During her 80+ years, Marie Schutz Wood Groomes has touched so many lives in countless ways. She has been a source of constant inspiration to all of us, her family, and we welcome the opportunity to honor her in the Plaza of Heroines.
Mother was born June 17, 1911 at Macksburg, Iowa; the fourth of five children in the family of Curtis and Bertha Schutz. She was taught the value of education early in life when her parents moved several miles from their family farm to the town of Indianola for two years so her older siblings could attend a four-year high school since none was offered at that time in their own district. Following her own high school graduation, Mother attended Simpson College for two years before beginning what would be 38 years of teaching Home Economics and English/Speech/Drama in Iowa high schools.
The first teaching position Mother had was at Wales-Lincoln in Montgomery County. Later she returned to teaching after time off to have her family and taught at Zion Macksburg and Orient before going to Stuart-Menlo for the last 10 years of her teaching career. When her first marriage ended, Mother managed with courage and determination her combined duties of single mother to four young daughters, dedicated teacher and returning college student.
We girls would spend summers in the homes of various aunts and uncles while Mother attended summer school. Her August 1950 Iowa State graduation was a time of real celebration for many family members! Throughout the years Mother has remained a loyal supporter of Iowa State University. She is proud of the fact that seven of her twelve grandchildren followed in her footsteps as ISU graduates (along with six of their spouses)!
A few years after her four children were grown, Mother married Franklin Groomes and the family circle grew to include a stepdaughter, her husband and 3 step-grandchildren. Franklin and Mother enjoyed nearly 15 years together before his death in 1981. During that time they took part in many Lay Witness Missions in the United States and in foreign countries. They shared their deep faith with others and enriched their own lives in the process. After retirement, Mother had time to become more active in her church and community.
She was always eager to expand her knowledge and explore new ideas- she was a sought after resource person and gave hundreds of informational programs for different women's groups in the area. Mother's optimistic nature has helped her face two different cancer surgeries, a pacemaker implant and current problems with glaucoma and cataracts that limited her sight. Her positive outlook on life made an impact on everyone around her. Adjectives flow freely when Mother's former students colleagues friends and family describe her. Words like amazing, energetic, faithful and couragous are used.
Her daughters and their husbands are grateful for her love and support; her grandchildren are inspired by her continued interest in learning and her 16 great-grandchildren consider her their special playmate -- and favorite lap on which to sit and read. We love and admire our true heroine--an ordinary woman who continued to overcome adversities with faith while always striving to live life to its fullest!
Marie Groomes died suddenly as a result of a heart attack on April 12, 1996. She was active up until the end of her very full life although her limited eyesight would not allow her to live alone and, consequently, she enjoyed the time living with a daughter and her husband, Bev and Gary Eyerly, for the last two years of her life. She is missed by so many!
A large family reunion was held the summer of 2011 to celebrate the 1ooth anniversary of Mother's birth date. Most all of the family was there and we shared many happy memories that had been made into a book honoring her. Her legacy at this time consists of 4 children, 12 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren and 4 great great children plus many spouses. A son-in-law, grandson and great grandson have joined her in heaven during the past few years.
Daughters and Sons-in-law Judy and Richard Cameron, Bev and Gary Eyerly, Jan and Ernie Carlson, Barb and Ken Buckles
Grandchildren and their families Dennis and Jodi Cameron and Michael, Stephanie and Andrea; Denise and Dave Lorber and Dana and Eric; Diane and Steve Conley and Tim and Alison; Dawn and Brian Carico; Jody and Doug Bass and Ryan, Nicholas and Eric; Pam and Rick Schultz and Sarah and Aaron; Angie and Steve Nichol; David and Allison Carlson; Rob Carlson; Matt Carlson; Michelle and Steve Evans and Rachel and Karly; Cindy and Scott Smith and Nathan and Andrew.
Submitted 7/1/96; updated 11/6/2013