BOWLING GREEN - Dale Grolle, a former Middleton Township trustee and member of the Otsego board of education, died of a heart attack yesterday in Wood County Hospital here. He was 74.
A lifelong farmer, he began his involvement with Middleton Township by driving snowplows in the winter.
“One winter, when my dad wasn't farming, they needed snow plowers. He could drive a truck, so he signed up,” said John Grolle, Mr. Grolle's son. “He did that as far back as I can remember.”
In 1990, after many years of loyal service, the Middleton Township trustees called upon Mr. Grolle.
“When one of the trustees passed on, they appointed my dad,” said Sandra Peinert, Mr. Grolle's daughter. “He said it was time to do something for the township, so he accepted. Then he ran in the next election, and won the seat.”
During his time as a trustee, Mr. Grolle saw one of his major undertakings come to fruition, successfully establishing a centralized EMS station for the township.
“They secured the property, and got Dunbridge and Haskins townships to merge their EMS services into a new, central headquarters that they had built,” Ms. Peinert said.
He was a trustee from 1990 until 1996, when he stepped down for health reasons.
He served on the Otsego board of education from 1963 until 1969.
Mr. Grolle served in the Wood County Cattlemen's Association, and as a deacon and church council member at Zoar Lutheran Church, though he recently began attending Christ Lutheran Church.
Mr. Grolle was born and raised in Perrysburg, graduating from Perrysburg High School in 1944, soon thereafter enlisting in the Army.
He served in Alaska from 1945 until 1946, returning afterward to northwest Ohio to man the family farm, a tradition that started with his grandfather.
“They've been farming out there since I don't know when,” John Grolle said.
Mr. Grolle primarily raised corn, beans, and wheat, in addition to more than 100 cattle annually.
Mr. Grolle met his wife, the former Jane Sundermeier, at a dance. They married in 1950, and raised five children.
“Being a farmer, he knew the value of hard work,” said his son. “He was the person who taught [his children] how to work hard, and he rewarded us for that work.”
Getting involved came naturally to Mr. Grolle.
“He was just always into something in the community,” Ms. Peinert said. “He was a people person. It's just who he was.”
Surviving are his wife, Jane; sons, John, Mark, and David; daughters, Sandra Peinert and Karen Podolak; mother, Myrtle Grolle; brother, Robert; sister, Joyce Rider, and 10 grandchildren.
Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in Christ Lutheran Church. The body will be in the Peinert Funeral Home, Tontogany, after 2 p.m. tomorrow.
The family requests tributes to a charity of the donor's choice.