By Faribault Daily News |
Grandprey remembered for his personality, impact on veterans | News | southernminn.com
Lloyd Grandprey had two speeds, according to his son Greg Grandprey: “100 percent and sleeping.”
Grandprey, who died Feb. 27 at the age of 88, lived an extremely active life. He spent his last 23 years in Faribault, where he made an impact on many people, leaving a legacy with his personality and drive.
Born in Owatonna, Grandprey taught industrial arts and physical education in Decorah, Iowa, and Richfield for many years. Grandprey’s retirement from teaching was far from a retirement from the workforce, however.
He moved to Faribault in 1995 and took a job with the U.S. Department of Labor, though he was perhaps best known in the community for what he did outside of work.
Grandprey served as commander of American Legion Post 43 in Faribault and co-chair of the Rice County Veterans Memorial Committee and was active in the honor guard, playing taps at about 400 funerals throughout southern Minnesota.
“He was like the Energizer Bunny. He just kept going and going,” said Dick Cook, Grandprey’s co-chair on the memorial committee.
The memorial, which finally got its finishing touches last year after over 10 years, was one of Grandprey’s proudest accomplishments. When the movement to build the memorial started over a decade ago, many people got involved, but Cook and Grandprey saw it through, former Legion Post 43 Commander Kirk Mansfield said.
On July 27, when the granite slabs were finally put into place in front of the Rice County Courthouse, Grandprey was “beaming with pride,” Mansfield said.
“You could just feel the excitement,” he said. Mansfield is disappointed that Grandprey won’t be there for the memorial’s dedication in May, but his impact will be remembered through the monument.
“He’s still living and breathing through that memorial as far as I’m concerned,” Mansfield said. “That’s a huge legacy.”
Mansfield, like many others, considered Grandprey a friend, as well as a mentor.
“All of those things we aspire to do good in our community and our world, that was him to a T,” Mansfield said. “Things I would do in my life, I would think about what he was doing and it would make me want to do better.”
“He was very personable,” Grandprey’s son Greg said.
Grandprey kept his indomitable spirit throughout his lifetime, retaining his passion for life. He lived in his home nearly his entire life, continuing an active lifestyle as long as he could.
“He lived a full life up until the end,” Greg said. “He didn’t consider his age a limitation when he was getting older.”
While he didn’t have the physical ability, he was still upbeat, Cook said.
“Even while he was in the hospital and the rehab unit at the nursing home, he still had his hands on his finances and everything else,” Greg added. “He couldn’t physically do anything, but mentally he was very strong.”
Along with his impact on local veterans affairs, Grandprey was known as a devoted family man and music lover.
Lloyd Grandprey poses with family after his grandson Tony's officer commissioning. (Photo courtesy of Greg Grandprey)
His father, Lloyd Sr., was his first music teacher. Lloyd Sr. played taps for over 1,000 times at events throughout Rice, Steele and Waseca counties. He played trumpet in the Army band during World War I and inspired a similar love within his sons.
Lloyd (left) and his twin brother Loie (right) were taught to play the trumpet by their father, Lloyd Sr. (Photo courtesy of Greg Grandprey)
Grandprey played in a number of bands, including the Faribault Community Band and Owatonna Community Band.
When he wasn’t busy with music or any of his other numerous activities, he was busy taking trips to visit family throughout the country.
“When he would come visit, he wasn’t used to sitting,” Greg said. “He didn’t know how to slow down.”
Grandprey poses with his great granddaughter Eleanor in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Greg Grandprey)