Ivan Eugene Grein, age 88, of Brighton, Colorado, entered Eternal Life on January 4, 2020.
Ivan was born in Oswego, Kansas, the eldest of five children, on November 29, 1931, to John and Minnie (Delventhal) Grein. The son of farmers, the family eventually settled in Brighton, Colorado, and Ivan attended Zion Lutheran Church and Grade School – whose grandfather was a founding member. He was confirmed in the Lutheran Church in March of 1945 and graduated Brighton High School in 1949.
Ivan entered the United States Army in March 1951 and was primarily stationed in Alaska at the Arctic Test Branch. During his service, he tested cameras that pioneered present day satellite cameras, evaluated military helicopters, and was responsible for taking numerous classified photographs for government intel. He was honorably discharged in 1954.
Returning home to Brighton, Ivan married Joan Gettel on June 19, 1955, at Zion Lutheran Church. They started and raised their own family on the same piece of property Joan was born on, which laid the path for Ivan’s numerous agriculture related accomplishments and successes. Together, they operated a Centennial Farm (1892-1992), which included bringing agriculture into the classroom in various ways. Ivan was always most excited when school children were able to tour the working farm itself, known as the Head-Acres Dairy farm. The education provided to Colorado children on the innerworkings of the farm, earned Ivan the Service to Agriculture Award in 1999. Their farm also served as a test farm for numerous dairy products and computer companies related to advancing dairy farm technology. Ivan also assisted in designing the agriculture influenced Colorado license plate known as “Agriculture…Growing Your Future.”
Additionally, Ivan served on the Farm Bureau Board of Directors from 1990-2000; was inducted into the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1998; and was recognized in 2012 for three decades of service by the Brighton Lateral Ditch Company, after serving on the Board of Directors and as President. Ivan continued to be a member of and serve at Zion Lutheran Church and School holding several offices.
In “retirement,” Ivan remained passionate towards his love for photography, enjoyed hosting family gatherings, alongside Joan, especially Christmas and Fourth of July festivities, and traveled with the grandkids. He also cruised with Joan and his sons and recently revisited Alaska - a destination that illuminated his face just talking about the adventure. In the past couple of decades, Ivan took to tinkering so, that he built each of his great granddaughters their own dollhouse, complete with individually glued shingles, window trim, and front porches. He also became enthralled with remote controlled airplanes, building each from a box of pieces into a working plane and even installed a landing strip at the farm, where he and other enthusiasts would have a place to gather and fly together.
Ivan was welcomed with open arms by those who preceded him in death, including his loving wife of 57 years, Joan Grein; toddler son, Greg Grein; grandson, Joseph Grein; and great granddaughter, Kaylen Foster.
Ivan is survived by his sons: Kevin (Linda) Grein, Douglas Grein, and Walter Grein, all of Brighton; grandchildren and their families: the late Joseph (Susan (Ty Hodge) Grein) and their children, Jacob Grein and Jordan Hodge; Sara (Aaron) Henry and their children, Serenity, Madilyn, and Christopher Henry; Mysti Grein and her children, Raven and Zachary Foster; Steven (Stephanie) Grein and their children, Alexander, Avery, and Nora Grein; Cody (Nicole) Grein and their children, Danica and Liam Grein; and Alana (Christopher Gurule) and their children, Alex Gurule and Samantha Gurule; and Andrew, Rachel, and Mark Parrott; siblings and their families: Velma Hudson, Mary Burkhardt, Fred Grein, and Lucille Wagner; and a host of nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends and family during visitation on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., at Tabor Funeral Home, 75 South 13th Avenue, in Brighton, Colorado. Memorial Services honoring Ivan will be Thursday, January 9, 2020, beginning at 11:00 a.m., at Zion Lutheran Church, 1400 Skeel Street, in Brighton, Colorado 80601. Ivan will be laid to rest with Joan in a private ceremony at Elmwood Cemetery, in Brighton.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Ivan’s name are suggested to either of the following organizations:
Front Range Hospice & Palliative Care, 3770 Puritan Way, Unit #E, Frederick, Colorado 80516
Zion Lutheran School Tuition Assistance Fund, 1400 Skeel Street, Brighton, Colorado 80601
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