Jean Ash Gruhn was like a mother to some of the girls she coached, an avid supporter of Gainesville High and someone who always could tell a joke.
That’s how friends are remembering the longtime teacher and coach and the widow of former Gainesville High football coach Bobby Gruhn. She died Tuesday at age 86.
Gruhn coached girls tennis and cheerleading and taught physical education at Gainesville High.
“Everybody felt like they could go and talk to her,” said Myrtle Figueras, who taught with Gruhn at Gainesville High.
Mary Ellen Murray, who also worked with Gruhn at the high school, said Gruhn’s strict approach didn’t keep her students from connecting with her.
“She would do anything for the students,” Murray said. “They knew she was there for them.”
The Gruhns’ son, Matthew, is the head football coach at Lakeview Academy.
Gruhn was a teacher for 30 years at the high school. She commissioned “the rock” across the street from Gainesville High, which often has special messages painted for students or special events.
Figueras said she’ll miss her “buddy,” who was good to her and was “always laughing, always telling a joke.”
Gruhn’s memorial service is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church at 800 S. Enota Drive in Gainesville. The family will receive friends at Little & Davenport Funeral Home from 5-7 p.m. Thursday and again Saturday at the church after the service.