Cover photo for Francis A. "Fran" Gruba's Obituary
Francis A. "Fran" Gruba Profile Photo

Francis A. "Fran" Gruba

June 19, 1948 — November 27, 2023

Central City

Francis A. "Fran" Gruba

Fran Gruba was born June 19, 1948, in Webster, South Dakota, to Frank and Helen (Pekron) Gruba. He died November 27, 2023, at The Oaks, a nursing facility in Central City, Nebraska, at the age of 75. He was the sixth of nine children. He grew up on a beef and dairy farm near Lake Pickerel in South Dakota. He graduated from Roslyn High School in 1966 and from South Dakota State University in 1971. Though his degree was in animal science, he did different jobs throughout his life. He worked at Big G, Hastings Pork, Good Samaritan Society, K-Mart, and the YMCA.


Fran married Kathy L. (Glantz) Gruba on June 15, 1980. They have one daughter, Ashley. Fran was excited when he learned he would become a father. He enjoyed coaching her elementary school basketball teams. He attended all of her dance recitals and marching band events.


Fran volunteered at various places: Heartland Pet Connection, Hastings Public Library, Hastings Food Pantry, Hastings Community Theatre, and the Red Cross blood mobile. He served on various boards at his church as well as assisting with the sound system. He enjoyed attending concerts and theatre productions. He was a regular patron of the library. He took many photographs. He gardened and canned produce. He made the best cardamom dinner rolls ever. He tried to be open-minded, non-judgmental, and accepting of all persons.


Fran was a spectator at a road rally in downtown Hastings in August 2002 when a car jumped the curb. He was one of thirteen people injured and lost a leg as a result of that accident. He had struggled with depression and anxiety for many years; losing his leg made things more difficult. He eventually lost interest in things he formerly enjoyed—his family asks that people remember him from better times and show kindness to those among us who also suffer from depression and anxiety.


He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Helen Gruba; his sister and brother-in-law, Janis and Galen Martenson; and sister-in-law Lucinda (Glantz) Miller. He is survived by his wife, Kathy and daughter, Ashley. He is survived by brothers and brother-in-law, Norbert (Helen) Gruba, James (Shirley Reierson) Gruba, Kenneth Gruba, and Eric (Peggy) Miller. He is survived by sisters, Joanne (Robert) Meland, Lucille (Garry) Smith, Maxine (Henry) German, and Diane (Clay Barton) Gruba. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.


Services will be held on December 12, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., at First Congregational United Church of Christ, at Seventh Street and Marian Road. A book signing, with family present, will be Monday, December 11, 2023, from 4:00-7:00 p.m., at Livingston Butler Volland Funeral Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Francis A. "Fran" Gruba, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Book Signing

Monday, December 11, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Livingston Butler Volland Funeral Home & Cremation Center

1225 N. Elm Street, Hastings, NE 68901

The family will be present.

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Memorial Service

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

First Congregational United Church of Christ

2810 W 7th St, Hastings, NE 68901


Click to watch

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