Zoe Lorraine (Chord) Grotzke entered the gardens of Heaven on Saturday, August 16, 2014, after serving her Savior Jesus Christ for most of her 93 years. At the time of her death she was residing at the Bee Hive Homes in Missoula, Montana.
Zoe was born April 22, 1921, by White Owl, South Dakota, to Roy and Edith Chord. She was the second of twelve children. Zoe graduated from Rapid City High School (1939) and Black Hills Teachers College (1942). After graduation, she joined the war effort and traveled to Los Angeles, California, to work at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, putting a rubberized coating on airplane tanks. She returned to South Dakota a year later to marry Robert Grotzke on May 2, 1943, and they established a ranch at Enning, South Dakota.
In 1956, God called the Grotzkes into full time ministry so Zoe packed up their children and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota so Bob could attend Northwestern Bible College. Robert Grotzke served as Pastor in Meeteetse, Wyoming, for 5 years and Sheridan, Montana, for 45 years.
As a pastor’s wife, Zoe considered it a privilege to serve beside her husband. She became known for her hospitality and her rhubarb pies. Every place she lived she planted a large vegetable garden and grew beautiful flowers.
Zoe was blessed with nine children, three sons and six daughters. One daughter died in infancy. She also took care of several foster children and started a private kindergarten.
In December, 2008, when Bob’s health started to deteriorate, Bob and Zoe moved to the Bee Hive Homes, an assisted living facility in Missoula, Montana. At the Bee Hive, Zoe’s two loves were working in the raised garden built for her and telling people about her Lord Jesus. She could be seen almost daily going to the five homes in the complex with her Bible to conduct Bible studies with the other residents. She also spent much time studying her Bible and praying for over a hundred names on her prayer list.
In the last few weeks of her life on earth, she encouraged family and visitors that it wouldn’t be long before she would see Jesus and her beloved husband Bob. She also encouraged them to take some ripe produce from her garden.
Zoe was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years Robert, sons-in-law Jan Schroeder and Phil Neuenschwander, and infant daughter Kathleen.
Zoe is survived by son Dean Grotzke (Marilyn), daughter Darla Neuenshwander, daughter Angie Heilig (Glen), son Vernon Grotzke (Ronnell), son David Grotzke (Cindy), daughter Judy Bies (Glenn), daughter Roxanne Prins (Mark), and daughter Rhonda Hunsucker. Bob and Zoe have 28 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. Zoe was a great inspiration and example to all who knew her.
Interment and a graveside memorial was held August 22 at the cemetery in Sheridan, Montana.