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Lora Iona Stacy Groves was born December 28, 1909 at the home of her parents, Walter Alexander and Eva Lena Grubb Stacy, near Ellston, Iowa. She was welcomed by an older sister, Velma Zee, and later they welcomed Ruth Louise, Jesse Harold and George Albert. Her father was a farm worker traveling wherever there was work so Iona attended many different schools ending her high school years at Benton, Iowa where she graduated as class valedictorian in 1928. She began working at the age of 14 when she traveled with the Milt Jones family as they worked their way to Utah and she watched over their children.

She was married to Carl Ellsworth Groves on August 21, 1930 by Tommy Rhoades who was a local undertaker and minister. Much of her life was spent in the Benton area where she and her husband farmed until his health caused them to move into Benton. After he passed away in 1961, she worked as the Benton phone operator and then as the assistant in the Benton post office. Later she went to work caring for Mrs. Grace Wheelen while her son was working. She came to know Grace’s granddaughter, Jane, and her family when she became another grandma to the kids. She and Jane have remained friends ever since.

Iona and Carl became parents to four children, Avis Maxine, Esther Louise, Charles Thomas and David Carl. The family grew until they had 11 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

She was an athlete playing girls basketball while in high school and following her children and grandchildren as they played in their sports activities. Iona has been active in community activities over the years as she remains a member of Benton Rebekah Lodge #523 and was a member of the HAT Club, both in Benton. In 1972 she moved to Mount Ayr near her daughter, Louise. She was a member of the United Baptist-Presbyterian Church. She attended Circle and Bible Study there. Due to health reasons, she moved to Clearview Homes in April 2005. She was excited to be able to celebrate her 100th birthday in 2009 with most of her immediate family, plus nieces and nephews present.

She was preceded in death by her parents; all her siblings; her husband, Carl, in 1961; her son, Tom, in 1972; her daughter, Maxine, in 2010, and a son-in-law, Dean Frost, in July 2012.

She is survived by two children, Louise Frost and David (Betty Lou) Groves, all of Mount Ayr, Iowa; son-in-law, LeRoy Bucy of Creston, Iowa; grandchildren, Patty Bucy, Jean (Bob) Barnes, Richard (Judi) Bucy, Sandy Breckenridge, DeeDee (Kenny) Sobotka, Jim Groves, Jerry Groves, John (Shelley) Groves, Aaron (Shannon Welch) Groves and Tara (Jim) Murphy; great-grandchildren, Brandon Downey, Tiara Downey, Tracey (Brent) Fees, Ryan Breckenridge, Amber (Lester) Elliott, Jennifer Sobotka, Trent Groves, Sarah Groves, Tori Groves, Megan Groves, Cameron Welch-Groves, Braylon Welch-Groves, Evan Murphy, Aidan Murphy, Ashlyn Murphy, Jamie (Chuck) Park, Michael Barnes, Buddy Bucy and Erika (Richard) Binns, and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

A memorial fund has been established for the United Baptist-Presbyterian Church in Mount Ayr and the Waubonsie Center in Benton.

Services were held at the Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, with Rev. Michael Maddy and Pastor Brent Fees officiating. Musicians were Nancy Sackett and Tracey Fees.

Casket bearers included Richard Bucy, Jim Groves, Jerry Groves, John Groves, Aaron Groves, Bob Barnes, Kenny Sobotka and Jim Murphy.

Burial was in the Benton Cemetery in Benton.


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