Donald S. Grotewold

Donald S. Grotewold died on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, at the age of 89 years, 361 days.

Don’s funeral service will be at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at Asbury United Methodist Church, 107 East Main Street in Lake Mills with Pastor Rob Lanphere officiating. Burial will be in Sunnyside Cemetery, Lake Mills.

Visitation will be on Friday, February 7, 2020 from 4:30 to 7:00 PM also at Asbury United Methodist Church in Lake Mills, and will continue one hour prior to the service on Saturday.

Donald Sampson Grotewold was born in Lake Mills, Iowa on February 2, 1930, the fourth child of William Sampson Grotewold and Anna T. Holstad Grotewold.

He attended Lake Mills Community Schools, playing on the football, basketball, and golf teams, graduating in 1948.  He went to work in the hatchery and feed business (Grotewold Hatchery) with his father and brother, while also serving in the National Guard (1948-1953), where he attained the rank of Sergeant.  He assumed ownership of the hatchery business when his brother moved from Lake Mills and his father focused his attention on his ownership of the Chrysler, Plymouth, Case and IH dealership in town.

On June 2, 1950, Don married Doris Falck at Asbury Methodist Church, Lake Mills.  They were the parents of five children: Scott Erling (who died in infancy), W Scott, Jane Marie, Brad Erling and Joan Yvonne.  In 1957, the family moved to a farm on the east edge of Lake Mills, where Don lived until his death.  In 1963, the business moved from downtown Lake Mills to a newly-constructed building on the farm.  At one time, the business expanded to include several hatcheries in southern Minnesota.

For over sixty-five years, Don Grotewold served his community and north Iowa in many ways.  He served on the board of the Rice Lake Golf Club in 1955 when the course transitioned from sand to grass greens.  He was instrumental in designing the course layout and seeing the project through when the course was expanded from nine to 18 holes in 1979 – one of the smallest towns in Iowa to have an 18-hole course.  Eleven new greens were built or during that expansion, and Don was still on the board in 1987 when five more greens were rebuilt.

Don served on the Lake Mills Community School Board for several terms and was its President in 1965 when the project of the new varsity gymnasium, kitchen, foyer/lunchroom, and a number of classrooms was built.

He was elected to the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors in 1965, representing Center, Norway, Logan, Eden and Mount Valley townships.  He served in that capacity for twenty-three years.  While supervisor, the Law Enforcement Center was created and the Board worked closely with the North Central Human Services and Robertelle Center for Alcohol and Chemical Dependency in Forest City in the early days of those organizations.

Don served on the North Iowa Mental Health Board for 26 years, serving as president for many of those.

In his membership at Asbury United Methodist Church, he served in virtually all positions on all committees, including the building committee during the 1963 church addition.

When the Iowa United Methodist Church was divesting itself of the privately-owned portions of its campground at West Lake Okoboji, Don served on the board on behalf of homeowners, known as Monarch Cove, and continued on the board for a number of years.

Don served as vice-president of the Lake Mills Economic Improvement committee, which restored the town’s movie theater, The Mills Theater, and saved the historic bank building now housing the Teluwut restaurant.

He was treasurer of the Promise of America Committee, which erected the Norwegian Immigrant monument at the eastern entrance to Lake Mills.

He enjoyed playing golf, watching sports and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Doris Marie Falck Grotewold; his children, W Scott & Susan Grotewold of Liberty, MO; Jane Grotewold Christianson of Lake Mills; Brad & Jeanie Grotewold of Lake Mills; and Joan Grotewold of Rochester, MN.  There are 11 grandchildren: Donald Sampson (Sam) Grotewold II (Sabrina Tillman Grotewold) (Carlsbad CA), Kari (Brandon) Smith (Ames IA), Ben (Jacki Marchisio) Grotewold (Liberty MO), Jessica (Rusty) Schipper (Lake Mills), Kelsey (Eric) Williams (Waukee IA), Jaci (Michael) Haugsdal (North Liberty IA), Cole Christianson (Lake Mills), Anna (Tim) Bierly (Rochester MN), Blake (Murphy) Grotewold (Mankato MN), Abby (Jordan) Ashbacher (Rochester MN) and Rachel (Andrew Schaeppi) Grace (Rochester MN).  There are 15 great-grandchildren: Cash Grotewold; Myah, Maysen & Mylie Smith; Elina Grotewold; Sawyer, Tate & JJ Schipper; Rooney & Finch Williams; Audrey & Issa Haugsdal; Carson & Quinn Christianson; and Max Bierly.  His three sisters survive him: Yvonne Johnson (Goodyear, AZ), Marjorie Tardiff (Scottsdale AZ), and Ramona Twito (Lake Mills), as does a sister-in law, Gladys Shultz (Spirit Lake IA), 12 nieces and nephews and a number of in-laws, significant others, cousins and other extended family, friends and admirers.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his son Scott Erling, his brother Gerald Grotewold, three nephews and a niece, four brothers-in-law and other relatives.

You can contact the family with on-line condolences at:


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