Obituary: Lee J. Grota

May 12, 1937 ~ August 29, 2020

Lee J. Grota, 83 years, of Sturgeon Bay, died at his home Saturday, August 29, 2020 surrounded by his dear family.

He was born May 12, 1937 in Sturgeon Bay, the son of the late Dr. Hubert and Carrol (Bartmann) Grota. He attended St. Joseph grade school and graduated from St. Norbert High School in 1955. Lee received his B.S. in Psychology in 1959 from Marquette University. On June 29, 1959 he married Mary A. Peterson in Iowa. They lived in West Lafayette, Indiana where Lee earned his PhD in experimental psychology at Purdue University. Following that, Lee and Mary moved to Salt Lake City and the University of Utah where Lee did research and earned his post doctorate degree in experimental psychology.

Their next move was to Penfield, NY in 1965 where Lee was on the faculty of the University of Rochester in the Department of Psychiatry for 34 years as a research professor in the field of psychoneuroimmunology. He was an active leader in Boy Scouts and served on the local trails committee of the Penfield town board.

Upon retirement in 1999, Lee and Mary moved to Sturgeon Bay and enjoyed 21 years together. Lee became active in the local community where he served on the board of directors of Door Concerts and as the president of the board of Friends of Potawatomi State Park. He also belonged to the Peninsula Genealogy Society, the Door County Historical Society, and the Maritime Museum.

He and Mary enjoyed 15 years of motor home travel around the country. Lee’s love of the outdoors was instilled by his mother and he enjoyed gardening, hiking, biking, canoeing, skiing, and sailing with his children who continue to enjoy many of the same activities.

Lee is survived by his wife, Mary; four children, Catherine (Kenneth) Sahlin of Westerville, Ohio, Steven (Danielle) Grota of Manchester, Connecticut, Mike Grota of Sturgeon Bay, Carl (Jennifer) Grota of Sturgeon Bay; six grandchildren, Trent, Kevin, and Tyler Sahlin, and Margaret, Collin, and Benjamin Grota; great-grandson, Everett Sahlin; sister, Phyllis Gorectke of Boulder Junction, and two brothers, Richard (Janet) Grota of Sturgeon Bay and Tom (Nancy) Grota of Superior.

“Our family wishes to thank the Door County Medical Center, The Dorchester/Sturgeon Bay Health Services and Unity Hospice Care for the great care given to Lee. We are thankful for our entire family’s support as we navigated these medical challenges with Lee, and we are forever grateful to our son Mike, who gave of himself 24/7 these past three years.”

Friends may call at Huehns Funeral Home Friday, September 4, 2020 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Services will be held at Huehns Funeral Home on Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. with Fr. Bob Stegmann officiating and will be livestreamed via the “Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. & Door County Crematory LLC” Facebook page. Those viewing the service via Facebook are encourage to “Like” the funeral home page at anytime prior to the funeral to become aware of the live broadcast.

Burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery.

Those attending the visitation and/or funeral are to wear face masks and maintain social distancing. Temperature checks will be provided and hand sanitizer will be available upon entry into the funeral home. Dual-chapel occupancy will be limited to 25% capacity (total of 50 people between the chapels).

Memorials may be directed in Lee’s memory to the Friends of Potawatomi Park or The Salvation Army.

Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Lee may be shared with his family through his tribute page at