Date of Death: August 10, 2021
Visitation will be on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Three Rivers. A memorial service will follow immediately at 11:30 a.m., with Rev. Brenda Deily officiating.
Annie Mary Grover passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 10, 2021 at Birch Meadows Adult Foster Care in Three Rivers, Michigan surrounded by members of her family. She was 105.
Born on April 10, 1916 in Willowtown, Kentucky, Annie was the daughter of William and Irene Oda (Abell) Kirtley. As a child, she saw one of the parades for Charles Lindbergh’s return from his historic 1927 Atlantic crossing. Remarkably, she survived two pandemics during her lifetime.
Annie grew up on the family farm, which was largely self-sufficient. She became an avid gardener who took great pride in her bounteous vegetable crops and gorgeous flower gardens. She was an expert at canning fresh produce and renowned for the delicious strawberry jams and sweet summer corn her family enjoyed all year long. At Christmas, she made sure they had plenty of homemade fudge, peanut brittle, and popcorn balls molded by hand using her own caramel sauce recipe.
Annie was also a proud career woman, who was employed at the J.C. Penney Company in Bluffton, Indiana and Three Rivers, Michigan for 30 years. She married her high school sweetheart Dale Eugene Grover on Christmas Eve 1936. Dale’s heart condition kept him from military service, but the two supported the war effort as workers at Franklin Electric in Bluffton, Indiana – whose first product was a backup generator used to power the radio equipment for paratroopers and other assault troops in World War II.
During their many happy years together, they had two children and six grandchildren. From their winter home in Fort Myers, Florida, Annie and Dale would walk the beaches together, where she loved collecting interesting seashells and pretty rocks.
Annie thrilled to attend the St. Joseph County Fair each year, making it a point to see the animal barns. But the highlight was always a ride on the Ferris wheel, a tradition she kept for decades, until her last visit at age 101.
For many years a member of Howardsville Gospel Chapel, she was deeply committed to her church community. As well as regular at church and Bible study, she assisted her dear friends Bob and Emagene Owen in processing grapes used in the juice for church communion.
She enjoyed traveling with friends – visiting Alaska three times, Hawaii two times, Portugal, and many states coast to coast. She also enjoyed card games and slumber parties with her friends.
Remaining to cherish her memory are her daughter, Joyce Clay; son-in-law, Gus Armstrong; grandchildren, Kathryn Clay (Daniel Reifsnyder), Ross Clay, Rodd Clay, Yvonne Armstrong, Tamara (Doug) Bloss and Patrick (Nicole) Armstrong; great-grandchildren, Chad and Kurt Armstrong, Ryan, Matt and Troy Bloss, Brian, Brandon and Cole Armstrong; four great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dale; her daughter, Barbara Armstrong; her son-in-law, Ken Clay; her grandson, David Armstrong; her great-grandson, Charlie Reifsnyder; and three brothers.
Donations in Annie’s memory may be directed to the First Presbyterian Church of Three Rivers or the Howardsville Gospel Chapel. Envelopes are available at Hohner Funeral Home.
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