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Lois M Grua

1917 - 2014, Santa Barbara

Longtime Santa Barbara resident Lois M. Grua, 97, passed away on August 6th, 2014.

Lois Marguerite Klein was born on April 5th, 1917 in Alden, Iowa to Carl W. and Wilhelmina (Brauer) Klein. Lois was educated in the Alden area and graduated from high school in Iowa Falls, Iowa in 1934. She attended Ellsworth College where she obtained a teaching certificate and met her future husband, Dean Waterman Grua. Lois taught in a one-room country school in Hardin Township, then elementary school in Alden, Iowa before becoming engaged to Dean and moving with him to California.

Dean and Lois were married in Las Vegas, Nevada, November 27th, 1941. Dean joined the Navy in Los Angeles, California, and Lois traveled with him to various duty stations throughout the United States. In January 1944, their son, Michael Dean Grua, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana where Dean was training on PT Boats. After the war, Lois, Dean, and Michael returned to the Los Angeles where their daughter Jill Marguerite Grua was born in March of 1949.

In 1955, Dean and Lois moved their family to Santa Barbara, California. Lois was the director of the Jack and Jill Pre-School, taught pre-school children at Alpha School, tutored for Cold Spring Elementary School, and was the co-founder of the Cynthia Ann Morrow Student Drop-In Center at The First United Methodist Church, where she also taught Sunday School. She volunteered as a member of Family Services Agency, and CALM and was enthusiastically involved with her children and grandchildren’s lives.

She was predeceased by her parents, her husband, and her brother Willard C. Klein, of Ollie, Iowa.
Lois is survived by her son Michael D. Grua (Mary Jane Nelson) and their children, Cole McKussic, Luke Nelson-Grua, and Raine Nelson-Grua, and by her daughter, Jill M. Espinoza (Oscar), and their children, Michael Espinoza (Elizabeth) and Kristin Espinoza-Brack (Anthony), as well as by two great grandchildren, Andrew and Zachary Espinoza.

Lois is also survived by her sister, Ruth Johnson, of Marshalltown, Iowa, her sister-in-law, Yvonne Klein of Fairfield, Iowa, and her beloved nieces and nephews.

Private family graveside services will be held at the Santa Barbara Cemetery. For further information contact McDermott-Crockett Mortuary at (805) 569-2424. In Lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Alpha School or the Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care Association of Santa Barbara, California.

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