Gary William Grabau

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April 22, 1952 ~ July 7, 2024

Gary W. Grabau, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and educator, passed away peacefully at his home in Sioux Falls, S.D., on July 7, 2024. He was 72.

A Celebration of Life will take place from 1 to 3 p.m., on Aug. 10, 2024, at the Good Samaritan Society, Sioux Falls located at 5320 W. 49th St., Sioux Falls, S.D 57106.  Lunch will be provided. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Sioux Falls School District Child Nutrition Fund (please include “Angel Fund” in the memo line if donating by check) are appreciated.

Gary William Grabau was born on April 22, 1952, in Rochester, MN. Gary was the son of the late Loraine and Frances Grabau of Spring Valley, MN. He graduated from Spring Valley High School and continued his education at Winona State University, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree. He later received a Master’s Degree in Education from St. Mary’s University.

Gary humbly dedicated his career to education, serving as a high school teacher, mentor, and coach for football, track, and basketball. In 2000, Gary was honored as the Social Studies Teacher of the Year in Minnesota, a testament to his passion and dedication to teaching. He was particularly inspired by Lloyd Petersen of Marshall High School, whose mentorship helped shape Gary’s own approach to teaching and mentoring, until his retirement in 2008. Gary continued to share his passion as an educator for the Senior Gold program in Marshall at SMSU.

In his spare time, Gary enjoyed collecting Redwing Pottery and cherished his visits to Lake Superior, which was his favorite spot to visit. He loved camping with his family and treasured weekly breakfast gatherings with his fellow coaches.

Gary is survived by his loving wife, Paige Grabau, Sioux Falls; his sons, Robert Grabau, Sioux Falls, and Matthew (Kalee) Grabau, Eagan, MN; his daughter, Amanda (Brian) Vlaminck, Sioux Falls; in his later years, he became a cherished grandfather to Emalyn and Evan Vlaminck, Sioux Falls; his brother, Robert (Kathy) Grabau, Pine Island, MN; his niece and nephew, Megan Thibodeaux, St. Paul, MN, and Mitchell Grabau, Pine Island, MN.

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  • Michelle Noriega says:

    You are truly loved and missed. It was an honor to work with you and learn from you.

  • Catherine Schlagel says:

    My deepest sympathy to the Grabau family. I enjoyed working with Gary, taking classes from Gary and most importantly enjoyed our friendship. Rest in peace Gary.

  • Tim St. Aubin says:

    I’m so sad to hear this. Coach Grabau was a great teacher and the best track coaches I ever had. I and my classmates that ran for him in 1983 will miss him. Rest in peace Coach.

    • Paul Waletzko says:

      I agree, coach Grabau was one of the best coaches and people I can look back on with joy! His Gremlin was a classic!!

  • Sara Connelly says:

    Our prayers are with you all. You were a great friend and teacher to my children. All our love and prayers to the family. The Connelly Family

  • J. Powell says:

    Probably my favorite coach/teacher of my high school career in. A great coach & motivator; you wanted to win for the man! He was relatable and could make us dumb adolescents laugh with his humorous side. He may be gone from this world, but he lives on by all the good memories of his former students & athletes.

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