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Dr. James D. Groves, 79

Dr. James David "Jim" Groves, 79, died unexpectedly Friday, July 31, 2009 at United Hospital in St. Paul.

Jim was born on Dec. 8, 1929, in Columbia, S.C., the son of Clyde H. and Estelle (Boulware) Groves.

With his dad being in the Navy, he attended various elementary schools prior to graduating from Kitsap High School in Bremerton, Wash.

Jim lived by the rule of: Education, education, education. He furthered his education at Washington State University in Pullman. He continued his education by receiving his master's degree from the University of Minnesota and then his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder. While at the University of Minnesota, he would meet his wife-to-be, Maxine Fransen. The two were united in marriage on Aug. 30, 1952 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Wilmar, Minn.

He enlisted in the armed forces and proudly served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He began with the ROTC, specializing in rocket propulsion and fuel before receiving his honorable discharge as a First Lieutenant. It may have been here that the term "You don't have to be a rocket scientist" evolved.

He worked a short time for Boeing Aircraft in Seattle before beginning a long and rewarding career with 3M Manufacturing. Jim, or "Doc," as he was referred to at work, will be remembered for his ingenious approach to many endeavors he took on. He was awarded over 30 patents throughout his 3M career, including the new and improved electrical tape and Scotchgard in the aerosol can. His efforts earned countless awards including the coveted, first-ever Innovator of the Year Award for the entire 3M Company. After a rewarding 40 years with 3M, he retired.

When he wasn't tweaking a formula at work, Jim was enjoying his passion -- fishing! Not just any fishing, it had to be that of the elusive musky. He began a ritual Fourth of July fishing venture to The Lake of the Woods in Canada with his sons. He also took great pleasure deer hunting near Cushing with the indomitable "Glomdawg Hunt Club." He was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader, winning the pinewood derby car races with special paint or mechanics. Although he enjoyed being outdoors with his boys, he was also looked out for the welfare of his girls. He attended their horseback riding events, plays or dance recitals. He was a committed father to all his children instilling in them the importance of taking time to "Stop and smell the roses" and to never give up, but try "Just one more cast."

Jim will live on in the hearts of his wife, Maxine; children: Pamela (Fred) Gaggioli of Whittier, Calif., Steven (Trudee) Groves of Stillwater, Minn., David (Robin) Groves of Stillwater, Timothy (Karen) Groves of Colorado Springs, Colo., Suzanne Groves of Hudson, children-in-heart Blaine Strom and Joseph Kinney of Hudson; grandchildren: Mario, Matthew, Maggie, Kacie, Kellen, Amanda, Cory, Jennifer, Jake, Trevor, Kendra, Hunter; and great-grandchildren Elliot and Preston James.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Clyde H. and Estelle (Boulware) Groves; and his "Sally Dog."

A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, at the Unitarian Universalist Society of River Falls at N8010 State Road 65.

Full military honors to pay tribute to Jim's service in the Air Force will be provided by the Hudson VFW.

Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 7, at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home of Hudson.

Memorials preferred.

O'Connell Family Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.