AUBURN — John (Jack) W. Groce died Sept. 29, 2019, at the age of 85.
Born in Springfield, Ill., Jack always had the determination to succeed after an impoverished childhood. He never forgot gathering coal along the railroad tracks to stay warm or going to bed hungry. At 8 years old, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, he was selling newspapers on a street corner. He also earned his way by shining shoes in local drinking establishments.
After graduating from Lanphier High School, Jack joined the Navy, serving during the Korean Conflict. He was able to attend the University of Illinois on the GI Bill and graduated with a degree in business and political science. Jack’s career as a sales manager for RCA brought him to Skaneateles and it was love at first sight.
After several transfers to other locales, Jack decided to permanently return to Skaneateles as regional sales manager with Steelcase Inc. After retiring he spent his final days living in Auburn, pursuing his interests in hunting, fishing, antiquing, and generally enjoying life.
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He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Beverly; sons, Stephen (Jill) and Gregory; daughter-in-law, Brenda; grandchildren, Emily, Hannah, Taylor, and Matthew; great-grandson, Louis; sisters, Ruby, and Rosie; and brother, Jim in Illinois.
Jack was predeceased by a son, John D., and a brother, Bob.
At his request, there will be no services or calling hours. The family will spread his ashes at his hunting camp in the Southern Tier.
Special thanks to Hospice of the Finger Lakes and The Commons on St. Anthony.