Michael F. Groetken, age 72, of Yankton, South Dakota, lost his battle with Lewy Body Dementia on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Mass of Christian Burial is 10:30 AM, on Friday, August 11, 2017 at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Yankton with Reverend Scott Traynor officiating. Burial will be in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Yankton with military honors provided by the Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 791 of Yankton and the US Navy Funeral Honor Guard. Visitation is from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, on Thursday, August 10 at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with a vigil service at 7:00 PM. Visitation resumes one hour prior to the funeral at the church.
Pallbearers are his seven children and eight brothers and sisters.
Michael was born October 19, 1944 in Wichita, Kansas to Cecil and Maude (Dahl) Groetken. He grew up in Sioux City, Iowa where he attended Central High School. At the age of 17, Mike joined the United States Navy and served as an Air Traffic Controller for eight years. On October 30, 1965, Michael joined Mary Jane Verzani in loving matrimony. After his discharge, he continued working as an Air Traffic Controller for the Federal Aviation Administration, first in Sioux City and then in St. Louis. In 1973, Mike and family members opened Pizza John's in Alton IL, 'On the Beltline' and operated the restaurant until they moved to Yankton in 1980. Mike then helped his father at Cecil's Bakery for several years before moving on to HyVee. In his retirement, he worked at Fox Run Golf Course and H&R Block. Mike enjoyed several hobbies including coaching soccer and was part of the original effort to bring the sport to Yankton. He was an avid reader, played chess and liked opera music. But Mike's passion was playing golf. He loved the time spent on the golf course with family and friends. Mike was giving and caring, he would bake cookies and fudge for the Emergency Care Unit at Sacred Heart Hospital every Christmas and was also active in the Meals on Wheels Program. Mike treasured his family and was known as the baby whisperer because he could get any baby to fall asleep. He is deeply loved and will be forever missed.
Mike is survived by his wife, Mary Jane Groetken of Yankton; seven children: Steven (Elizabeth) Groetken of Vermillion, SD, Dan (Lisa) Groetken of Yankton, Laurie Groetken (Brian Paulsen) of Yankton, Jason (Luci) Groetken of Orfordville, WI, John Groetken of Yankton, James (Raquel) Groetken of Buffalo, MN and Catherine (Stefano) Aliprandi of Rockaway, NJ; 20 grandchildren; three great grandchildren and one on the way; eight brothers and sisters: Cyril (Pauline) Groetken of Yankton, Rich (Kathy) Groetken of Normal, IL, Pete (Donna) Groetken of Sioux City, Pat (Ron) Washburn of Lawton, IA, Mary (Dale) Jones of Normal, IL, Bob (Deb) Groetken of Normal, IL, Cecil Groetken (Julie Baird) of Bloomington, and Deb (James) Weddingfeld of Yankton; and many nieces and nephews.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents; great grandson, Dean Grant; sister-in-law, Lori Groetken and niece, Erin Moomey.
Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.
I'm sorry to hear about the passing of your father you all are in my prayers .
Dear Max and Cassandra, we are so sorry for the loss of your grandpa. Please know we are thinking of you and saying prayers during this difficult time.
Pat and Donna Goebel
Thinking of you all... such a huge loss for all the Groetken's. Please know how sorry I am and how much this breaks my heart. I love you all and I am sending all my thoughts and prayers! You'll get big hugs in person on Thursday. I love you guys!!! xoxoxo
Melissa (Groetken) Christianson
Sending prayers your way Groetkens. I have many great memories as a kid in the Groetken house. Mike was such an outstanding human and will be missed.
Jason Koller and family
We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Mike. He was truly a gentleman and always had kind things to say and helpful hints for my golf game. You are all in our prayers.
Joe & Kelly Sparks
Jimmy, Katie and family, we are so sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. Thinking of you and sending prayers during this difficult time.
Dusty & Jen (Fokken) List
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. Trust in the Lord that something good will come out of these difficult times.
Mike & Shelley Heil
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