Victor H. Groening, longtime Alki resident, avid bicyclist, traveler, runner and hiker, died January 19, 2011, in Olympia. He was 92.
Vic was a dentist in West Seattle for 30 years, graduating from the University of Oregon Dental School after returning from the Army in Japan. A "career" Toastmaster, he was up early every Friday morning into his eighties to spin marvelous and inspiring speeches gathered from his diverse reading and experiences. Born July 10, 1918, in Newton, Kansas of German speaking Mennonites, Abram and Elisabeth Groening, he learned English in grade school and with his brother, Homer and sister, Ellene, taught it to his Russian mother. He graduated from Linfield College, was a disk jockey and taught school in Hawaii, and enlisted in the Army after Pearl Harbor.
He credited his longevity to his hiking, running and prodigious bicycling. His first Seattle to Portland day-ride was when he was 65. There were many more and he rode actively until he was 86, always adhering to his rule for the downhills, "never brake!". He loved traveling and visited many countries with his wife Beverly.
He is survived by Beverly, his wife of 65 years; daughter, Marlene (James Kainber); son Philip (Cindy Smith); five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to thank hospice and The Hampton staff for their wonderful care. Memorial donations may be made to Providence Sound Home Care and Hospice or The Hampton Care Center Employee Fund.
To leave memories of Vic or condolences for the family, please click on "View Guestbook" below.
Date: 2/23/2011 11:19:48 PM
From: Sam and Sue Tarica
Message: We were deeply sorry to hear of the passing of our dear friend when returning from a vacation recently. Our thoughts and prayers are with dear Bev and family after their great loss. We have many happy memories of being together at our home as well as at the Groening's through these many years!! On a personal note Vic was responsible for helping my dear wife,Sue, get over her extreme fear of flying!! We feel most blessed to have known Vic as afriend and he will be sorely missed by all of our West Seattle community! Our love to sweet Bev and family.
Date: 2/11/2011 5:27:52 PM
From: Patty Magnuson
Message: I became friends with Bev down at Alki Church after moving "home" to take care of my mom 15 years ago. And of course our neighborhood dentist Vic - who didn't go to him. Bev was so nice to me when I was home having Chemo; we had alot of fun chats. Loved seeing them both biking and walking around Alki. So sorry to hear of Vic's passing and my love to Bev and the family.
Date: 2/9/2011 11:39:27 AM
From: Seamens & Company- Pat, Bonnie & Monte
Message: May the concern and sympathy of those who care help through this difficult time.
Date: 2/8/2011 7:19:27 PM
From: Barbara Schilz Stewart
Message: I am sorry to hear about Victors passing. I always enjoyed seeing him riding his bike, he would always stop to talk to me. He was my dentist for many years. I am the one who used to have the Sample Sales down on Alki.
Date: 2/8/2011 7:15:22 PM
From: Sheri Schilz Duncan
Message: To The Groening Family, We were sorry to hear about Dr. Groening's death. We will always remember him riding his bike around West Seattle. He was my dentist for 15 years before he retired, and I also worked for him while I was in highschool. He will be missed.
Date: 2/8/2011 10:56:28 AM
From: Joan King
Message: Dear Bev and Family, I was so sorry to learn of Vic's death. What an amazing man. I remember his energy and enthusiasm at so many parties over the years. And I will always think of him zooming down the road on his bike, white hair flying. He was an inspiration. We had a running joke about only meeting at memorial services. Bev, what a wonderful life to have been together for 65 years. It is a testamonial to both of you. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Love , Joan
Date: 2/7/2011 6:57:16 AM
From: David Kannas
Message: I met Vic while ridinging my bicycle on Alki, what else? We formed a small group of like minded guys who met at the Alki Bakery, drank coffee, discussed great issues, bicycled and gave inspiration. Vic's view of the world gave me and those around him more than he would ever know. Most importantly, however, Vic taught me that hills are the reason God made gears. Ride on, Vic.