George Edward “Pete” Groom
George Edward “Pete” Groom, 84, of Stewartsville, passed away on May 4, 2018, at Mosaic Hospital in St. Joseph. He is survived by his loving wife of over 61 years, Mary Irene, his son, Donald, his grandchildren, Benjamin and Kimberly, his sisters Ginger Burris and Eileen Oyler, and his brother, Lowell Groom. He is preceded in death by his parents, Horace and Betty Groom, his sister, Deanie Baker, and his brother, Bill Groom.
Funeral Services will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at Turner Family Funeral Home of Stewartsville with Full Military Honors and burial at Lebanon Cemetery. Visitation: 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Memorial Contributions in lieu of flowers: Disabled American Veterans or St. Jude’s Hospital. Online Condolences: www.turnerfamilyfuneral.com
Pete was born on October 7, 1933 in Stewartsville, Missouri. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantryman on March 26, 1951, and he fought in the Korean War from August 1951 to August 1952, during which time he was wounded in combat and was subsequently awarded the Purple Heart. Pete then served as a Combat Engineer in West Germany and was instrumental in assisting with relief efforts during the North Sea Flood of 1953—he was formally recognized by the Queen of the Netherlands for his contributions. After returning to the States in 1954, he served in a variety of military assignments, including Combat Engineer, Military Policeman, Ammunition Storage Specialist, and Artillery Gunner.
In 1961, Pete then trained as an Infantry Operations and Intelligence Specialist, serving with the Special Forces first on the Island of Okinawa and then in Vietnam from December 1961 to March 1963. During this time, he was captured by Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam and was held as a Prisoner of War from April 8, 1962, until May 1, 1962. He and three other Special Forces soldiers had been training a South Vietnamese village self defense group, when they were ambushed and captured by enemy guerrilla forces. After his release, debriefing, and short recuperation, he returned to Vietnam to complete his tour of duty. For his valor and heroism in combat, he was awarded the prestigious Silver Star Medal.
For the next ten years, Pete served in several special forces trainer and advisor positions in the United States and around the world, including Fort Bragg , North Carolina , Ethiopia , The Republic of China ( Taiwan ), Fort Sheridan , Illinois , and Iran . Pete’s last military assignment was as an Intelligence Sergeant at Fort Knox , Kentucky , from May 1970 until his retirement from the Army as a Master Sergeant in 1973. After leaving active duty, Pete continued to serve the nation he loved as a civil servant. Being an expert in the operation and maintenance of nearly all of the machine guns and small arms weaponry in the U.S. Army’s inventory, he worked as a senior depot-level weapons repair professional for over 20 years at Fort Knox, before retiring and ultimately returning to his native home of Stewartsville.
Pete was a devoted husband, father, and friend. He loved God, his family, his community, and his Country. He demonstrated this throughout his life by his consistent willingness to help, to give, to encourage, and to sacrifice. For his warmth, his smile, his quick wit, and for so many other reasons, he will be sorely missed.