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Gary "Buzz" Grooters

July 23, 1940 ~ January 13, 2019 (age 78)

Gary "Buzz" Grooters, 78, of Alexandria, MN, died on Sunday, January 13, 2019, at Sanford Broadway Medical Center, Fargo, from complications resulting from West Nile virus. 

Gary, known as Buzz among his family and friends, was born on July 23, 1940, in Wales, ND, the son of George W. and Leone E. (Platz) Grooters.  He grew up in various small towns in North Dakota and graduated from Turtle Lake High School in 1958.  He was a good athlete and participated in sports.  In the summers he worked for the State Highway Department, helping to build roads and bridges.  He attended North Dakota State University and earned a Master of Architecture degree in 1967.  He worked for four different firms before founding the Grooters, Leapaldt, and Tideman Architects firm in St. Cloud, MN.  After selling his business, he learned how to sculpt in clay as a hobby and eventually started selling his work through the Udinotti Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ.  Art was his passion, and Gary continued creating figurative sculptures until recently for his own pleasure.  He designed and built his own home on Lake Ida near Alexandria, MN, beautifying it with a meadow of prairie grasses and flowers. He had a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature and liked to be outside whenever possible.  He enjoyed traveling, especially to explore art museums and galleries. 

Buzz was a social person who loved being with his family and old friends, but was always interested in meeting new people and making new friends. He was loved by many, who will miss his artistic, gentle spirit, his passion and enthusiasm for life, his generosity, and his humor. 

Gary was married to Judith Coleman in 1970 but eventually divorced.  He later established a close relationship with Aija Bjornson.  Buzz is survived by his devoted companion, Aija, of Columbus, OH; his sisters, Beverly Ferrell, Bridgeport, WV, Lynne Irvine, Batavia, IL, Susan (Frank) Flanagan, Jordan, MN; his brother, Larry "Buck" Grooters, Fargo; and many nieces and nephews.  Especially close nieces in Fargo include Kim (Roger) Lipetzky, Karla (Torrey) Callies, Kristi (Chris) Stuber, and Shawn (Jason) Nelson.   He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Roger.

A celebration of his life will be held in the Alexandria area later this summer.  His final resting place will be St. Mary's Cemetery, Alexandria, MN. 


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