Nicholas Grunzweig Obituary

Nicholas John Grunzweig
Col. Nicholas John Grunzweig
Nicholas John Grunzweig

July 21, 1918 - February 10, 2007
Born in Buffalo, NY
Resided in Urbandale, IA
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Col. Nicholas John Grunzweig, 88, beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend, of 8311 Colby Parkway in Urbandale, passed from this life on Saturday, February 10, 2007, at Iowa Methodist Hospital.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, February 16, at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Urbandale. The Mass will be followed by a luncheon at the Parish Hall and then a burial with military honors in the Veterans Section at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, February 15, at the Iles Funeral Home-Westover in Des Moines. The Rosary will be said at 5:30 p.m. and a Vigil Service will begin at 7 p.m.

Nick was surrounded by the love and presence of his wife and his children and his grandchildren, as he peacefully passed from the loving arms of his family into the loving arms of God. He leaves a legacy of love in his family and will be dearly missed by his devoted wife of nearly 58 years, Berenice, of Urbandale; his three daughters, Karen M. Grunzweig of Urbandale, Lucille M. Grunzweig, and her husband Donald K. Hruby of Des Moines, and Lisa M. Grunzweig of Urbandale; his four sons, Nicholas John, Jr., of Iowa City, Mark E. of Des Moines, Jon M. and his wife Robin of Mission Viejo, CA, and Paul S. and his wife Kristine of Monticello, MN; his twelve grandchildren, Kristina, Daniel, CJ, Kevin, Cole, Angela and her husband Brian, Matt, Elizabeth, Summer and her husband Jason, Eli, Danielle and Dawson and his many nieces and nephews. Nick was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, one sister, and his infant great-grandchildren.

Nick lived in Urbandale for the past 33 years. He was born in Buffalo, NY, on July 21, 1918. He graduated from Canisius High School in Buffalo, NY and earned a bachelor's degree at Niagara University, in Niagara, NY. While a student, Nick began his stellar basketball career at Canisius and Niagara, followed by professional basketball with the St. Louis Blackhawks. Nick later earned a master's degree at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

Nick, who retired as a full colonel after over 30 years of service, first entered the United States Army in 1942. He served with the Third Infantry Division in World War II, the Seventh Infantry Division in Korea and in various assignments during his many years of service, including the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Paris, France; the Bangkok Area Command in Bangkok, Thailand; the Combat Development Command at Fort Leavenworth, KS; the Continental Army Command in Fort Monroe, VA; and as a professor of Military Science and Tactics at Ohio University in Athens, OH.

After retiring from the military service in 1973, Nick moved to Iowa where he held the position of Director of Mental Health and Retardation with the Iowa Department of Human Services until 1979 when he retired.

He lived his motto, "work hard and have fun", which he passed onto his grandchildren. Nick always lent a helping hand to others, expressing faith through his church as tireless servant.

Nick had an adventurous spirit. He loved the outdoors, as you could always find Nick out on the water or walking in the woods. Nick entertained himself and others though his love of language and artistic creativity. Nick's parting legacy was the completion of the family genealogy.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Iowa (NAMI Iowa) and to the St. Pius X Catholic Church Parish Foundation. For further details, contact the Iles Funeral Home-Westover.


Click here to view memorial folder




Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Thursday, February 15, 2007
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
- Show more -
St. Pius X Catholic Church
3663 66th Street
Urbandale, IA US 50322
Friday, February 16, 2007
10:30 AM
Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Friday, February 16, 2007


St. Pius X Catholic Church Parish Foundation
3663 66th Street
Urbandale, IA US
Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Iowa
5911 Meredith Drive
Urbandale, IA 50322