June 24, 1927 — Feb. 6, 2013
Russell S. Grove, age 85, passed away in Placerville, Calif., on Feb. 6, 2013, of congestive heart failure. He was surrounded by the loving presence of his family and very close friends. Russ was born in Sacramento, Calif., on June 24, 1927. Like many people of his generation, he was born in the bedroom of his parents’ home on Solano Avenue (now 55th Street). He attended Fruitridge Grammar School and Stanford Junior High and graduated from Sacramento High School in 1945.
Russ was the youngest of three having two older sisters. 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. His musical talent also included a lifelong love of playing the piano. He loved to entertain for social gatherings especially at Cold Springs Golf Club, and with friends and relatives.
While attending Sacramento Junior College, Russ was drafted into the Army and was sent to Korea toward the end of the Korean conflict. He was in Korea from early 1946 until January of 1947. He also had a wonderful 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, Calif. He then signed with the St. Louis Cardinals organization and played for their Class A affiliate in Fresno, Calif., from 1949 to 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, Calif. (California League), retiring from baseball in 1951.
Russ went on to get a job with the California Oxygen Company in Sacramento. Eventually making the business his livelihood, he moved to Placerville, bought out his partner and formed Oxygen Service & Supply in 1961. He 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, Calif., and expanded the business further, including the formation of two new companies (Pacific Cylinders and 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. He organized an annual event for members of the club to travel to Graeagle, Calif., for three days of golfing and fun. This event went on flawlessly for 25 years. He was also a five-time Club Champion at Cold Springs. Baseball was another passion of his. He was an avid fan of following the San Francisco Giants. He and Helen would depart the cold climate of Camino in late January to spend two months in warm and sunny Scottsdale, Ariz., to watch their favorite team, the Giants, during spring training. Their winning two World Series in the past three years thrilled him to no end. Loving family above everything else, Russ most enjoyed time with their kids, grandkids and great-grandchildren. Every major winter/spring holiday was spent in Camino with Grandma and Grandpa, and the annual 4th of July trip to Lake Tahoe was always a special event.
Russ was preceded in death by his parents, Eddie and Lulu; his sisters, Dorothy Wakefield and Helen Rolly; and 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 and Lisa Adamski; and 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.
The family would like to acknowledge the people who took care of Russ these past few months, including Dr. Henjum, Dr. Yoder, and Kristin Sornborger of Marshall Hospital Cardiology, Kathy, Monica and Michelle of Marshall Home Care, and Glo and Elaine of the Marshall Hospital ICU unit in particular.
A celebration of Russ’ life will be held on Friday, March 8, at 1 p.m., at Green Valley Community Church, 3500 Missouri Flat Road in Placerville. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Green Valley Community Church, 3500 Missouri Flat Road, Placerville, CA 95667. Arrangements entrusted to Chapel of the Pines Funeral Home in Placerville.