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James Dominic Grode

Butler, SD

1935, 1793, Pine Creek (Keystone), SP-1 Member

James and Bobbie Grode
1917 - 2013 1925 - 2013

James and Bobbie: A True Love Story
James Dominic Grode was born in Bristol, South Dakota on May 13, 1917 to Peter F. Grode and Barbara (Bierschbach) Grode. He was raised on the family farm. He graduated from Bristol High School in 1936, spent time in the Civilian Conservation Corps where his unit built the pigtail bridges on the Iron Mountain Highway in the Black Hills and graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1940 with degrees in electrical and mechanical engineering. He spent WWII in San Diego working on various Navy weapons projects. He spoke most proudly of being involved in correcting the flaws in our early war torpedoes that tended to bounce off Japanese ships rather than detonate.

Pigtail Bridge - Iron Mountain RoadPigtail Bridge - Courtesy Photo

After the war, he was active in the Catholic Youth Group at St. Phillips Parish in Pasadena, CA where he met and married Barbara Ann "Bobbie" (Halsted) Grode. He started his professional career in 1946 as a Design/ Project Engineer with the Aerojet General Corp. in Azusa and Covina, CA and was the Chief Design Engineer for the launching platforms for the Saturn and Mercury space programs. He retired as the manager of the Space Program in 1971.

Bobbie was born October 2, 1925 in Pasadena California to Roy Bouton Halsted and Mary Isadore (Glennon) Halsted. She graduated from high school in Pasadena in 1943. After graduation she received an associate in Business from Pasadena City College. She was a secretary at Pasadena City Hall until she married her love James Dominic Grode. They wed on January 8, 1949. Together they raised seven children whom they instilled the values of work ethic, strong religious roots, and what it means to be a family bonded for life. Bobbie was a homemaker and made a point to make everyday special. She was especially fond of the holidays and passed on traditions that will never be forgotten. The family home was in Arcadia, CA and the family parish was Holy Angels of Arcadia.

James and Bobbie's greatest love was their family, where weekends were spent grilling out and evenings always involved playing board games in front of a roaring fire. Grode parties were a weekly event. The family enjoyed many wonderful camping trips all over the Western United States. The couple loved to dance. Some of the greatest memories were of the two of them getting dressed up and going out dancing. After the children were out of the home they enjoyed cruises each year and traveling in their RV together. James enjoyed gardening, baseball, bowling, hiking, camping, cribbage, card games and golf; and was a lifelong member of the Knights of Columbus. Bobbie enjoyed her canasta group, Dodger games, camping, playing games and the ocean. She was an active part of the Altar Society. But most of all they loved each other.

James and Bobbie were married for 64 wonderful years passing on a legacy for their children and grandchildren to follow. On the morning of April 1st Bobbie fell ill and quickly passed in her sleep. 8 hours later James died of a broken heart joining his wife. Truly showing that love has no limits. One last lesson from mom and dad.

James and Bobbie are survived by their children; Bill (Jean), Pat, Sally(Mike Gerhard), Katie, Mary Ellen, Ann, and Steve Basha; James' brothers Fred, Walt, Ralph, Ray and sister Lillian; Bobbies' sister Jane, 15 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren and were preceded in death by their parents, their daughter Susie (Steve Basha) and James' brother Norbert, and Bobbies' sisters Louise, Kitty, Rita, and Fran.

Funeral Services will be under the direction of Bowman Funeral Home and will be held at Our Lady of the Rosary, 1500 E. Wright St, Boise ID. 83706. Saturday April 6th at 11:00 am. Reception following. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Ladies of Our Lady of the Rosary. Condolences may be made at

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