In Memoriam - Orion L. Grunerud
Orion L Grunerud, known and respected for his many years of service to Idaho as an ITD construction engineer, passed away this week in Boise. He was honored last summer with completion of a recreational trail that connects forest campgrounds at Red Fish Lake. (Please see the Oct. 31, 2008, edition of the Transporter).
The ITD community extends its condolences to the Grunerud family at this time of loss.When Orion Grunerud retired from ITD as state construction engineer about three decades ago, he didn’t exactly leave the beaten path. He started designing it.
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From the Idaho Statesman
Orion L. Grunerud
Orion L Grunerud, 91, passed away on Wednesday, March 4, 2009 in Boise, Idaho. Orion was born in Broderick, Saskatchewan, Canada on June 10, 1917. He attended school in Bonners Ferry, at the University of Idaho, and Lewiston Normal School.
He was a grade school principal for three years at East Greenacres Elementary School before he joined the Navy during World War II. He continued serving in the Naval Reserve and reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander. In 1941, on Halloween, Orion eloped with Frances Aresvik of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
This year marks 68 years of marriage, and in that time they were blessed with four children; Karen, Allen, Kathy, and Brian. In 1946, Orion began working for the Idaho Department of Highways in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. He retired as State Construction Engineer in1980 after a 34-year tenure.
In that time he worked his way through the ranks, starting as a rodman, and continuing his career as Project Chief, Resident Engineer, District Engineer, and Assistant Construction Engineer. Orion was a Registered Professional Civil Engineer and drew the admiration and respect of his peers. In retirement, Orion and Fran served as Campground Hosts for twelve years at Redfish Lake. This was the ideal place for him to pursue his passion for painting, photography, fishing and enjoying time with friends and family.
His engineering background flourished again as he mapped out a handicap-accessible trail around Redfish Lake and surrounding areas. In 1996 his dreams of a trail came to fruition when the U.S. Forest Service adopted his plan and proceeded to create the trail. In a dedication ceremony held September of 1998 at Redfish Lake the USFS officially opened the 'Orion Trail' to the public.
Today a plaque highlighting his work can be found at the trailhead. Orion is survived by his wife Frances, daughter Karen Huber (John) of Coeur d'Alene, daughter Kathy Neves (Don) of Pocatello, sons Allen Grunerud (Shellie Harwood) of Connecticut and Brian Grunerud (Kelli) of Salt Lake City, Utah. He was grandfather of nine, and great-grandfather of 11.
Most of all he was a teacher and confidant to all who knew him, especially the hundreds of people who had the opportunity to meet him during a stay Redfish Lake. Services were today at Cloverdale Funeral Home in Boise.
Gifts may be given in Orion's name to the Sawtooth Society for continued improvements and development of the Orion Trail. Sawtooth Society, PO Box 209, Stanley, ID 83278. Condolences to the family may be submitted online at the Cloverdale Funeral Home.