|Joachim "Joe" Groeger 1920-2020.|
It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Joachim "Joe" Groeger, just three weeks shy of his 100th birthday.
In the paragraphs below, I will attempt to relay a bit of Joe's life story which I gathered from stories he told me over countless breakfasts, and hours in his shop "Groeger Special Tooling".
|Joe's father and sister on the R11. Mid 1930's, Germany.|
|A young Joe Groeger working on a watch lathe.|
|Rolleiflex camera film transport mechanism.|
|Franke and Heidecke, Braunschweig ca. 1959|
|Inside the Franke and Heidecke factory, Braunschweig.|
For nearly seventy years, Groeger Special Tooling was the the go-to place for anyone in the silicon valley who needed specialty die work. Joe was fond of telling stories of customers seeking his advice when everyone else said a job couldn't be done. He relished in accomplishing what others couldn't.
|A machine fabricated from scratch by Joe Groeger. The collet holds a small metal can and a pneumatically controlled roller folds over the end to close it. This was designed for manufacturing specialty batteries.|
|In the below video, Joe demonstrates the action of the machine.|
|Joe Groeger astride his 1939 R71. To the left is long time friend Paul Seibert. 1986|
|My R69S on the stand in the "engine room" at Groeger Special Tooling.|
|Joe and the regular Saturday crew heading to breakfast in Redwood City.|
|A spry 85 year old Joe Groeger received the award for "oldest rider" at a BMW club event.|
|Machining the case of a rare BMW R5 racing gearbox to accept a modern seal.|
A funny memory I have from years of working in Joe's shop was his fondness for classical music. He often had Chopin, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, etc. playing in the background. I once asked Joe's cousin Volkhard if he thought Joe would mind if we played some classic country music like Willie Nelson. Volkhard told me that Joe absolutely forbaid the playing of Willie Nelson in the shop. I asked why, and he told me that Willie Nelson once smoked pot on the steps of the state capitol, and since that day Willie's music was "verboten"!