Donald Eugene Groff

1945 - 2020

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Donald Eugene Groff, 74, of Findlay, died Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at Bridge Hospice after a valiant battle with cancer. He was born October 13, 1945 in Dayton, Ohio to Lowell and Elinor Groff, who, along with a brother, Robert Duane, preceeded him in death. Don was a 1963 graduate of Riverdale High School and served in the U.S. Army from 1966-1969, stationed in Giessen, Germany. It was there he met and married Karla (Verna) in 1968. Upon discharge, Don worked for the ill-fated Penn-Central railroad and its successor, Conrail. He worked in many of the remaining interlocking towers as a dispatcher in Hardin and Allen Counties controlling rail traffic within those divisions via signals, manually “throwing” switches, and handing off orders (trackside!) to the engineer on a passing train. Technology advanced, however, and rendered this now novel and romantic era of railroading obsolete so, seeking greener pastures and opportunity, Don moved his family to Phoenix, Arizona in 1985. The desert, however, was not to be and never felt like “home,” so Don returned – divorced from Karla - to Findlay in 1990 where he finished his working career at Whirlpool. In 1996, he married Mary Ann (Michel) and she survives him. She deserves special attention for her unwavering support, dedication, and care provided to Don throughout his numerous health issues over the years. Many knew Don as a watercolor artist. He was primarily self-taught save for some classes at the Findlay Art League of which he was a member for many years. Two recurring themes in his work were the pastoral, Ohio countryside and the railroad. Several of the latter are on permanent display at Marion Union Station in Marion, OH. Don had another talent of sorts – inherited from his mother – for adroitly assigning those around him a sobriquet (nickname), the source of some were self-evident while others will remain an enigma. Don was also an avid reader and history buff – favorite subjects included regional, military, early American, and, naturally, railroad history. Don was a member of the Arlington chapter of the American Legion in the 1970’s. In addition to Mary Ann, Don is survived by daughter Christine (Mark) Norton of Phoenix, AZ, son Donald (Betty) E. Groff II of Port Clinton, OH, grandson Ryan Donald, brothers James Earnest, Daniel Lee, Michael Allen all of Arizona, and Richard Lynn of Richmond, IN. Don is also survived by step-children Melissa (Andy) Maag of Columbus Grove, OH, Nancy (Wes) Palmer of Millington, MI, seven step-grandchildren and two step-great-grandchildren. A private memorial will ultimately be conducted at the Marblehead Lighthouse. Special recognition also goes to Dr. Jacobus and the entire staff at Bridge Hospice. Your services and talents are exceptional. Thank you for providing those in your care the dignity, attention, and honor they deserve in their final days. Memorial contributions may be made to Bridge Hospice. Arrangements are being handled by COLDREN-CRATES FUNERAL HOME. Online condolences can be expressed at www.coldrencrates.com. We’ll miss you, Dad. Whenever Christine and I hear a Reds game on the radio, watch a Browns game on television, hear a distant train or see one speeding by on the mainline we will think of you. You’ve “caught the westbound” as the old hoboes who stopped by the tower used to say. Sleep well – you belong to the ages.


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    A Private Service will be held at a later date.



Condolences For Donald Eugene Groff

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To : Mary Ann Groff
Date :Thursday, September 10th 2020
From : Carol Sears
Sending condolences to you and your family. I am sorry I never got to meet some of you but know you’re in my prayers



To : Christine Norton and Don Groff II
Date :Friday, September 11th 2020
From : Chris Alexander
I was sorry to learn of the passing of your dad. Though it has been many years since our youth growing up in Arlington, I still have many fond memories of our friendship and times together. God bless to you and yours.



To : Christine and Don
Date :Friday, September 11th 2020
From : Lisa and Flint Gossman
Our deepest condolences are sent to you both. Your father gave my family one of his paintings years ago and it is beautiful. Mom still has it and it is cherished. Keeping you in our prayers.



To : Groff Family
Date :Friday, September 11th 2020
From : BillMary Kindle
We are so sorry for your loss. Christina and Don we knew you both while you were down in the grades. I know your dad loved you very much.
Mary Ann you and Don seemed to enjoy your flea market adventure. We always enjoyed seeing you two at Tiffin Flea Market. So glad We have one of your dad's painting. In our Prayers
Love Bill&Mary Kindle



To : Groff Family
Date :Friday, September 11th 2020
From : BillMary Kindle
We are so sorry for your loss. Christina and Don we knew you both while you were down in the grades. I know your dad loved you very much.
Mary Ann you and Don seemed to enjoy your flea market adventure. We always enjoyed seeing you two at Tiffin Flea Market. So glad We have one of your dad's painting. In our Prayers
Love Bill&Mary Kindle



To : Don Groff family
Date :Friday, September 11th 2020
From : Ron and June Eier
Don was a neighbor to Ron when they were in the 7th grade. We were all in the same class at Riverdale. Don had artistic talent, always sketching and drawing,a talented fellow. Sorry to hear of his passing.



To : Christine and Donald
Date :Friday, September 11th 2020
From : Annetta Sturad
So sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. Praying for your healing comfort. God Bless!



To : Mary Ann Groff
Date :Sunday, September 13th 2020
From : Kit Linda Wilkinson
Mary Ann,

We are saddened to hear of Don's passing. You are awesome neighbors - if you need anything just knock on our door.



To : Groff Family
Date :Monday, September 14th 2020
From : Jerry and Sandy Snyder
Our prayers go out to Don's family on his passing. We were classmates of Don during our senior year at Riverdale. Always enjoyed conversations with Don when our paths crossed at Blanchard Valley Hospital. He will be missed. Will keep the family in our prayers.



To : Christine Don and Family
Date :Friday, September 18th 2020
From : Mallare Family
Our sympathy and love go out to you and your entire family. Your Dad sounds like an amazing person. Thank you for sharing his story. We are thinking of you and remembering him. You’re in our hearts, always.



To : Christine Don and Family
Date :Friday, September 18th 2020
From : Mallare Family
Our sympathy and love go out to you and your entire family. Your Dad sounds like an amazing person. Thank you for sharing his story. We are thinking of you and remembering him. You’re in our hearts, always.



To : Maryann
Date :Sunday, September 27th 2020
From : Biron Smith
I was so sorry hear about Don! I always enjoyed talking to him when we worked for Hats and the times I talked to him at the house. He truly had an interesting life! Again so sorry! Biron Smith



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