February 28, 2007
William O. Grunden, a clergy member of our Conference died on Wednesday, February 28th, in Florida. Rev. Grunden served churches in East Glastonbury, Stafford Springs & Crystal Lake, CT; Providence, RI; Vineyard Haven, Lambert's Cove, Tisbury, & West Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard and Arlington Heights, MA. A memorial service in his honor is scheduled for August 18 at 10 am at Trinity UMC, Oak Bluffs on the Island of Martha's Vineyard. Further information is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org East Glastonbury, Stafford Springs & Crystal Lake, CT; Providence, RI; Vineyard Haven, Lambert's Cove, Tisbury, & West Tisbury, Martha?s Vineyard and Arlington Heights, MA Below are the family contacts and addresses: David W. Grunden P.O. Box 2412 Oak Bluffs, MA 02557 Paul Grunden 108 MeredithDr. Falmouth, MA 02536 Wesley Grunden 4441 E. Via Dona Rd. Cave Creek, AZ. 85331 Joy and Bobby Brown 8327 SR 674 Wimauma, FL 35547 Please note: Joy and Bobby were his primary care givers over the past few years of his declining health. The following is from the Martha's Vineyard Gazette. Bill Grunden Was Bridge-Playing Pastor, Purveyor William Oscar Grunden, 79, died Feb. 27 in Sun City Center, Fla. Bill was born June 27, 1927 in Mount Vernon, N.Y., the son of Walter and Hannah Grunden. During World War II, he left high school and lied about his age to join the Navy. He served in the North Atlantic where he saw action many times while serving on a destroyer escort on convoy duty. He was honorably discharged as a petty officer third class. After his Navy service, he obtained his general equivalency diploma and attended college. While on a church retreat for young adults, he met Loretta Brown. The two were wed April 4, 1952. Shortly thereafter, Bill graduated from Hope College in Holland, Mich. He then attended Asbury Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and was ordained a pastor in the Methodist church in 1954. His first pulpit was in Lexington, Ky. where his first son Paul was born in October 1954. In 1955, he returned to the Northeast and served as a pastor for the next 20 years. Among the congregations he served were those in East Glastonbury and Stafford Springs, Conn., Providence, R.I. and on the Vineyard. He would be blessed with two more sons, David, born in 1955 exactly one year to the day after his first son, and Wesley in August of 1959. In 1965, Bill was selected by Chrysler Corporation to test-drive their experimental turbine engine car for three months. He loved to drive and the power of a jet engine under the hood was a joy to handle. In 1968, the family moved to the Vineyard when Bill was appointed to be the pastor of both Christ United Methodist Church and Lambert's Cove United Methodist Church. Bill loved the Island and was an avid fisherman. After retiring from the active ministry, the family moved to their Camp Ground cottage on Trinity Park in Oak Bluffs. Bill continued to fill in as a preacher and served as chaplain of the Oak Bluffs Fire Department for 26 years. He also was an active volunteer firefighter, becoming a captain and fire investigator, and attended the Federal Bureau of Investigation arson school in Quantico, Va. Bill was an avid card player and especially loved bridge. He was a regular at the Thursday night duplicate bridge games. In 1975, his book on strategy in the game of bridge, The Weak Two System, was published. He and Loretta probably will be best remembered on the Vineyard as the proprietors of the Wigwam Paper Store on Circuit avenue for many years. In the summers he could also be found driving tour buses preaching the wonders of the Island. Loretta died in April 1991 after a long illness. Bill later met Betty Cheever of Wimauma, Fla., and was able to once again enjoy wedded bliss. Unfortunately, Betty also predeceased him, losing her battle with cancer in October 2004. Bill will always be remembered for his humor and his willingness to always help others. Survivors include three sons, Paul and his wife Paula, of Falmouth, David and his wife Shary and granddaughter Freya of Oak Bluffs, Wesley and his wife Frances of Cave Creek, Ariz; and three stepchildren, James Cheever, Thomas Cheever and Joy Rogers; a brother, Charles, and his wife Barbara of Falmouth, Me.; and many nieces and nephews. At his request, his body is being donated for use toward medical research. A memorial service will be held on the Vineyard in August. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to your favorite charity in memory of him.