Longtime Tigard resident Walter (Wally) Groce died peacefully at home after a decades long battle with prostate cancer. He was born at home in Plentywood, Montana and grew up in a Catholic orphanage. He came to Portland after high school, shortly before World War II.
In 1942 he enlisted in the Air Force and fulfilled his dream to become a pilot. He flew combat missions in Europe, flying a P-47 Thunderbolt. He received several medals for his service, and achieved the rank of captain.
After the war he completed a business degree at the University of Portland. In 1950 he went to work for E.F. Houghton, selling industrial chemicals in Oregon and Washington.
In 1955 he married Patricia Webb. They built a home on Bull Mountain in Tigard where he lived for many years and raised horses for showing. Between them they had 6 children – Jeffrey, Jeri, Patrick, Kelle, Yvonne, and Michael. He was widowed in 1977.
In 1979 he married Trula Beadnell, also a widow, who had two sons and a daughter – Rick, Steve, and Denise. Wally retired in 1985 and enjoyed many winters in Arizona with Trula as "snowbirds". In 2000 they downsized and moved to the King City area.
He is survived by his wife of 33 years, 6 children, 3 stepchildren, many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on January 5th, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Young's Funeral Home in Tigard. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to Legacy Hospice McMinnville.