NORMAN — Stephen F. Grunder died Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, after a fierce, four-year battle with cancer. He was born in Manchester, Conn., on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 1949, to Walter and Georgia (Bowser) Grunder and grew up in Glastonbury, Conn.
His music interest began while singing in the Wolcott Congregational Church youth choir. He toured the U.S. with the Columbus Boy choir that included a Leonard Bernstein concert and seven weeks of Radio City Music Hall Christmas performances.
Stephen had a band while at Glastonbury High School, and while at Ithaca College, he ran light shows and a recording studio before graduating with a degree in TV/radio production.
During the Vietnam War, he was drafted and became an Army missile instructor at Fort Sill. He remained in Oklahoma and played in many bands, including the seminal Red Dirt bands Medicine Park All-Boy Derelict Band and Blue Rose Cafe, as well as Norman’s John Arnold Band. As a friend said, “Man, he could lay down the bass. He had the touch, the feel, the thump.”
Steve was the former owner of Guitar Gallery and Oklahoma Audio in Norman. He could fix, design and build a solution to nearly any problem.
Steve was married for 27 years to Diana (Blanchard) Grunder. He was a member of the American Legion of Norman. He loved buses, trains, crosswords and a great conversation. Steve had a great sense of humor and was able to discuss nearly any topic intelligently.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by his son, Devin Grunder of Norman; his sister, Susan Morrissey and family of Unionville, Conn.; as well as cousins from the Grunder and Bowser families and countless friends.
Norman Transcript, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013