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K-State Today

April 16, 2013

Services announced for Chris Gruber

Submitted by Julie Lea

Chris Gruber

Services for Chris Gruber will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 19, at the Family Life Center at University Christian Church, 2800 Claflin Road. Burial will follow at 3:30 p.m. at St. John's Lutheran Cemetery in Hope. The College of Veterinary Medicine is also hosting a reception from 1-3 p.m. Friday at Trotter Hall. 

There is no formal visitation planned, but friends and family are invited to stop by Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home any time on Thursday, April 18. 

Gruber, who had served as the director of development for the College of Veterinary Medicine, died in a plane crash on April 7 at Collinsville, Okla. He was accompanying a family friend, Dr. Ronald Marshall, a retired physician. Dr. Marshall owned and piloted the plane.

"Chris Gruber was a wonderful man," Dean Ralph Richardson said. "He loved life. He loved his family. He will be deeply missed. He was a wonderful face for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Kansas State University."

Gruber joined the staff of the KSU Foundation in December 2004 as a development officer for the College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining the foundation staff, he worked for seven years at Saint Francis Academy in Salina, where he directed the program for foster care recruitment and training.

Gruber held a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Kansas Wesleyan University, also in Salina.

In March 2006, Gruber was promoted to the position of director of development for the College of Veterinary Medicine. In this role, he led a team of development professionals who worked with K-State alumni and friends to secure philanthropic contributions for the college. During the period of time Gruber served the university in this role, he was responsible for raising nearly $25 million for the College of Veterinary Medicine. Gruber also worked to facilitate partnerships between the college and some of the country's largest animal health and nutrition companies. He was instrumental in the development of a “Grateful Client” program that allows donors to give back to the Veterinary Health Center that they benefited from.

Gruber touched the lives of many while helping match their passions and philanthropic goals with opportunities at K-State. His love for animals came through in his professional dedication to advancing the College of Veterinary Medicine. He is survived by his wife, Kai, and three children: Ethan, Aiden and Abigail.

Two memorial funds have been created to honor Chris Gruber. Gifts can be made to a fund established by the KSU Foundation by visiting www.found.k-state.edu/memorials/gruber, or by sending checks to the College of Veterinary Medicine, 103 Trotter Hall, Manhattan, KS, 66506, with checks payable to the "KSU Foundation."

The Gruber Family Benefit Fund has been established at Sunflower Bank.  Please send checks to 2710 Anderson Ave., Manhattan, KS, 66502, with these checks payable to "Kai Gruber."