Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Obituary: Jack Groh, businessman

He expanded family business, served on Evendale council

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mr. Groh

MASON - Jack Groh attacked his projects with equal enthusiasm - be it building a chalet in Gatlinburg or trying to replicate Skyline Chili's secret recipe in his kitchen.

He helped turn his father's painting business into a multimillion-dollar cleaning company, serving some of Cincinnati's heavy hitters - including Procter & Gamble, Provident Bank and Milacron.

John Edward Groh also took great pride in the home he provided for his family in Evendale, where he was one of the founding councilman of the village in 1951 and a longtime resident.

Mr. Groh, who moved to Mason about a year ago, died Saturday of complications of lung cancer at Hospice of Cincinnati in Blue Ash. It was less than a week before his 79th birthday.

Mr. Groh was a gregarious, outgoing businessman who made many personal and business contacts.

"Anywhere we went, Dad would always know somebody," said his son Richard Groh of Mason.

Born in Reading, he spent his summers working for August Groh & Sons, a painting business started by his father in 1926.

Mr. Groh enlisted in the Army in 1943 and worked as a construction foreman in Europe. When the war was over, he helped in the cleanup of concentration camps in Germany.

Upon his return, he went to work full time in the family's business. He took the business to a new level, said his son, when he gained a valuable contract with P&G. The business soon expanded beyond painting to provide cleaning, security and other maintenance functions to Cincinnati's biggest companies.

In his personal life, Mr. Groh loved to cook - and not just chili. Another specialty was bread making.

He also was an avid bowler who took his company sponsored team to a Knights of Columbus championship.

A Cincinnatian through and through, he loved the Reds, the Bengals, Esther Price Candy, Servatii pastries and horse racing. Mr. Groh was a member of the Cincinnati Club and the Knights of Columbus.

In addition to his son Richard, survivors include: his wife of 55 years, Paula Tobler Groh; two daughters, Linda Klotter of Maineville and Sharon Groh-Wargo of Berea, Ohio; another son, Jeffrey Groh of Wilmington, Del.; a sister, Mary Wilson of Cincinnati; a brother, Ronald Groh of Blue Ash; nine grandchildren; and two great grandsons.

Mass of Christian burial is 10:30 a.m. today at Sts. Peter and Paul Church of Reading, 417 W. Vine St. Burial will be at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Montgomery.

Memorials: St. Rita School for the Deaf, 1720 Glendale-Milford Road, Cincinnati 45215-1258; or Hospice of Cincinnati, 4310 Cooper Road, Cincinnati 45242.


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