Charles “Charlie” Grubb


Charles “Charlie” N. Grubb, of Duluth, passed away Thursday, May 18, 2023, on his 84th birthday. He is now reunited with his beloved wife of 58 years, Mary Grubb, who recently passed away. He was born in Duluth to Donald and Agnes Grubb on May 18, 1939.

Lifelong Duluthian, Charlie attended Duluth public schools, graduating from Duluth East High School in 1957. As a young boy, he participated in Soap Box Derby races, going on to compete at Nationals in Akron, Ohio as the All City Champion in 1953. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, growing up spending summers on Chub Lake. After high school, he spent six years as a member of the Minnesota Air National Guard 148th Fighter Group.

Charlie married the love of his life, Mary Evans, in 1964. Together they raised three girls.

Always the entrepreneur, he started out working in the communications and electronics industry at an early age. His knowledge and experience drove him to strive for more, founding CN Grubb Service Company in 1959, Industrial Communications Corporation in 1968, and later Arrowhead Security Systems, Inc. in 1971. He, along with his wife Mary, grew Arrowhead Security Systems, Inc. into the largest alarm company in Northern Minnesota. Charlie served as President of the Minnesota Burglar & Fire Alarm Association. Charlie and Mary retired in 2002.

He was involved in many community service groups, some of which included Rotary Club 25 where he was recognized for having 100% attendance and as a Paul Harris Fellow; Elks Lodge 133; Duluth Chamber of Commerce; Duluth Jaycee’s where he served as the Duluth Soap Box Derby Chairman, mentoring young boys in the sport of Soap Box racing and helped to re-establish the derby track at Hartley Field; and the Duluth Power Squadron where he rose to the ranks of Commander in 2002.

In his spare time, he loved to go hunting, fishing, camping, boating, snowmobiling, trap shooting, and tinkering on anything that needed fixing or improving. Graduating from camping to a cabin on Lake Vermilion, which he called his “little slice of heaven,” he and the family spent countless days enjoying the lake year-round.

Charlie was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Nancy O’Hehir and Georgia Ostazeski, and most recently his wife Mary on April 24, 2023.

He is survived by his daughters, Jean (Rob) Stenberg, Lorie Grubb, Kathy (Justin) McAuliffe; grandchildren, Samantha (Sam), Adam, and Jenna; great-grandchild, Leighton and one on the way (in December); lifelong friends, Robert “Tom” and Barbara “Barbie” Bennett; numerous, nieces, nephews, family, and friends.

The family would like to thank the staff at Benedictine Living Community and their Adult Day Care Services program in Duluth for their care and compassion.

A joint Funeral Service honoring both Charlie and Mary Grubb, will be held on Thursday, May 25, 2023, at St. Michael’s Church in Lakeside, 4901 E. Superior Street with a 10AM visitation, 11AM Mass and a luncheon to follow. Interment after luncheon at Forest Hill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Charlie’s memory may be made to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (, CHUM food shelf in Duluth, or Life House in Duluth.

Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 218-727-3555, please visit to sign the online guestbook.

Modulist Image