Ina Mae (Caringer) Groves of Vichy was born Tuesday, Nov. 14, 1933, in Huzzah, to William “Bill” Charles Caringer and Ina Lucille Brown Caringer.
She passed away Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, at Gasconade Manor Nursing Home in Owensville, at the age of 87 years, two months and one day.
Ina grew up between the farm at Huzzah and Dry Creek outside of Cherryville. She helped on the farm doing various chores, went to Slowensky School, graduated from Cherryville High School and later attended Draughon Business College in Springfield.
She married Gerald Stinson Groves Sept. 5, 1952, in Cherryville, and to this union two children were born. After their marriage, they moved to San Diego to live on the base where Gerald was stationed while in the Marine Corps. They moved back to the St. Louis area to raise their family, where she worked for FruCon Construction for two years before deciding to be a stay-at-home mom.
She became involved with Girl Scouts, where she put her heart and soul into the program for over eight years. The Girl Scout motto was “Be Prepared.” They would go camping, hiking and do service projects. She enjoyed teaching life skills to many girls. She also did work with Boy Scouts as Tim was growing up, helping with pinewood derbies and skill shows. She loved working with the kids.
Ina later worked at So Fro Fabrics in Ballwin for 11 years. She had a wonderful knowledge of sewing and made clothing for her family. She loved making matching shirts for the guys, PJ pants for all of the grandkids and made quilts for all of them. Ina was a great cook, loved canning and gardening just the same. She loved the outdoors and would organize trips to Wyoming and Colorado. Ina was the foundation of her family and wasn’t afraid to take on any project.
As for her grandchildren, she adored them all. She would take Amy and Laura shopping and crank up Neil Diamond in the Ford Cougar while singing Cracklin Rosie, Sweet Caroline or Song Sung Blue to name a few. She loved Neil Diamond’s music and went to five concerts over the years. Ina Mae and Gerald moved to Vichy in 2000. They named their new place, “Rocky Top.” There they began hunting a lot; she got her first deer, turkey and many squirrels. She truly loved her songbirds and fed them year round. They went fishing together and took the grandkids as well. She would take the boys hunting or swimming in their pool and loved it when the grandkids would come stay with them in the summer, watching Cardinals games and eating popcorn together. Whether it was target practice, hunting, fishing and swimming with the boys, or sewing, baking cookies, swimming and playing games with the girls, “Grandma” was who she was, a very loving woman, friend and hero.
She was preceded in death by her parents, William “Bill” and Ina Caringer; husband, Gerald Groves; sisters, Marie (Gene) Bay and Billie (Walter) Manion; and brother Andy Caringer.
She is survived by her children, Theresa (Mike) Durbin of Union and Tim (Stephanie) Groves of Hartsburg; brother, Charles “Bud” Caringer (Shirley Crabtree) of Davisville; grandchildren, Dustin Groves of Michigan, Samuel Groves (fiancé Savannah Williams) of Jefferson City, Joshua Groves (fiancée Sara Riggs) of Ashland, Amy (Casey) Kirkpatrick of Wright City and Laura (Daniel) Gruen and James Durbin, all of Union; great-grandchildren, Valerie Groves of Sullivan, Stinson Gruen of Union and Asher Groves of Michigan; nephew, Robert Manion of Brunswick; and nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Funeral services were held Monday, Jan. 18, at Hutson Funeral Home in Steelville with Rev. Jerry Beers officiating. Burial was in Steelville Cemetery. Memorial contributions suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association or Gasconade Manor for activities.