Larry  Gruel

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Larry Gruel On November 12th, 2022, Larry H. Gruel went home to Heaven. Born October 25, 1945, to loving parents (William) Howard and Phyllis (Moen) Gruel, Larry was raised on a wheat and barley farm just south of Portage, Montana. He attended eight years of elementary education in a one-room country school with his younger siblings Donna, Helen, and Jim. He was an Eagle Scout and a graduate of the Great Falls High Class of 1963, and earned a degree in Civil Engineering from Montana State University. Larry served five years as an instructor at the Naval Nuclear Power School at Mare Island, California, and ultimately retired as a Commander in the US Navy Reserves. While in California, Larry met Noel F. Welborn on a blind date and they were married in 1970. They had two daughters, Susan and Amy. After returning to MSU to earn a graduate degree, Larry accepted a job with the Montana Power Company in Butte, planning and coordinating operations of the company's hydroelectric dams, reservoirs, and thermal generation plants. He worked there for over 20 years, then transferred to PPL for a time before retiring at age 60. One of the highlights of Larry and his family's years in Butte was lovingly updating and maintaining one of Butte's 1890's historic homes. In 2011, Larry and Noel moved to Bozeman to be closer to daughter Amy. Over the years, they helped to support the Butte and Bozeman Food Banks and several other charities. Larry was an active church member, served as an ordained Southern Baptist Deacon, and was Chairman of the Butte School Board for a time. He proved a skilled painter and handyman who helped many a neighbor and maintained close friendships that spanned decades. Larry lived a life of devotion and integrity, and tried to always do what was right and good. He loved western movies and hunting, but he loved his family more than anything else on earth. In late 2019, Larry was diagnosed with aggressive metastatic prostate cancer. He was very grateful to the staff of the Bozeman Cancer Center for their care during his treatment. Larry is survived by his wife of 52 years, Noel, daughters Susan (Geoffrey) Coram and Amy Gruel, granddaughters Megan and Joanna Coram, sister Helen (Mike) Kaczmarek, brother Jim (Debby) Gruel, brothers-in-law Tom Tarantino and Harvey Williams, cousins Betty Metz and Bill Moen, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and -nephews, and one great grandnephew. He was preceded in death by his sister Donna (Gruel) Tarantino and sister-in-law Donna Welborn Williams. Per Larry's wishes, there was no funeral service and he was buried at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman. When making notes for this piece, Larry wrote, "Praise God, it has been a wonderful life." Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com


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