Nicholas (Nick) John Gruber, 68, lifelong resident of Winona and Goodview, passed away Sunday, December 12, 2021, surrounded by his family. In his last few days, he continued on with courage, humor and determination, as he had done all his life.
He was born to Paul and Ruth (Gappa) Gruber on April 8, 1953. Nick was a 1971 graduate of Winona Senior High School and worked at Winona Lighting for over 40 years, before retiring in 2018. In that time, Nick made many friends and had fond memories of the Winona Lighting crew.
Nick married Leanne Stoltman in 1974. Nick and Leanne were blessed with two daughters, Michelle and Allison. Nick happily accepted his role as a girl dad and was the recipient of many hairstyles and makeovers when the girls were young. He made sure his daughters were ready for the world, teaching them to drive cars, fix their own houses and not take crap from anyone. In 2007, Nick became a grandpa to Landon John, who was the apple of his eye. Nick could not wait to play catch, take Landon fishing, or buy him a 4-wheeler saying, “It’s ok, he’ll grow into it.” As Landon grew and participated in more activities, you could bet you would find Grandpa Nick at many football, hockey, and baseball games. He will always be Landon’s #1 fan. Nick also liked to spoil his granddogs, always keeping treats in his truck and his pockets for his four furry friends.
Throughout Nick’s life he enjoyed many outdoor activities. One could often find Nick hunting or fishing. Over the years, Nick participated in bowling leagues, raced R/C cars, was a member of the Winona Bassmasters, served as President of the Goodview Activity Group, and was a long-time gambling manager at St. Stan’s Church. Nick had a green thumb, and was known for his giant tomato plants. He’d always help his friends and neighbors, often fixing lawn mowers and clearing driveways.
Nick is survived by his wife, Leanne; daughters: Michelle (Jason Timm) Gruber and Allison (Lee) Trocinski; grandson, Landon Timm; sisters: Sharon (Randy) Sweazey and Terrie Gruber; brother-in-law, Paul Stoltman; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Ruth; sister, Phyllis, who died in infancy; brother, Robert; and foster sister, Jeanette.
Visitation will be held from 3 PM until 6 PM on Sunday, December 19, 2021, at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home, 376 E. Sarnia St., Winona, and again at the funeral home on Monday, December 20, 2021, from 10:30 AM until a funeral service at 11 AM. Deacon Justin Green will officiate. Nick will be laid to rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Those attending the visitation and service are encouraged to wear a face covering.
The family would appreciate memorials be directed to the Winona Health Foundation, the Winona Humane Society, or to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Online condolences or memories may be left for Nick’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.