Gordon Earl Grossmann, Sr.

RIO - Gordon Earl Grossmann, Sr., age 94, of Rio, departed this life peacefully on Saturday, December 5, 2020.

Born March 9, 1926, in Milwaukee, Gordon was the second of the four children of Earl and Alice (Cummings) Grossmann.  He graduated from Portage High School in 1943 at the age of 17 and answered his country’s call by enlisting as a private in the U.S. Army Signal Corps.  By early 1946, while part of the Occupation forces in Japan, Gordon had achieved the rank of master sergeant.  After returning to the States that same year, Gordon, with his parents, purchased the Rio farm on which he eventually lived out the last several decades of his life.

In that same year, while assigned to Arlington Hall Station near Washington, D.C., Gordon met and promptly fell in love with another sergeant, a New Jersey native, Marjorie L.M. Whitmore.  Gordon and “Marge” were married in Parsippany, New Jersey, on April 6, 1947.  Marjorie gave up her military career to contribute to her husband’s.  In 1949, a month after the birth of Gordon and Marge’s first child, Gordon was commissioned as a second lieutenant.  Following a succession of assignments in various U.S. territories and states, and in Japan, Korea, South Vietnam, and several other southeast Asia nations, Gordon completed twenty-five years of active duty service and retired as a lieutenant colonel.  He went on to civilian careers in Virginia as a fifth-grade schoolteacher and as a real estate agent.

Gordon enjoyed RV travels with his family and delighted in piloting small aircraft.  A man of few words and admirable patience, he seldom scolded or lectured his four sometimes incorrigible children, but encouraged them by modeling generous and prudent behavior.

Gordon was preceded in death by his parents and by his beloved Marjorie and their son Bruce, his brother Robert, his sisters Doris Tarpley and Darlene DeNure, and two grandchildren, David Grossmann and Patricia Werts. Gordon is survived by his son Gordon “Bud” Grossmann, Jr. (and Bud’s wife, Carol Twilt), of Rio, his daughter Sharon Werts (and her companion, Patrick Bahr) of Arkansas, his son Larry Grossmann (and Larry’s wife, Alla Zoueva) of Florida, many grand- and great-grandchildren, many loving nieces and nephews, and other relatives and friends.  Gordon’s nephew Terry Tarpley, of Rio, assisted Gordon in countless ways and was like a son to him.

A private family funeral service was held at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Portage, with Pastor Greg Hovland officiating. Gordon was buried next to his wife and son at St. Paul’s Cemetery in Lewiston Township.  Military honors were provided by Portage Area Veterans.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to a charity of your choice or to St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 850 Armstrong St., Portage, WI 53901.

Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage is assisting the family.  


For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)