On May 31, 2022, Frank Morrow Gronberg passed away at the age of 83 in Renton, WA.
Born to Wilfred and Kathryn on July 1, 1938, in Elgin, IL, he grew up in Dixon, IL. Frank was the consummate adventurer. As a teenager, he canoed the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Baton Rouge. In his 20s, he tackled higher pursuits – rock climbing in the Badlands, SD and Devil’s Tower, WY. He made history as “desert Frank” with Rob McKnight and famous rock climber Warren “Batso” Harding. They were the first to successfully ascend the 14,240+ feet Keeler Needle, Mount Whitney, CA.
From 1961-64, Frank served as a radio operator in Vietnam with the honorable distinction of being an Army Special Forces Green Beret (Ranger, 1st SF Group Airborne, A-323). After returning to the states, he joined an underwater expedition diving off the coast of Roatan, Honduras searching for one of Columbus’s ships from 1502. He drove in the Baja 500 race in Mexico. He and a colleague adventured in Belize, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. In northern Brazil, they booked passage up the Amazon River disembarking in Peru, where they visited Machu Picchu and later the Galapagos Islands.
From the mid-1980s, Frank established a career as an Engineer I Surveyor Draftsman, for King County Parks Department on Mercer Island, WA, retiring in 2010. Despite life’s trials and tribulations, mental and physical hardships, Frank retained the heart and soul of a valiant warrior and passionate artist. With his charming smile, soft-spoken, unassuming, and friendly demeanor, he recounted stories of a life truly filled with adventure. In his words, he desired to be remembered by this: “Been there and done that!”
After suffering a massive stroke in 2019 that completely disabled his left side – but never losing his sunny outlook – Frank was cared for compassionately by David Balaciu and Dora Andreicut at Mariana’s Adult Family Home. He is survived by his sister Janet Gronberg, stepdaughters Anne Durand and Susie Harris, cousin Gary Gronberg, nephew Tyler O’Brien and nieces Rebecca O’Brien and Amber Haller, and great friends – John, Linda, Gordy, and more.
A celebration will be held at 1 pm, June 26th, Vino at the Landing in Renton, WA. He will be interred in Dixon, IL.
The post first appeared on Barton Family Funeral Service.