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William DeGrote, 84

William "Bill" DeGrote, 84, Alexandria died February 28, 2009 at his home.

Bill was born September 29, 1924 in Clara City to William DeGrote (born in Germany) and Simka (Tammen) DeGrote (born in Illinois).

Bill grew up in Clara City, graduating from high school in June 1943. During high school, he played baseball and basketball for five years and was captain of his basketball team his senior year.

He served in the Armed Service (20th Air Force) June 1943 through March 1946 during WWII and was stationed at Guam.

After the war, Bill returned to Clara City, working in the family businesses. He also enjoyed playing town team baseball until 1953.

He married Joyce Lake at Trinity Lutheran Church on September 24, 1948 at Holmes City. Bill and Joyce lived in Clara City for the next seven years and had two children, David and Barbara.

In 1955, they purchased Kenwood Resort on Lake Carlos in Alexandria and operated it for nine years, selling in 1965. During this time, Bill also worked for Anderson Furniture and Funeral Home. Bill and Joyce built Jefferson Apartments, later selling them as condominiums. From 1969 to 1983, Bill was employed by the Gamble Skogmo Company and several furniture manufacturing companies, after which he retired.

Bill and Joyce resided in Arizona part-time starting in 1983, moving back permanently to Alexandria in 1992. They lived on Lake Latoka until the time of his death.

Bill was a member of the American Legion, Sons of Norway, Golden K Kiwanis Club and St. Luke's Church of Garfield.

He is lovingly survived and remembered by his wife, Joyce; two children, David (Charlotte) DeGrote of Chaska and Barbara DeGrote (David Sorensen) of Litchfield; five grandchildren, Paul (Zephyr) DeGrote of San Francisco, Jenny DeGrote of Minnetonka (fiancé, Ted Harding), Katherine (Bobak) Razavi of Minneapolis, Jillian (Tim) Wood of Minneapolis, and Reed Sorensen of Moorhead; one sister, Thaline Ecklund, and one sister-in-law, Mae DeGrote, both of Clara City. He was immensely proud of his one great-grandchild, Anna Joyce Wood, born March 18, 2008.

Bill, the youngest of six children, was preceded in death by two brothers, Peter and Simon DeGrote; two sisters, Anne DeWald and Mildred Dahlseng; and his loving parents, William, who died when Bill was 11, and Simka.

Bill's life centered around his faith, family and friends. He encouraged and cheered on each of us. We are all better because of him.

Memorial services were held on Saturday, March 7 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Garfield with the Rev. David Gran officiating. Music was provided by Audrey Palmquist-Aga, organist, St. Luke's Senior Choir, and the St. Luke's Men's Chorus. Inurnment was at Evergreen Cemetery in Alexandria.

Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria;