FORMER ROCHESTER MAYOR PAUL GRASSLE SR., 83, DIES
Paul Grassle Sr., 83, of 728 Second St. SW., longtime Rochester hotelman, civic leader, and former four term Mayor died Wednesday at Rochester Methodist Hospital. He had been a patient there for the last 2 weeks after suffering an apparent heart attack.
Mr. Grassle had been associated with the Carlton Hotel for 54 years from when it was built by his father in 1920 until it was sold in 1974.
Long active on the local political scene, Mr. Grassle served eight years as Mayor of the city from 1939 to 1947, when he then unsuccessfully sought a state Senate seat. He was president of the Rochester Park Board for 2 years and was a member of the city charter Commission for more than 20 years and a former president.
He served on the Griffinhagen Report review committee on city government in 1950 and was an advocate of consolidation of city and county government. "Why have two buildings to house them (two governments)?” he once asked in an interview.
A leader and member of various organizations. Mr. Grassle headed Rochester’s Centennial celebration in 1954. In 1968 he was honored for his community service and received the Unsung Hero Award from the Downtown Kiwanis Club of which he was a member.
He was particularly active in the Rochester Elks Lodge and the Masonic Lodge, and Shrine Club. He was a past exalted ruler and honorary life member of the Elks and had been a member of Masons for nearly 60 years. He was a member of the Royal Order of Jesters of the Shrine Club and also belonged to the Eagles and Rotary Clubs. He was a charter member of the Rochester Golf & Country Club.
Mr. Grassle’s father, Charles, built the Carlton Hotel and it opened in September of 1920. It was originally a 50 room facility but was later expanded to 100 rooms. Four generations of the family operated the hotel through the years and Paul Grassle was general manager for much of that time. It was sold in 1974. The present owners, Sadler Properties, acquired the facility in 1977.
Mr. Grassle was a former president of various local and state hotel groups and was a one time member of the board of directors of The American Hotel Association.
He was born May 5, 1896, in Rochester and married Evangline Lindstrom In September of 1917 in York, Neb.
She died July 14,1954. He married Gudrun Christenson on Feb 15, 1956 in Rochester, and she survives.
Survivors include two sons, Paul A. Grassle Jr. of Rochester and Wallace C. Grassle of Bend Oregon; 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; and a brother Carlton D. Grassle of Rochester.
The funeral is 11 am Saturday at Calvary Episcopal Church with the Rev Samuel Cook officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery.
Friends may call at the Ranfranz Funeral Home Friday from 7 pm to 9 pm. There will be no reviewal at the church.
The family prefers memorials to Calvary Episcopal Church.