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David E. Grupe

David Edwin Grupe, 73, of Smithton, passed away Monday, July 12, 2021, at Boone Hospital Center.

He was born January 14, 1948, in Sedalia, son of Elroy Emil and Dorothy Jean (Meyer) Grupe.

On August 30th, 1969, he married the love of his life Sharon Kay Rayl.

David was a 1966 graduate of Smithton School, where he was senior class president. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education from Central Missouri State University.

In high school, he played every sport they offered and he earned a 1-rating at the State Competition in both vocals and trumpet. He started college as a music major and played in the marching band. He also played baseball in college and was a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity.

His first teaching job was at Stover High School in 1971, where he was head baseball coach and assistant basketball coach. In 1973, he moved to Silex, where he coached baseball, basketball, track and was athletic director. Then he moved to Steelville in 1976, where he coached basketball, baseball, track and cross country.

He returned to Sedalia in 1977 and worked for two years at Town and Country Motors. In 1980, he and his brother Danny opened Town and County Insurance. While working in the insurance industry David picked up his whistle again and returned to his alma mater to proudly coach the Smithton Tigers Basketball Team from 1995-1997 before retiring from coaching altogether. He finally retired from the Insurance Agency January 1, 2013 and now his sons continue the family business.

David had an entrepreneurial hand in many things. What started out as a small fireworks stand at age 12, turned into multiple stands around the area known as “Big G’s.” He and Sharon also operated a pumpkin tent, “Prairie Queen Pumpkins” for fifteen years with one of their greatest joys being able to share their pumpkins with many preschool classes that would come visit.

David enjoyed fishing, hunting and anything to do with sports. He particularly loved his annual fishing trips to Canada that he shared with his sons, grandsons and close friends. He regularly shared fishing tips and life lessons during these trips. These lessons and stories will always be remembered. He became known as Papa G to many of his son’s college friends, who have countless stories to tell from Deer Camp for years to come.

David coached Little League Baseball for many years and proudly supported the young athletes in Sedalia and the Kaysinger Conference. He was an avid collector of baseball cards and sports memorabilia.

He was a member of Smithton United Methodist Church, proud member & past Exalted Ruler of Sedalia Elks Lodge BPOE #125 and member of Sedalia Rotary Club, Sedalia Chorale, Sedalia Barbershop Singers and Smithton Jaycees.

Surviving are his wife, Sharon, of the home; two sons, Brad Grupe (Sarah), of Sedalia, and Aaron Grupe (Hillary), of Fenton; five grandchildren, Blake, Brett, Lauren, Alexandra and Max Owen; and a brother, Danny Grupe, of Sedalia.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, July 17, 2021, at First United Methodist Church on Thompson Boulevard, with Rev. Randy Schilb officiating.

The family will receive friends from 1:30 p.m. until service time Saturday at the church.

Honorary bearers will be Mike George, Tony Monsees, Gary Nelson, Eddie Bryant, Gary Parrett, Mick Selken, Phil Selken, Bob Leftwich, Cletus Tagtmeyer, Jim Sparks, Mark Haney, Billy Dorris & DJ Trump.

A private burial will be in Smithton Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to Sedalia Parks Dept -Liberty Park Stadium Foundation.

Arrangements are in the care of Heckart Funeral Home.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David E. Grupe, please visit our flower store.


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