Ronald Lee Groleau

Resided in Nahma, MI
Died October 10, 2019

Colonel Ronald L. Groleau, age 83, passed away peacefully on October 10, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. Ron was born on August 5, 1936 along with his twin brother Donald (deceased), in Escanaba, MI to Edward and Jereta (Clement) Groleau. They were eventually joined by brothers, Warren, Joel, and Pat (deceased).

Ron grew up in St. Jacques, MI where he attended Nahma High School and played on basketball teams that won two state championships. He also was an accomplished distance runner for the Nahma track team. He graduated from Nahma High School in Nahma, MI in 1954.
After high school, he and his twin brother Don Groleau, enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1954 and served proudly for 4 years. They were stationed in many places around the world among them North Africa. After coming home to St. Jacques, he met the love of his life Carolyn (Pilon) and they married on August 29th, 1959. Ron and Carolyn welcomed their first child Cheryl in 1960, followed by Daryl in 1961 and Lynn in 1964. Ron worked construction for a few years until joining the United States Army Reserves in 1961. After living in various locations, the family settled in Beaver Dam, WI. Ron served as the Chief of Staff and Command Executive Officer for the 84th Division (Training) out of Milwaukee where he served with distinction until his retirement as a Colonel in 1993. Ron, his brothers Warren and Pat along with their wives, purchased and renovated the Nahma Hotel in 1994. They ran the hotel until 2000. Ron served as a Chaplain for both the American Legion Post 116 and the VFW Post 10069 of Port Saint Joe, FL.
In his free-time Ron enjoyed playing golf, cards, listening to music, and watching his Lions, Tigers, Wolverines, and Redwings. Above all, Ron enjoyed spending time with his numerous friends and family members. Ron and Carolyn hosted many a family gathering in their homes in St. Joe Beach, Florida and Nahma, Michigan. Ron was always the life of the party, remembered for his endless supply of jokes.

Ron was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Jereta, mother and father in-law, Joseph and Stella Pilon, and brothers Donald and Pat.
Ron is survived by his spouse Carolyn of Nahma, MI, his son Daryl (Sue) Groleau of Rockton, IL, daughters Cheryl (Jeff) Skogen of Brighton, MI and Lynne (Chris) Groleau-Schwartz of Salem, OR; brothers Warren (Christine) Groleau of St, Jacques, MI, and Joel (Kathy) Groleau of Rapid River, MI; sisters-in-law Edith Groleau and Dani Groleau; grandchildren Heather Skogen, Jarrod (Lauren) Skogen and Cara Ballard; great granddaughter Caroline Skogen and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and extended family members.

Family will receive friends Sunday, October 13, 2019 from 3:00 until 5:00 PM at the Skradski Funeral Home at 706 Wisconsin Avenue, Gladstone, MI. Closing Prayers will conclude visiting hours at 5:00 PM at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Monday, October 14, 2019 at 10:00 AM at St. Andrew Parish at 8236 River GG St., Nahma, MI. Military Honors will take place in the St. Andrew Cemetery in Nahma following mass. A luncheon will take place at the Nahma Inn.

The Skradski Family Funeral Homes are assisting the Groleau family.

23 Tributes for “Ronald Lee Groleau

    I’ll always remember going to the IL and MI football game with your parents, that was a great trip. Your dad will always be remembered…a great man!

    Our deepest sympathy to Carolyn and family. Ron was the life of the party and always had a joke. He loved hearing a joke and he always remembered all of the jokes! Ron was a true Patriot and was proud of his years of service!! Please know you are all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time!!

    I remember all the race parties Carolyn and Ron came to Dons and Edith’s house he was the life of the party he will be greatly missed my condolences to the family Love Don and Karen Huffman

    How fortunate you are Carolyn to have shared in the life of this great man! He not only distinguished himself as an outstanding military person, but more importantly as a human being who put the interests of others before himself. With his smile and quick wit, it was always a joy to be in his company. Our deepest condolences to you and your family. And to you Ron, “Hooah”…see ya on the other side.

    Carol,
    Sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. Always enjoyed our trips to Nahma and visiting the past in the general store. What a great job you guys did with the renovation of the hotel. Of course we ate many times at the hotel. Wishing you and your family the best and our prayers are with you.
    Wayne and Mary Siegfried- Beaver Dam

    My deepest sympathy! I will never forget coming over with my parents to parties, Ron brought out cigars at times,
    the piranha’s in the tank that I was very frightened of, Cleo your dalmatian, and how Chad and I would love riding our bikes down your driveway hill. You guys were the best neighbors! He will be deeply missed.
    Find peace in the memories and strength in each other during this difficult time.

    Ron was one of the best officers I ever worked with. Although our working relationship goes back 30 to 40 years ago, he was one of those unforgettable guys. I will always remember his smiling face and the efficient manner he did his duties. He was a genuine patriot and great example for all who knew him. Laurie and I regretted not seeing Ron and Carolyn in recent years but were grateful for the updates from the Porath family. We were sorry to hear of his struggles in the later years. Our prayers for Carolyn and the family as they mourn this great loss.

    Ron was my mentor in my early years as a Department of the Army Civilian, and a Reserve Member of the 2d Brigade, 84th Division (Tng) in Beaver Dam, WI. I will be forever grateful to him for his help and guidance. My Deepest Sympathy goes out to Carolyn and his family.

    Carolyn,Daryl, Cheryl, and Lynn

    So sad to here of Ron’s passing. We had some great neighbors!
    Really glad we came up to Nahma to share the joy of your anniversary celebration, you two had a great thing !
    Ron will be truly missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to you all.

    Sincerely,
    Jeff and Sue Eberle

    Carolyn and family,

    So sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Your friends from your St. Joseph church
    family here in Port St. Joe are keeping you in their prayers.

    Sending prayers to all the family at this time. I am thinking especially of Warren and Christine. May God be with all of you.

    To the Family of Col. Ron Groleau,

    I wish to extend my blessings and condolences to you from the depth of my
    heart.

    I was in the Navy Reserve with only two years left before I would reach my
    twenty years for retirement when I realized that I was still only in E-5 pay grade
    and probably not even make E-6 during that time. I was up for reinlistment,
    so I had to make a decision of staying in the Navy reserve or check out the Army
    Reserves. I felt that I could stand on my head in mud or whatever to make E-6
    during that last two years.

    I called the Army Reserves and Colonel Ron Groleau answered. After telling
    him my situation, he asked me if I was the Tom Higgins that played ball in the
    over 30 league in Beaver Dam. I told him “yes”. He responded, ” Get your ass
    over here. I did and I was able to transfer into the Army Reserves without losing
    a pay grade.

    I found that I was in the foul weather and mud but I loved it and during the next
    12 years I reached E-7 and was up for 1st Sargent (E-8) but with a total of 35 years
    it was decided that I should be retired. My only regret is, I didn’t get in the Army
    sooner.

    So, it’s with great gratitude to Colonel Groleau that I achieved as much as I did.

    Sincerely yours,

    Thomas Vane Higgins, SFC Retired

    I want to extend my deepest condolences to all of Ron s family..I will always remember his fun nature and those sparkling dark eyes when he was joking around..I know he is at peace now and was so fortunate to have Carolyn as his caretaker.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Carolyn, I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re in my thoughts and prayers for peace and comfort through your grief.
    Rosalie Tritsch
    (St. Joseph parish, Port St. Joe, FL)

    So sorry to hear from Larry Sacket of Ron’s passing. Ron was a very special friend, softball player and great fun when my family and I lived in Beaver Dam. My best to you and your family.

    He Inspired me to make a career in the military and so i did , 29 yrs . I retired in March of 2018 in the army reserves .i can remember few amusing times that all of us had and I will never forget there is way to many to list .I will never forget him Rip Ron we will miss u
    Phone would run out of memory .

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