Merton "Mert" Grabau 1927–2020 Owatonna—Merton John Grabau, 93, of Owatonna, died Sunday, December 27, 2020 at his home. Merton (Mert) John Grabau, was born to Ernest and Clara (Pieschke) Grabau, on May 18, 1927, at Chester, Nebraska. He was baptized on June 5, 1927, at St. John Lutheran Church in Chester, and confirmed on May 12, 1940 also at St. John Lutheran Church in Chester. He attended St. John Lutheran School in Chester for his elementary education, and then attended Chester High School, graduating in 1944. He graduated from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska in 1947. He received his Master's degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado in1970. Mert was united in marriage to Irma Krach of Detroit, Michigan, on August 19, 1951, in Hampton, Nebraska. The ceremony was performed by her father, Rev. George Krach of Detroit, Michigan. Mert taught school at St. Peter's Lutheran School at Hampton, Nebraska for 12 years. He then was principal-teacher at Trinity Lutheran School in Greeley, Colorado for four years. Following that, Mert taught 5th grade at Cameron Public School in Greeley, Colorado for four years. In 1967, Mert moved his family to Owatonna, Minnesota where he taught 5th grade at McKinley, Washington, and Lincoln schools for 22 years. He was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church and the choir director there for 35 years, as well as assistant organist, and also organist in various churches in the community, assisting regular organists. During his lifetime, Mert was a church choir director for approximately 50 years, and a church organist for over 65 years. He held offices in the Lutheran School Principals' Conference in the Denver area, also in the Retired Educators' Organization of Owatonna, and was a member of the Owatonna Education Association, the Minnesota Education Association and the National Education Association. He is listed in the "Who's Who Among American Teachers". Mert's outside interests were in calligraphy and script writing, quilting, and cutting blocks for several churches to sew quilts for World Relief. He cut over 100,000 square and rectangle blocks for over 1000 quilts especially during his retirement. For over 18 years he played the organ for chapel service every week at Cedarview Care Center and Park Place, and served many years with his wife on the Memorial Committee at Senior Place. Mert and his wife, Irma, gave many musical programs at various gatherings in the community. Merl also played at and sang at many weddings and funerals. He loved music. Mert is survived by his wife, Irma, one son Kenton and his wife Mary, and two step grandchildren Adam Shannon and Samantha Capuano, and also several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Ernest and Clara Grabau, two grandsons Ronald and Keith Grabau, one brother Herbert Grabau, and sister Louanna Doering Visitation will be at Redeemer Lutheran Church on Thursday from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM . Funeral services will be held December 31, 2020 at 2:00 PM at Redeemer Lutheran Church with The Reverend Kirk Griebel officiating. Interment will be in the St. John Cemetery in Owatonna.
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