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Dr. David's Story

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David William Grande, aka Dave, Doc, Dad, and Bestefar (Norwegian for grandfather), lived an exuberant 81 years. He was born in Virginia, Minnesota on July 23, 1935. His father, Arnold, owned and operated Grande Hardware and his mother, Lulu, a former nurse, was a homemaker. David was an only child, and a self-described mischievous kid, who played hooky from Sunday school and made firecrackers in his parents' basement. Eventually, he channeled his energy and smarts into more productive endeavors. His dad taught him how to play marbles, and David got so good he competed in a state championship tournament in Albert Lea, MN. As a teenager, he built his own telescope and a motorcycle from scrap parts. He also became committed to his Christian faith, inspired by reading C.S. Lewis.
At age 13, David was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was first treated with a strict diet alone, but after losing too much weight, he began an insulin regimen. He took good care of himself and lived longer and healthier than ever expected.
David graduated from Virginia High School and attended Virginia Junior College. He then transferred to Saint Olaf College, where he majored in chemistry, a passion he intended to get a doctorate in. After a year in graduate school, he realized he was more of a people person than a lab rat and switched to medicine. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1962. He completed his internship at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul and one year of internal medicine at George Washington University in Washington, D.C..
During his residency back at the University of Minnesota, his professional (and personal) life began to really take shape. He chose dermatology as his specialty and met a beautiful nurse from Albert Lea, Gayle Gunderson. She was the oldest of seven kids and David loved being part of a big family.
David and Gayle married in 1966, and soon after settled in Mankato, where he started his dermatology practice. They raised two children, Lauryl and Marc.
David was a member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Dermatology, and Christ the King Lutheran Church. He served on the church council and sang in the choir for 50 years. He was one of those people who tended to be good at everything he tried. David loved sailing, astronomy, cats, baking French bread, cross-country skiing, subwoofers, and attending the symphony. He abhorred public speaking and using a cell phone.
David is preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Lulu Grande, and several aunts and uncles. He is survived by his wife, Gayle Grande (nee Gunderson), daughter, Lauryl, son, Marc, daughter in-law, Tina (née Olson), grandchildren Grace, Claire, Jack, Noah, Seth, and Luke, great-grandson Kieran, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of the life of Dr. David Grande will take place at 2:00pm, Saturday, March 4, at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Mankato. Visitation will be held from 12-1:45pm. In lieu of flowers, our family requests memorial gifts be sent to one of the following: Diabetes Research Institute, www.diabetesresearch.org; the music department of Christ the King Lutheran Church, Mankato, www.ctkmankato.org, or Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, http://www.lssmn.org. Or simply do something kind for someone in Dr. Grande's name.
Please share a memory of David with his family online at www.mankatomortuary.com.
Published on February 28, 2017
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