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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Thomas H. Groves ’55

Thomas Hoopes Groves, 90, previously of Naperville, Illinois and most recently of Boise, Idaho, died on August 2, 2022.  He was born May 9, 1932, in Madison, Wisconsin and was the eldest of the four children of Harold and Helen Groves; his father was a Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin, his mother a former high school teacher in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  He attended Randall Elementary School in Madison, then Wisconsin High School, graduating in 1950.  From 1950 through 1955, he attended Antioch College where he met his future wife, Edna Carch.  They married in 1954.  He entered graduate school at the University of Michigan in 1956, transferred to the University of Wisconsin a year later, and received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1962.  From then until 1968, he was a faculty member of the Physics Department at Purdue University and at the University of Notre Dame.  In the spring of 1968, the Groves family moved to Naperville, Illinois, and Tom began a six-year stint at Argonne National Laboratory.  He relocated to the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in 1974 and remained there until his initial retirement in 1996.  Twelve years later, he became dissatisfied with retirement and found part-time work as a bookkeeper for the Illinois Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association where he quickly became very attached to his coworkers and they to him.  He retired permanently at the age of 83.

Tom described himself as a friendly introvert who enjoyed meeting people and socializing up to a point.  He also loved his solitude, which he found on long walks by himself, while reading, and when working for hours at a time at his computer.  He had discovered as a boy that he had the temperament to be an excellent “team player”; in high school football, where he proved too small and slow to ever realize his childhood dreams of being a great All-American, he experienced, nonetheless, the rewards that came from being a reliable, dedicated contributor to a championship team.  In his relationships with others, he highly valued intelligence, dependability, and common sense.  He was considerate, compassionate, and unpretentious.  These attributes contributed to a lifetime in which he was always highly trusted and well loved.  In addition to his pride in his work, Tom also applauded wife Edna’s accomplishments and those of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was always interested in and encouraging of all who knew him.

In 2018, Tom and Edna moved from their Naperville home to the Terraces of Boise retirement community in Idaho.  For Tom, leaving his midwestern roots was a challenge, but he was gratified to spend this last chapter of his life near daughter Jackie and, later, daughter Susan.

Tom was preceded in death by parents Harold and Helen Groves (née Hoopes); brothers Steven and Roderick; brother-in-law Eric Anderson (sister Susan); and sons-in-law Michael Simpson (Jacqueline) and Scott Zwingli (daughter Susan).  He leaves behind his beloved wife of 67 years, Edna; daughter Jacqueline Groves and partner David Morledge, daughter Lisa Groves and son-in-law John Turcza, daughter Claire Kia, and daughter Susan Zwingli; seven grandchildren Brian Turcza and wife Valerie Weed; Daniel Turcza; Elizabeth Turcza and partner Chris Bailey; Scott Simpson and wife Cecelia Kress; Matthew Simpson and wife Emily Mannix Simpson; Samantha Zwingli and fiancé Luke Smalanskas; and Casey Thomas (née Zwingli) and husband Aaron Thomas; great-granddaughters Autumn and Avery (Brian and Valerie); sister Susan Groves; and sisters in law Anne DeCecco Groves (Steven) and Judith Lathrop Groves (Roderick).  He loved them all deeply and was ever grateful for their contributions to his long, enjoyable, and rewarding life.

An open house will be held at the Terraces of Boise on August 28 from 2:00 – 4:00 in the Syringa Room.  A memorial service will be held on November 19, 2:00, in Naperville, Illinois at the DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Antioch College.

John Korty '59