Brian Gruthoff, 56, died peacefully at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Appleton, Wisconsin on Monday, December 27, 2021.
Brian was born in Norwalk, Connecticut on December 30, 1964, and later moved to Appleton, Wisconsin with his family, where he graduated from Appleton West High School in 1983.
Brian loved adventure and the outdoors. This love led Brian to become one of the earliest certified windsurfer instructors in Wisconsin. He also enjoyed the mountains and snow, and in 1985, he followed his passions West to Boulder, Colorado where he lived until his death.
In Boulder, Brian not only taught windsurfing at a local reservoir, but also opened Beach Street a beachwear, skateboarding, rollerblading, and snowboarding retail store.
While Brian’s store was successful, anyone who knew Brian knew that he never wanted to have a traditional 9 to 5 job. Brian decided that the best way to control his schedule was to own and manage commercial real estate in Colorado and Wisconsin which allowed him the freedom to pursue his many hobbies.
Brian was a natural athlete. His favorite hobbies included kite surfing, boating, golf, fishing, bird hunting, and hiking. Brian combined his love of kite surfing with his passion for travel and spent six months of the year exploring the world. The rest of the year he could be found visiting with family and friends, pursuing these many passions.
Brian was married to Mary Kane from 1994-2007. They were blessed with two children, a daughter Sophie, and a son Benjamin, who both share his love of travel and adventure.
Brian lived life with gusto. He never stopped moving and was always the life of the party. He possessed a fondness for life that touched everyone he met.
Brian had many friends throughout the world. He was well-loved and will be deeply missed.
Brian is survived by his daughter Sophie Gruthoff and his son Benjamin Gruthoff; his mother Emmalee Gruthoff-Schomisch, his brothers David Gruthoff (Christine) and Collin Gruthoff; his stepsisters Mary Hall, Sarah Janz (Thomas), and stepbrothers John T. Schomisch, Jr. (Shellie), Joseph K. Schomisch (Amy), and David L. Schomisch (Heather Schimmers). He is preceded in death by his grandparents Edward and Catherine Pagni, his father Fletcher Gruthoff, and his stepfather J. Thomas Schomisch.
A celebration of life will be held for Brian at the Appleton Yacht Club on January 8, 2021, at 2:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Heifer International in Brian’s name. https://www.heifer.org/