SHAWNEE, Kansas - Gerry and Mary Ellen Grovenburg seemed inseparable. They were married for 38 years. They were business partners for 35 years. Marry credits his constant smile, caring soul and dynamic passion to reach goals.
“All the years I knew him, he was always working on a project on the side, something that he wanted to accomplish that was a goal,” Mary Ellen Grovenburg said. “His business was the one (goal) that ran through the whole 35 years.”
Gerry opened Mr. G’s Liquor to serve the area where he grew up. Despite nerve damage from a stroke seven years ago, Gerry only worked harder each passing year.
He recently learned Spanish so that he could chat with all of his customers.
“My dad just loved his business,” said Michael Grovenburg. “He just loved community and talking with anybody on any subject. He just formed bonds.”
“He kept working long beyond the time that I felt he should because he just loved his job so much,” Mary Ellen said. “He loved the store so much. He just kept working.”
He worked until last Wednesday night. That is when someone murdered Gerry. He was found behind the counter.
“It’s hard to understand and it’s hard to accept,” Michael Grovenburg said.
“We were going to be retiring in the next year,” Mary Ellen said. “That is what is especially sad that he did not live long enough to retire.”
Shawnee police and metro squad investigators do not have a suspect. They have a sketch of a person of interest. Detectives say the man may have been travelling with a woman in a red compact car.
“It’s a needle in a haystack and I’m sure they’re going to try very hard to find this needle in the haystack,” Mary Ellen said.
At this point, Gerry’s widow and son are not optimistic. However, like Gerry, they have a goal: to find peace no matter what happens.
Anyone with information about this crime should call the police TIPS hotline (816) 474-TIPS.
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