James Byron "Bunny" Grove, 93, Lakemont, went to be with his Lord Wednesday morning at Van Zandt VA Medical Center after an extended illness.
He was born in Duncansville, the fifth child of nine born to the late John R. and Arvilla (Clapper) Grove. He was united in marriage to Mildred G. Confer on Dec. 30, 1939, and they celebrated 73 years together.
Surviving are his wife; three children: Terry and wife, Carol, of Winter Park, Fla., Chris and wife, Claudia, of Sinking Valley and Priscilla Gibboney and husband, Tom, of Huntingdon; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a sister, Helen Lightner of Altoona.
He was preceded in death by three brothers: Raymond, John and Earl; and four sisters: Evelyn Eckley, Audra (Fonner) Delozier, Edna Lightner and Delores Irene Patterson.
James served in the U.S. Navy and was a veteran of WWII, specializing in land, sea and air rescue. He was employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad, serving for 40 years. He worked through the crafts ranks and middle management and finished as superintendent of production planning. He worked on numerous special assignments, including mediating labor disputes at the national level.
He was a lifelong member of Carson Valley Church of the Brethren, where he served as a deacon, annual conference representative, member of the Middle Pennsylvania District board, youth adviser and Sunday school teacher. After retirement, he joined the post-30 Brethren Volunteer Service and served five years at the Oakbrook Church of the Brethren Theological Seminary in Oakbrook, Ill. He also volunteered on disaster response teams and at the church world service office in New Windsor, Md.
James was a member of the Blair County Coin and Stamp Club and Altoona Engineering Society. He was a Boy Scout merit badge counselor and served as a board member of the Altoona YMCA and Logan Area and Altoona Area School Board Authority.
He was an avid coin and stamp collector, and he enjoyed vegetable and flower gardening. As a sports enthusiast, he was an exceptional bowler and horseshoe pitcher. He participated in the Blair County Golden Games as well as the National Veterans Golden Age Games. Over a 16-year period, he won 60 medals, 48 of them gold.
Friends will be received from 6 to 9 p.m. today at Gilden Barton Funeral Home, 1401 Ninth Ave., Altoona, and 10 until the 11 a.m. funeral service Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at Carson Valley Church of the Brethren, Pastor Bradley R. Runkle officiating. Interment will be at Geeseytown Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Van Zandt VA Medical Center Hospice Care or Carson Valley Church of the Brethren Deacons' Fund.