Donald Groves

Donald Groves, 77, died Sunday, Dec. 6, at home in Dallas after a long battle with dementia and esophageal cancer.

He was born on Dec. 21, 1937 to Ross and Elvina Groves in Viroqua, Wis., where he acquired his small-town values of love of life and caring for your neighbor. Groves spent his early academic years in a one-room schoolhouse, attended Lutheran College, spent two years playing French horn in the United States Army band, and started a long career in the automotive business at Humphrey Chevrolet in Milwaukee, Wis. He later went to work for General Motors in Detroit and traveled across the country as an automotive accountant before being transferred to Dallas.

He enjoyed making and keeping many friends wherever he worked before retiring. Friends referred to him as Pied Piper or Auntie Mame because of his generosity, kindness and warmth. Whether he was making new friends wherever he visited or rolling coins for the Salvation Army at Christmas, there was never a doubt that any family member, friend or stranger would go overlooked or without.

When he was not working, Groves enjoyed dinning out and attending theater and the opera in Santa Fe, N.M. He supported the United States Olympics, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Associates of the Restored Temple Theatre, in Viroqua, Wisc.

His parents, Ross and Elvina, his sister Betty Heltne and his brother Phil, preceded him in death. He is survived by his husband and partner of nearly 50 years, Jay Stankiewicz, his loving sister Rachel Lehmann and her husband Ed, his sister-in-law, JoAnn and nine nephews and nieces. His smile, the sound of his voice and the music he made will forever be missed.

Larry (Laverne) Don Symns


Larry (Laverne) Don Symns, 73, died Nov. 6 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was born in Dallas on June 22, 1942.

Laverne was a very kind and happy person. He came out in Dallas in the early 1970s and made many long lasting friendships too numerous to mention. He blessed us with his presence for 73 joyous years. All who knew him will miss his smile, laugh and genuine friendship. His friends will always love him.