Senator Rodney Rod Dwight Grams, 65, of Crown passed away on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at his home with his wife Christine by his side
Rod was born on February 4, 1948, in Princeton, Minnesota, the son of Audrey (Sandey) and Morgan Grams. Rod was baptized and confirmed his faith at Zion Lutheran Church in Crown. He grew up on a dairy farm near Crown and graduated from St. Francis High School in the class of 1966. He attended Brown Institute, 1966-68, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, 1970-72, and Carroll College, 1974-75.
Rod had a career as a television news anchor and producer that took him to KFBB-TV in Great Falls MT, WSAU-TV in Wausau WI, WIFR-TV in Rockford IL, which culminated with the position of senior news anchor for KMSP-TV in the Twin Cities, 1982 to 1991. In addition, he served as president and CEO of Sun Ridge Builders, a Twin Cities construction and residential development company that he established in 1985. In 1992, he was elected to represent Minnesotas Sixth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served one term (1993-95) before being elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served one term (1995-2001). Subsequently, he went back into the private sector and in 2004 bought three radio stations in Little Falls MN and re-kindled his broadcasting career.
Rod was preceded in death by his father Morgan, brother Gary, and grandson Blake. Surviving are his wife, Christine Grams of Crown; daughters, Michelle (Greg) Bauer of Ramsey, Tammy (John) Roberts of Big Lake, Rhiannon (Keith) Kiffmeyer of Zimmerman; son, Morgan Grams of Ramsey; mother, Audrey Grams of Crown; eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter; two step grandchildren, sisters, Linda Jones of Cambridge, Pam (Bill) Goodrich of Champlin, Lana (Assad) Awaijane of Fridley, Sheila Decker of Andover, Patty Nichols of Sartell, Barb (Tom) Vogtlin of Crown; brother, Greg (Cheryl) Grams of Isanti; half-brother Michael (Lyubov) Grams of Osseo, half-sister Andrea (John) Craft of St. Michael; former wife Laurel Grams of Ramsey, and numerous relatives, colleagues, and friends.
Funeral Services were held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at the Zion Lutheran Church of Crown with Rev. Jacob Dandy, Rev. Dennis Heiden and Rev. Richard Kunst officiating. Vocalists were Emma, Maggie and Claudia Rose Gunhus. Pianist was Penny Hammer. Bagpiper was Kent Kaiser. Pallbearers were Daryl, Harry, and Danny Grams, Bill Goodrich, Tom Vogtlin and Assad Awaijane. Interment was in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery. Memorials are preferred to the Crown Christian Day School. Online condolences at www.carlsonlillemoen.com. Arrangements were with the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.