Ernest LeRoy Grinder

Ernest LeRoy Grinder

MOUNT HOREB-Ernest LeRoy Grinder, age 93, of Mount Horeb, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019, at Ingleside Communities. He was born on Oct. 15, 1926, in the Town of Perry, Wis., the son of Helmer and Olga (Oimoen) Grinder.

Ernest graduated from Mt. Horeb High School in 1945. He married Marion Jean Roach in September 1949 at Grace Lutheran Church in Dodgeville, Wis.

From a very young age, Ernest (Ernie) demonstrated a keen interest and talent for creative gadgetry. He was always making some kind of a “rig” to ride on making it out of most anything. He understood the inner workings of many things and could fix just about anything. As a farmer, these skills frequently came in handy. He farmed until the age of 45, and then worked for the Dane County Parks Department as a “caretaker” until his retirement in 1996. Ernie put his heart and soul into his work and passionately kept up the parks to a high standard of excellence. He especially loved mowing and not only mowed all the grass for the parks but took care of the yard at home and at Steven’s farm. Spending time outdoors was Ernie’s greatest enjoyment.

He had a shop in Daleyville that people would stop in with things for him to fix. Ernie was always ready for the challenge and he looked forward to the visits he engaged in with his customers, too.

Ernest loved people and he loved to visit and tell stories. A great American storyteller, he had a knack for telling a story that captivated his listeners. Ernie enjoyed family gatherings and his morning coffee “clutch” in Mount Horeb. He outlived many of the restaurants and so had to move locations as it became necessary.

He followed the Packers and Badgers and was a proud member of the NRA and the Mount Horeb Rifle Club. In his later years, he played dartball at the Senior Center in Mount Horeb.

Ernie’s love for cats was above and beyond. He took in stray cats and took care of so many cats during his lifetime, he had to double up on cat names. Tina was his favorite and preceded Ernie in death by only a couple of months. When he wasn’t in the barn and spending time with his beloved cats in his cat shed, he was spending time with his biggest joy; his family. Blessed be his memory!

Ernest is survived by son, Steven Grinder; daughter, Susan Grinder; grandchildren, Gregory Grinder, Jamie (Colin Bethke) Grinder and Sarah (Matt) Sarbacker; great-grandchildren, Brett Grinder, Charles, Andrew and Adelyn Sarbacker and Blaine Bethke; and sister, Arlene Stark. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marion; his parents; two brothers, Albert Grender and Ralph Grinder; and sister, Ethel Skalet.

A special thanks to all of the wonderful staff at Ingleside Communities during his stay, Fresenius Kidney Clinic and the UW Kidney Clinic for the excellent care and compassion given to Ernie over the 10 years.

A funeral service will be held at PERRY LUTHERAN CHURCH, 1057 WI-78 Trunk, Mount Horeb, at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, with the Rev. Nicole Espe presiding. Burial will be held at Perry Lutheran Church Cemetery. Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON CAMACHO FUNERAL & CREAMTION CARE, 500 N. Eighth St., Mount Horeb, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, and also at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the family of Ernest to be designated at a later date. Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson Camacho Mount Horeb
Funeral & Cremation Care
500 N. Eighth Street
(608) 437-5077