Karen Groves, age 80 of Grinnell, died on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at St. Francis Manor in Grinnell.
A private family graveside service will be held on Monday, May 11, 2020 at Sheridan Cemetery northeast of Grinnell with Father Ross Epping officiating.
Memorials may be designated to St. Mary Catholic Church or to the Grinnell Historical Museum, mailed in care of the Smith Funeral Home, PO Box 368, Grinnell, Iowa 50112. Memories and condolences may be shared with Karen’s family online at www.smithfh.com.
Karen Lea Petersen was born the daughter of Eldon Carl Petersen and Aline Leona (Lidtka) Petersen on October 7, 1939 in Grinnell, Iowa. She was raised on the family farm near Grinnell and graduated from Grinnell High School with the class of 1957.
On July 30, 1960, Karen was united in marriage to Robert (Bob) Groves at St. Mary Catholic Church in Grinnell. Their marriage was blessed with three sons: Michael, Christopher and Nicholas. They were longtime members of St. Mary Catholic Church in Grinnell, where Karen was active in the Altar and Rosary Society. She served on several boards and committees such as the St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary, Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary and gift shop, PTA and PTO, Historical and Literary Club, Poweshiek County Historical and Genealogy Society charter member, Iowa Genealogy Society, Tama County Tracers, Poweshiek County Pioneer Cemetery Commission, Grinnell Historical Museum, and Marian Study Club. Karen worked in various roles including Grinnell High School Secretary, Cunningham Drug Store, Teacher’s Aide, BDK Crafts and as an election official. Later she went to work at Grinnell College for 25 years and retired as a faculty secretary in 2006.
Karen spent countless hours researching history and family genealogy. Bob and Karen enjoyed traveling, especially to see Civil War historical sites. She enjoyed tending to her flowers, participating in civic events like Music in the Park, attending her grandchildren’s activities, going for coffee with her Hardee’s and HyVee groups, and attending bucket educational courses at Drake Library. She will be remembered for her strong faith and devotion, for her kindness and gentle personality, and for the love of her family.
Karen is survived by her three sons, Mike (Jolene McKeag) Groves of Grinnell, Chris (Patricia) Groves of Columbia, Missouri and Nick Groves of Westfield, Indiana; four grandchildren, Ashley Lakose of Montezuma, Nicole Groves of Jacksonville, Texas, and Seth Signs and Robert Groves, both of Grinnell; two great-grandchildren, Faith Bunn and Liam Lakose of Montezuma; two sisters, Sally Bowler of Clermont, Florida and Nancy (Mark) Oehler of Foley, Alabama; and a sister-in-law, Patricia Eggers of Phoenix, Arizona. She was preceded in death by her parents, and her husband, Bob Groves.