Peter Gruber, age 77, of Knoxville, passed away Friday evening, Aug. 10, 2012, at the Hospice Comfort House of Pella.
Peter was born June 4, 1935, in Djakowa, Yugoslavia, son of Peter and Josephine (Wolsberger) Gruber. Peter was educated in Yugoslavia and in 1955 at the age of 19 he moved to America. Peter became an American citizen at the age of 21.
On Sept. 25, 1956, in Knoxville, Peter and Mary Ann Systma were united in marriage. They were blessed with 56 years of marriage and four children; Danny, Dianne, Rosemary and Nancy.
Peter worked on a turkey farm, a brick kiln company, saw mill, and at Scheiebout Tires before starting with Vermeer Manufacturing in 1959. He was a machine lathe operator for Vermeer until his retirement in 1997.
Peter enjoyed life and stayed very active. He like fishing, hunting, arrowhead hunting, and gardening. He enjoyed spending time at the Coffee Connection and with his farmer’s market family of which he was active with for many years. He was a member of the Christ Church of Knoxville and he loved spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Peter is survived by his wife Mary Ann Gruber of Knoxville; their children: Danny Gruber of Knoxville, Dianne Holst and husband Gary of Oskaloosa, Rosemary Simmons and husband Richard of Gilbert, and Nancy Vander Veer and husband Joe of Knoxville; nine grandchildren: Kristopher and Tommy Watson, Cole, Kallie and Devin Simmons, Stephanie, Craig and Bennett Vander Veer. Peter is also survived by his brother Adam Gruber and his wife Diane of Kansas City, Mo.; and many loved nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his mother and fathers-in-law Danny and Lena Systma; two brothers Andrew and Stephan Gruber; and one sister Christina Istvan.
A funeral service was held Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, at the Winfield Funeral Home of Knoxville with Pastors Ethan Book and Vince Goemaat officiating. Burial will follow services at Asbury Cemetery of rural Knoxville.
A memorial has been established to the Hospice Comfort House of Pella. Condolences may be sent to www.winfieldfh.com.