Jacquelyn Ellen Gronlund, age 68, passed away on Monday, May 28, 2018 in Belinda’s Assisted Living Home, a caring and loving private care home located in Mesa, Arizona. She was surrounded by friends and family up to her last breath. She started experiencing problems with muscle failure in mid-January and was transferred between hospitals and acute rehabs, with a definitive diagnosis of ALS late in March. She spent the remainder of her days in Belinda’s care. She was very well taken care of around the clock and was blessed to have all her children, grandchildren and many of her extended family and friends visit. The disease progressed very quickly and though she was not able to move her muscles, her mind was sharp and she could talk and express herself up until the last days of her life.
She was born in Superior, Arizona September 23, 1949 to Earl Oliver May and Ruthanna May (Thompson) and was the older of two children they had together. Her brother Andrew May was born August 5, 1953. Her mother had married just out of high school and her husband Dale Zabo was killed in the war and the baby she gave birth to soon after died from complications at birth. Her father, Earl Oliver, was a Jeweler and watchmaker in Superior and later a dispatcher for the Florence Police Department where he passed away on his way to work when she was only 5 years old. Her mother later married Harold Newman, who had one son Ronny Newman, and together Harold and Ruth had a son, Lawrence Newman. Jacque was raised with all 3 brothers in Superior, AZ. They moved to Lakeside, Arizona when she was a junior in high school. Lawrence preceded her in death in October 2014.
Jacque started dating Carl Frederick Gronlund in high school in Superior and they dated throughout her time at Blue Ridge high school. They met as small children on the Gronlund ranch, as her grandpa Thompson was the builder and took her with him periodically. Carl and Jacque were married in 1969 and both attended NAU in Flagstaff for a short time. They had four children: Carl Oscar, Christopher Frederick, David Andrew and Carrie Ellen. They lived for a short time in Oracle Junction, before moving to Oracle in 1977 and spent a decade building their home there from scratch.
Jacque was a stay at home mom and volunteered in the community until her youngest started school. She was well known for not only having a big heart, but an open-door policy and everyone was welcome in her home. Randy Ellen Cogburn, lost her mother as a young teenager and joined the Gronlund family early in the ‘80’s. Soon after, Jacque’s niece Crystal Newman was thrown into the Gronlund mix at three years old and became part of the family.
When her youngest started school she started her life long career in community support and social work. She ran a well-baby clinic in Mammoth for many years and at that time, she was involved with the community food bank and delivered boxes of food throughout the Pinal county area and, became an EMT spending years as an ambulance driver. After leaving the clinic she worked in Mammoth for many years for Bill Matheson, eventually taking a job as a social worker for the elderly. It was hard to find a person that didn’t know her in Pinal County! She spent many years and much of her free time driving from home to home caring for elderly residents in the community.
Once retired, Jacque devoted herself to her grandchildren. She spent a lot of time in Spokane, Washington with her oldest son, Carl’s, children: Tineka, Levi, Hope, Jacob and Hannah. She also frequently visited and vacationed with her daughter’s children: Daniel and Abigail. She then moved to Sonoita, Arizona and lived with Chris and Sheree to help when their children were young: Shane, Brett and Rachel. She volunteered in the school and community and was quickly known as Grandma Jacque to all the children at the Elgin school. From there, she became the care giver for David and Lori’s twin boys: Joseph and Shaun. She lived with them from birth until the day she went into the hospital and was well known in the school, among all the mothers and in the Church of Christ they all attended.
Funeral services will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at the Gold Canyon Church of Christ located at 5821 S. Camino Fuego, Gold Canyon, AZ 85118 with refreshments to follow. The family would like to extend our gratitude to Belinda and Marco for their attentiveness and loving care in the last months of her life. For questions or updates please contact Carrie McClafferty at 520-240-0776.