Cover photo for John  Norman Groupe's Obituary
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John Norman Groupe

December 8, 1918 — March 23, 2010

John Norman Groupe, born December 8, 1918 in Portland, Oregon, died March 23, 2010 at St. Vincent's Hospital. He was 91 years old. Raised in La Grande, the son of Charles Olaf and Wilma Lewis Groupe. John learned early on the value of a dollar and a hard day's work. His long career began at age 8, selling and distributing newspapers for several Oregon publications and concluded with his appointment by Governor Atiyeh as the Economic Director for the state of Oregon. John was so proud to be an Oregonian.

When the call to war came John Groupe answered by enlisting in the US Army. Due to his leadership skills he was selected to attend officer candidate school, afterwhich he received a commisson as a second lieutant. He completed his military career as a Major in the United States National Guard in 1950. His time in the service took him from North Africa to the final victory in Germany: he fought for his country with honor and bravery.

Upon his return to La Grande, he reunited with his true love, Milodene Ada Goss. They were married Decebmer 9, 1945 and were blessed with three children. John was not only a devoted husband and father he was also an active member of his community. He performed multiple civic duties as a member of the Lions Club, the Chamber of Commerce and as the exalted ruler of the Elks Club.

Perhaps he was best known as the co-owner of Trotter's, "the store for everyman" and Trotter's Top Shop--two popular clothing stores that brought clientele from all over Eastern Oregon.

Never all work and no play, John took full advantage of everything the glorious Grande Ronde Valley had to offer. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed skiing, hiking, hunting, fishing and especially golfing. Playing in the Sole Survivor at LGCC was a highlight and even in his last days he wanted to get back out on the course for one last round.

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 62 years and his grandson, Charles Olaf "Ole" Groupe. He is survived by his three loving children, John Robert, Mary Frances and Melinda Ann; his daughter-in-law Cindy Groupe; six adoring grandchildren, Taylor Groupe, Hayley Crittenden Platt, Jayson, Cameron and Sean Crittenden, Jade Kennedy; three step-grandchildren, Nathan Lewis, Natalie Lewis and Ryan Kennedy, and two great-grandchildren, Connor Crittenden and Marley Platt.

Our dad and Papa valued family and taught us the importance of compassion, kindness and integrity. John Groupe, there was no finer man than you.

Graveside service will be held at Summerville Cemetery on Monday, March 29 at 11 am, followed by a Celebration of Life at the Presbyterian Church and a luncheon at the Stang Manor. Rememberances may be made to the Eastern Oregon State University Foundation in care of the Daniels~Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh Street, La Grande, OR 97850.

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