James Grob, newspaperman and playwright, dies at 54

Contributed Obituary

CHARLES CITY — James Gaven Grob died on July 5, 2022, after five years of battling cancer. He was 54 years old. He passed away peacefully at Hospice of North Iowa in Mason City with his wife Michelle by his side.

He was born on March 1, 1968, in Winona, MN and grew up in Oelwein. He was an athlete and part of the 1985 All-Conference Northeast Iowa Conference football team. He also participated in drama and speech.

James earned his degree in English and Communications at the University of Iowa and minored in Theatre Arts. He was honored to successfully participate in the prestigious Playwright’s Ensemble program. He remained a lifelong Hawkeye fan.

James was an established writer, author, and playwright who most recently worked as a newspaper writer and columnist at the Charles City Press in Charles City, Iowa. James is a multiple award-winning professional in newspaper, radio, and other media while working in community theatre as a writer, actor, and director in his spare time.

James is survived by his parents Butch and Lois Grob, sister Heather Malli (Brad), wife Michelle, daughters Megan Ross and Katie Grob, stepson Maxx Williams (Joanna), stepdaughter Hanna Lytle (Will), two nephews Christian and Nick, and four grandchildren: Lane, Billy, Addie, and Quentin.

A memorial service will be held later this summer and it was James’s request that no flowers or plants be sent. His wish was to have donations given to help raise money for the new performing arts auditorium. Donations should be sent to his wife Michelle.

His life was full of love, football, and storytelling. His writing took him to many stops in his life, and he shared his passion with anyone and everyone. This past weekend his passion brought friends and family from near and far to celebrate one last time with him as eight of his short plays were performed on stage. He went into his final days surrounded by love and the knowledge that he had reached and connected with so many people throughout his life.

Safe home.