Alan Edward Grunewald

December 4, 1926August 2, 2018

Alan Edward Grunewald passed away peacefully at home, on August 2, in his 92nd year. He was born in Milwaukee in 1926, the only child of Adolph Eduard and Dora (Koechly) Grunewald. Both his parents were born in Germany and Alan spoke German at home as a first language. When he was old enough, Alan served 18 months active duty in the Army Air Corps, as a gunner (1945-46), but did not serve overseas because the war ended before he was fully trained. The handsome guy in the airman’s jacket did catch the eye of his future wife Phyllis at a dance at the Milwaukee Teacher’s College, and they were married in 1949. That same year, Alan graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee with a bachelor’s degree in Education with minors in Economics and Sociology. In 1949, Alan also started a PhD program in Economics and Finance at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, which he completed in 1955. Along the way, in 1953, he earned an M.B.A. In 1954, while finishing his thesis work, he was recruited by John Hannah, and began his long and distinguished career as a professor of Finance and Banking at Michigan State University, from which he retired in 2010, serving an additional year as Professor Emeritus. During his time at MSU, he authored, co-authored or contributed to 12 books and instructor manuals, and more than 60 articles in English and German, for publications in both countries, and he also served directorships on the boards of 4 local and regional banks in Michigan and Chicago. Because of his fluency in German, he was recruited to serve a visiting professorship at the Technische Universität in Berlin in 1957-59 (where the family lived in a suburb aptly called “the Grunewald”). Later (1961-1964), the family lived in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where Alan helped former MSU graduate students set up a graduate level banking program at the Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul. In later years he returned yearly to Berlin to teach at the “Summer Academy” at the University of Potsdam from 2004-2008. Alan’s passion was for learning new things and “always moving forward”. This included his enthusiasm for the field of Banking as well as his leisure pursuits. When he was younger, he enjoyed pheasant hunting with his beloved German Shorthairs, first Taj and then Til. He explored the Boundary Waters on the Canadian border with his boys and Phyllis in his cherished “blue canoe”, purchased in upstate New York while on his honeymoon with Phyllis. In the 1980s, when Alan was in his 60s, he worked for and obtained the flying certification he had aspired to since his Air Force days, and he took great joy in flying. He was a member of the Olds Forge Flyers based at the Lansing Airport. He continued his language studies in German and Russian and added a bit of French as well. He and Phyllis traveled all over Europe and Asia. He was an avid amateur radio operator. He also took great pleasure in his beautiful vacation home on Long Lake near Traverse City, and followed the careers of his granddaughters with interest. Alan was predeceased by his parents and his wife, Phyllis Schubert Grunewald, and leaves to remember him two sons: Karl (Barbara) and Steve (Layne); four granddaughters: Kristin (Aaron), Kathryn, Katelyn (Andrew) and Jaime (Brendan); two great granddaughters: Kennedi Rose and Mackenzie; and a second cousin in Berlin, Sybille, with whom the family has visited on numerous occasions. He and Phyllis had many friends and acquaintances in East Lansing, Traverse City, Germany and Brazil. Several caregivers in East Lansing will remember him fondly as well. Funeral arrangements will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Grace Hospice, the Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of your choice.


Alan Edward Grunewald

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Vanessa Morrison

August 28, 2018

Dear Family and Friends of Alan Grunewald:
Thank you for the privilege and honor of being part of his life and care. He touched our lives in a very special way and brought a smile to our faces with each encounter we had with him.
Alan will be missed and fondly remembered.
Blessings to you,
Vanessa Morrison- Grace Hospice Branch Director

Janine McGill

August 27, 2018

I was privileged, as Alan's Grace Hospice Chaplain, to be a part of his end-of-life care.
His wit, humor, and intelligence we evident. He was a many of varied and many accomplishments in life. Prayers were present in his life, and will continue for his family. Blessings.