Former Steamboat Springs resident John D. Grover died Aug. 22, 2008, in Fort Collins. He was 86.
John Douglas Grover was born Nov. 5, 1921, in Lansing, Mich., to Milton Alonzo and Helen Ruth Grover. He attended Eastern High School in Lansing, graduating in 1939. He then worked for REO Motors and began his undergraduate studies in forestry at Michigan State College (now Michigan State University).
After World War II began, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving with the ACORN 47 unit in the Philippines near Puerto Princessa, Palawan. He received an honorable discharge in April 1946.
After the war, John returned to his study of forestry at Michigan State, completing his bachelor's degree in 1948. He found a summer position with the U.S. Forest Service, working in the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. That turned into his way of life for the next 28 years.
While he was with the Forest Service, John worked in the Medicine Bow, Nebraska, Pike, San Isabel, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Routt national forests. He spent many summers fighting forest fires throughout the western U.S.
In 1953, he met Alice Bernadine Larson, of Douglas, Wyo. They were married in September of that year and spent nearly 55 wonderful years together.
After retiring from the Forest Service in Steamboat Springs at the end of 1976, John stayed busy for the next 10 years, working in various positions including ski lift operator at the Steamboat Ski Area, greens keeper for the Steamboat Golf Club, making furniture at Ski Country Oak and maintaining the school buildings for the Steamboat Springs School District.
In 1991, John and Alice moved to Fort Collins to escape the deep winter snows of Steamboat Springs, their home since 1964. They enjoyed traveling across the western and southern states with Alice's sister, Margaret, and her husband, John W. "Spider" Webb, aboard Spider's custom van.
In 1998, John was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. The disease stabilized about a year later. In 2006, John fell and broke his hip. After a hip replacement and a three-month recuperation, he was able to return home for the remainder of his life.
John loved being outdoors. He knew he was going to be a forester from the time he was a young boy. He enjoyed fly-fishing, hiking, golf, bowling and Alpine skiing. He was secretary of the bowling leagues in Steamboat Springs, a member of the Steamboat Golf Club and a longtime member of the Lions Club. He directed the early years of the Buddy Werner League youth ski racing program and spent many years as a volunteer with the National Ski Patrol.
John was preceded in death by his parents and one son, Steven.
He is survived by his wife, Alice, and son Robert, both of Fort Collins, as well as his sister, JoAnne, and her husband, Sverre Olsen, of Oregon.
His warm smile and quick wit will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
A memorial service was held at Rolland Moore Park. Military honors were performed by the Fort Collins All Veterans Honor Guard.
The family requests that memorial contributions be made in John's name to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation or the U.S. Forest Service Memorial Grove Fund, c/o Goes Funeral Care. Visit www.goesfuneralcare.com to sign the guest book and express your own thoughts and memories of John.