Thursday, January 26, 2012


I have a small scar on my chin, courtesy of a German Shepherd who was not at all interested in receiving my enthusiastic pats. I was four then. The bite I received is long gone from my memory, though I do remember the dog and that it was in the morning and in our driveway.

I also have a scar in my heart.  It belongs to my mother. She left this life four years ago.  I googled her name the other day which is crazy but I was curious what I would find.  I found her obituary and several links to this site. I clicked on her obituary and when I read it, I smiled.  The woman I read about was awesome.  I am so proud of her, so thankful for her. Still. Always.

ELIZABETH OXHOLM GROTH passed away peacefully on the evening of January 27, 2008, her son and daughter by her side.

Born in 1925 in Staten Island, New York, Elizabeth (Betty) lived a long and exciting life, actively involved in sports, the arts and travel. In high school and in her college years, she excelled in Field Hockey, Basketball and Tennis. She graduated from Vassar College with a degree in Economics, and never let her children forget that while they took four and five years to earn their degrees, it only took her three.

When she married Edward Groth, Jr., he took her from her beloved New York City to the city of Houston where he correctly envisioned a successful future in the oil and gas business on the Gulf Coast. She agreed to go on the condition that they return to New York at least once a year, a trip that would include dinner at Sardi's, and at least one Broadway Show, and a trip they made annually until his death.

As he formed Groth Corporation, she worked by his side, her initial desk being a door placed atop two sawhorses. There was no money for a chair at that time. Through the years, as they grew the business, Edward often referred to Betty as the greatest business asset he could have married.

Following her mother's footsteps, Betty moved on from Groth Corporation and chose a career in Residential Realty. She worked for over 20 years with John Daugherty Realtors, many of those years as one of Houston's top Realtors.

Betty pursued her love of the Arts through a lifetime membership in the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and she pursued volunteer work through her membership of the Junior League of Houston, Inc. She also played tennis at least twice a week at the Houston Racquet Club.

Betty had a unique intellectual wit and strength. She was a true individual who could hold her own in any situation, never hesitated to give her opinion and rarely lost a debate. She loved Classical and Big Band Music. And she enjoyed her weekly Wednesday night Prime Rib dinners at the Houston Racquet Club with Edward, relishing the first notes of New York, New York, the piano player would play when she entered the room.

At a time when many her age would choose to retire, she and Edward instead chose to adopt two of their Grandchildren, giving them a stable home and opportunity. More than one eyebrow was raised when she would nonchalantly say she had five children, the oldest in his late 40s and the youngest six years old. Such was the heart and sense of humor of Betty Groth.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Edward Groth, Jr., her mother, Dorothy VanDeventer, and father, "Pappy." She is survived by her brothers Phil VanDeventer and Carl Oxholm; by her son Carl and his wife Kathy, her daughter Marianne, her daughter Alison, her daughter Catherine, her son Edward, and her Granddaughter, Alexandra.

The family would like to thank the many caregivers who aided her in the last year and days of Betty's life, in particular, Eniola, Shirley, and Dorothy from Innovative Nursing, and Veronica from Odyssey Hospice. Their skill, kindness and compassion will forever be appreciated.

A Memorial Service will be conducted at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road, in the old church, at two o'clock in the afternoon on Thursday the 31st of January 2008 with the Rev. Dr. John K. Graham officiating. Immediately following the service there will be a Reception in the Founders Hall.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to DePelchin Children's Center, Museum of Fine Arts, or a charity of individual choice.

Published in the Houston Chronicle on 1/29/2008.

I miss my mother, so very much. I miss her still. I'll miss her always.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A few days ago, I ran across the pamplet that was passed out at your Mom's service at St. Martin's Church. I remember the service very clearly and was honored to sit next to you and Jessie in the front row. Both of your parents were perfect examples of the WW2 generation, often referred to as "The Greatest Generation." Gone, but not forgotten. Also not forgotten is the way you enabled MA to say goodbye to her Mom that she still talks about every day.