Harry R. Groth, the only remaining Groth sibling, passed away peacefully at his Graham home on July 6, 2017, just 10 days before his 87th birthday. Harry was born on July 16, 1930 to John “Jack” Raymond and Lela Maud Park Groth in Ririe Idaho. He helped work on the family farm before joining the Army in 1948. During his time in the Army he was stationed at Fort Lewis, where he met Marian Anderson. They were married in 1950 and they moved to Alaska where they had their first child, Cherie. Harry was discharged in 1952, joined the Army Reserve, and moved the family back to Idaho where their only son, Harold “Butch” Groth, was born. In 1955 the family moved to Tacoma and a year later their 3rd child, Nancy, was born. Two and a half years later their last child, Denise was born. Harry and Marian divorced in 1966.
Although Harry joined the Army just before graduating from high school, he did get his diploma in 1972, the same year Butch graduated from high school. He used to say he did that so as not to be shown up by his son. Harry worked as a mechanic in Army, a farmer, rancher, and finally in the appliance repair business. He married his current wife, Lorraine Riser, in 1966. With Lorraine came a stepdaughter, Pam, who was adopted by Harry in 2001, and a stepson, John. Harry bought Val’s Appliance Repair and operated it for 35 years. For many years he had the coin operated laundry contract on the Fort Lewis Army base. He sold the business to his son-law Bob Benson in 1988 and retired. Retirement didn’t last long when he met Bob Mitchell and started helping him with carpentry work, home repairs, or any other repair for that matter. He continued helping out Bob until he retired again at age 84 to care for Lorraine.
Other than the places listed, they also lived in Puyallup, Spanaway, and Packwood, before moving to his final home in Graham. Harry and Lorraine loved to travel and visited places like London and Hong Kong. They recently celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary. They were Yuma sunbirds from 1994 – 2013, until Lorraine was no longer able to travel back and forth.
Harry loved carpentry and built several of homes and garages. He also enjoyed tinkering around his property, growing fruits and vegetables, fixing anything that broke, and anything else involving working with his hands. Harry was always known as “Mr. Fixit.” He also raised Arabian show horses. He and Lorraine loved going to the horse shows.
Harry is survived by his wife in the family home, daughters Cherie Derouin of Holly Lake, Texas, Nancy (Steve) Estergard in Aberdeen, WA, Denise (Michael) Smith in Tacoma, WA, Pam (Bob) Benson in Puyallup, WA, son Harold “Butch” Groth in Aberdeen, WA, 17 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren (plus 1 due on Harry’s birthday and 1 great-great grandchild on the way), sister-in-law, Ginny in Idaho and 16 nieces and nephews, most residing in Idaho.
Harry was preceded in death by his parent, brothers Harvey, Everett, and Bill, sister Lucille, stepson John, nephews Ray, JR, and John, and grandson Mark.
Harry’s children would like to especially thank the nurse and caregivers Veronica, Helen and Tiana for everything they did to take care of their dad.
He will always be remembered for his sense of humor, which he passed on to his kids, his smile, his never ending stories of growing up in Idaho, and his willingness to help others. He will be deeply missed by many.
Funeral service is scheduled for 1 pm on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at New Tacoma Cemetery and Funeral Home in University Place, with a celebration of life at 3 pm at the LDS church located at 11213 17th Ave. E, Tacoma (across from Franklin Pierce High School on 112th).