The Obit For Russ Grove

Russell S. Grove

Published in The Sacramento Bee on February 17, 2013

Russell S. Grove, age 85, passed away in Placerville, California on February 6th, 2013, of congestive heart failure. He was surrounded by the loving presence of his family and very close friends.

Russ was born in Sacramento, CA on June 24th, 1927 in the bedroom of his parents' home on Solano Avenue (now 55th Street). He attended Fruitridge Grammar School, Stanford Junior High, and graduated from Sacramento High School in 1945.

He was the youngest of three children. While he was young, he learned to play the accordion, and eventually joined the 'Marchi Accordian Band' which performed on the Delta King on the Sacramento River. Russ' musical talent also included a lifelong love of playing the piano. He loved to entertain for social gatherings especially at Cold Springs Golf Club.

While attending Sacramento Junior College, Russ was drafted into the Army and was sent to Korea towards the end of the Korean conflict serving from February 1946 to January 1947.

He also had a short career in professional baseball. After honing his game at both Sacramento High School and for the local American Legion club, he was drafted by the Sacramento Solons Rookies, and played in the Sunset League in Anaheim, CA. He then signed with the St. Louis Cardinals organization, and played for their Class A affiliates in Fresno, CA in 1949-1950, in the California League (now called the Pacific Coast League). He then signed with the Cleveland Indians organization, and played out his career in Bakersfield, CA (California League), retiring from baseball in 1951.

Russ started working with the California Oxygen Company in Sacramento. Eventually making the business his livelihood, he moved to Placerville, CA, bought out his partner and formed Oxygen Service & Supply in 1961. Russ and his wife Nancy started their family in 1960 with the birth of their son, Joe, followed by daughter Lisa two years later.

After his divorce from Nancy in 1980, he eventually married the love of his life Helen in October of 1982. Russ and Helen settled in Camino, CA, and expanded the business further, including the formation of two new companies (Pacific Cylinders & Grove Industries). Pacific Cylinders was sold in 1999. Russ had a passion for golf. He was Club President at Cold Springs Golf Club for 11 years and was a 5-time Club Champion. He organized an annual event for members of the club to travel to Graeagle, CA for 3 days of golfing and fun, the event went on flawlessly for 25 years!

Baseball was another passion of Russ'. He was an avid fan of the San Francisco Giants. He and Helen would travel each year to Arizona to watch the Giants play during Spring Training. Russ most enjoyed time with the kids, grandkids, and great-grandchildren.

Russ is predeceased by his parents, Edwin and Lulu Grove, sisters Dorothy Wakefield and Helen Rolly, his brothers-in-law John Wakefield and William Rolly.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Helen, his four children, Dan (Victoria) Partain, John Partain, Joseph (Kimberly) Grove, Lisa Adamski, his seven grandchildren, Amanda Partain, Sarah Grove, Adam Partain, Lauren (Eric) Yoder, Kevin Grove, Hayden Comer, and Michael Comer. He is also survived by his three great-grandchildren Jayden, Aleigha, and Micah.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to: Green Valley Community Church, 3500 Missouri Flat Road, Placerville, CA 95667. A Celebration of Russ' life will be held on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm at Green Valley Community Church, 3500 Missouri Flat Road, Placerville, CA 95667.