) of Ellsworth, and Deb (LaVearl) of Luverne. He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Allen Dean; father-in-law, Lee Frederick; and granddaughter, Hattie Vander Ziel.