Jack Murray Groves, age 82, passed away Thursday, November 4, 2021 at his residence in New Smyrna Beach, Florida with all his children by his side. Born on March 13, 1939 in Boulder, Colorado to Frank Samuel and Evelyn Lucy Freeman Groves, Jack and his family soon moved to and remained in Carterville, Illinois.
Jack graduated from Carterville High School in 1957. He served active duty in the US Air Force from 1960-1963, primarily stationed in Okinawa where his life-long love of Asian arts and culture began. He was honorably discharged from reserve duty in 1966. He attended Southern Illinois University, achieving his Bachelor of Arts in 1966 and a Master’s of Business Administration in 1973.
Jack began his career in medical school administration at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Illinois. This led to his appointments as Assistant Dean, University of Oregon Health Sciences Center in Portland, Oregon; Associate Dean, Wright State University School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio; and Vice President, National College of Chiropractic,Lombard, Illinois from which he retired in 1999.
In 1978, Jack met and married Linda Lou Denman Groves. Prior to her passing in February 2019, they spent 40 years together raising their children, creating various arts and crafts, traveling in their RV with family and friends, attending art festivals and being actively involved in the martial arts world. Upon Linda’s death, Jack lived in Wood River, Illinois before moving to NewSmyrna Beach, Florida in 2020.
Jack loved his family, his pets, his friends, his karate students, and the arts. He was a life-long student, always seeking to learn and improve, but humble in his achievements. He was an extremely gifted artist; and some of the mediums he became proficient in throughout his life were drawing/sketching, painting, welded sculpture, stained glass and wire sculpting.
Jack became a student of karate in 1987 while at Wright State University and continued to advance in the discipline throughout his years in Wheaton, Illinois. Upon retirement, Jack andLinda moved to Eureka Springs, Arkansas where they opened and ran Groves Karate Studio until 2012. Over his martial arts career, Jack achieved the rank of 6 th degree black belt in Shorei-ryu style karate, 1 st degree black belt in Shinto-Ryu style karate, and studied and taught other martial arts specialty techniques. He was inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2001, awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the United States Martial Arts Council in 2001, and awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Martial Arts Council in 2015.
Jack was preceded in death by his father, mother, wife, and two brothers, Frank and Mike. Family he is survived by include Michelle (Alan) Baker, Springfield, Illinois, Garrett Groves,Wood River, Illinois, Sunnie McRee, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Andrea (Lance) Stephens, Houston, Texas, Curtis Shaw, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Louise Groves, Boulder, Colorado, seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and cousins.
An informal memorial gathering to celebrate his life will be held on November 20, 2021 from 1:00-4:00 pm at Rustic Roots, Wood River, Illinois.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/donate/donate-to-st-jude.html).
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