Paul Grass, 87, Owatonna

Published 9:08am Friday, May 10, 2013

Mass of Christian burial for Paul Grass will be Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Owatonna with a reception in Joseph Hall following the service. Interment will take place at Sacred Heart Cemetery with military honors provided by the Steele County Funeral Unit. Friends may greet the family from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Brick-Meger Funeral Home, 1603 Austin Road in Owatonna and one hour before the time of services at the church on Saturday. A parish rosary will be recited at 3:45 p.m. at the funeral home on Friday.

Paul Grass
Paul Grass

Paul Grass died on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at the age of 87. Paul was born in Owatonna on July 23, 1925, to Albert and Freda (Lussenhop) Grass. He attended St. Mary’s School through eighth grade and then transferred to Owatonna High School. After graduation he worked on his parents’ farm until he enlisted in the Army. He served in Okinawa where, during his free time, he was fortunate enough to play fast-pitch softball on an all-star team that went on to the Philippine Islands to compete in the All-Service Tournament. He was discharged in 1947 and returned to Owatonna, where he was united in marriage with Shirley Ochs on Sept. 29, 1951, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. He was employed by Shellane Bottle Gas, which later became Great Plains Gas and where he worked the rest of his career. He retired in 1989.

Upon his return to Owatonna, Paul was signed by the Owatonna Aces, the local baseball team for whom he played center field and catcher. He played in 12 state tournaments. Later, he coached softball and was adored as coach of the OMC Mustangs junior girls’ softball team. He led them to several state tournaments and two state championships. One of the highlights that resulted from his ball playing days was his induction into the Softball Hall of Fame in 1988. In 2000, Paul reached another shining moment when he was invited to compete in the Men’s Senior Softball World Championship Tournament held in Winnipeg, Canada. Paul was also a great bowler and in 2006 he was inducted into the Owatonna Bowling Hall of Fame.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Freda; his brothers, Eugene, Earl and Richard; and sister, Louanne Boeke. He is survived by his loving wife, Shirley; and children, Tom (Evelyn) Grass of Dove Canyon, Calif., Ron (Cindy) Grass of Eden Prairie, Nancy Jech of Owatonna, Sharon (Randy) Mott of Maplewood and Mike (Darlis) Grass of Burnsville; as well as seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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