Viggo Gruy '44 November 1, 2022 1:15 PM updated: November 1, 2022 1:36 PM
Viggo Kohler Gruy
October 30, 1923 ~ October 3, 2022
Viggo Kohler Gruy passed away peacefully in his Beeville home on the morning of Monday, October 3, 2022, at the age of 98, surrounded with love.
Born on October 30, 1923 in Beeville, Texas, Viggo was the son of Joseph Gruy and Lucile Kohler Gruy.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Joseph Gruy, Jr,; his sister, Dagmar Gruy Cole; his first wife, Mary Jane (Ramirez Turnbow); and his second wife, Patricia (Myers).
Viggo is survived by his devoted children, daughter Lucile Gruy Williams and her husband Marion E. Williams, Jr., son Stephen Kohler Gruy and his wife Heather, stepson William Bradley Myers and his wife Lori; grandchildren Ellie (Adam) Muhlig, Gene (Sonya) Williams, Lela (Alberto) Muzquiz, Kate (Ted) Jaceldo, Stephen (Liz) Gruy and Lunden, Peyton and Luke Myers, and 15 great-grandchildren.
Born in Beeville, Viggo lived his early years in Hebbronville, Texas but due to his mother’s poor health and early death when he was nine years old, he spent time with relatives in Fort Worth and Victoria, Texas. He attended first grade in Catholic School in Victoria, returning to Hebbronville where he was placed in the third grade. The family moved to Beeville where he attended middle school, followed by high school in San Antonio where he boarded and graduated from Texas Military Institute in three years. Viggo attended college at Texas A&M University, as a member of the Cavalry Corps of Cadets, and with his entire class was drafted into the U.S. Army prior to graduation, in anticipation of the United States entering World War II.
As part of Patton’s 3rd Army, Viggo was sent to Southern England in February 1944 in preparation for the Allied European invasion. His unit entered the war at Utah Beach several weeks following the initial assault. Viggo was assigned to the 893rd Tank Destroyer Battalion, and served as a Tank Destroyer Unit Commander, also serving in the 814th, Company A attached primarily to the 7th Armored Division. He saw action in Northern France, the Rhineland, Ardennes, and central Europe, and was the recipient of the Silver Star for valor in the field, the EAME Campaign Medal with 4 Bronze Stars, and the World War II Victory Medal, having entered combat as a Second Lieutenant and discharged as Captain. In addition to his time on the battlefield, Viggo served during the staging in England in charge of the mess hall for American troops and following the end of the war in charge of a prisoner of war camp, as one of the last to return to the United States.
Upon returning from Europe in 1946, Viggo returned to Beeville and married his childhood sweetheart Mary Jane Ramirez. They lived in Hebbronville where he began to manage his family’s ranching operation in Duval County, moving to Beeville seven years later where they lived until their divorce in 1967, when Viggo returned to Hebbronville.
A lifelong cattle rancher, Viggo loved the land and moved to the ranch in Duval County when he married his longtime love, Patricia Myers in 1990. Some years later, they returned to Beeville where he lived until his death.
Viggo served as a longtime Director of the First National Bank of Beeville, and continued in the cattle business into his 90’s with his son Steve and grandson Stephen. He was also an avid sports fan, loving Aggie football and New York Yankee baseball, and he enjoyed playing tennis and golf well into his 70's. He was a serious student of history and historical cycles and had an active interest in the financial markets throughout his adult life.
In his earlier years, Viggo enjoyed travel, but announced at 80 that travel was not the way it used to be. In his 98 years, he lived a very full life and was active until the end. He was admired and loved by many people in all walks of life, experiencing the horrors of war and the love of family and friends.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, October 7, at Galloway & Sons Funeral Home in Beeville. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 8, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Father Richard Gonzales officiating. A reception will follow at the Beeville Country Club from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Burial with full military honors will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 9, in Greenhill Cemetery in Hebbronville.
Pallbearers will be Steve Gruy, Stephen Gruy, Gene Williams, Marion Williams, Bradley Myers and Luke Myers.
The family especially wants to thank these very special women, Gracie Reyes, Maria Adame, Laurie Rios and Mari Garza who cared for Viggo during his final months, and Maria Menchaca, his housekeeper of many years.