WOOSTER ? Alice C. Grosjean, 105, died at West View Manor on Tuesday, May 25, 2010.
She was born May 18, 1905 to Walter T. and Jessie Smith Childs in Fremont, Ohio and after her marriage was a lifelong resident of Wooster. Her mother died when she was three years old. She and a sister Jessie were raised by her father, a maiden aunt and a bachelor uncle.
She graduated from Fremont High School in 1923 and majored in French at the College of Wooster, graduating in 1927. After graduation she taught at Orrville Junior High School for one year to comply with her father?s request that she first learn to make a living before getting married to her college sweetheart, George Forest Grosjean. George, a life-long Wooster resident, was the seventh son of Louis and Elizabeth Leeper Grosjean of Wooster. Alice and George were happily married for 61 years until his death on October 15, 1989.
Alice was proud to be a 4th generation descendent of two prominent Wooster families. Her paternal great-great grandfather, a dry-goods merchant, Walter Childs came to Wooster from Alexandria, Virginia in 1802. Her paternal great-grandfather, William Childs, was mayor of Wooster in 1855 and became a dry goods merchant with a store on Liberty Street across from Freedlander?s. Her maternal great-grandfather, Rev. David Kammerer moved to Ohio from Pittsburg and was one of the early ministers (1845) of the German Reformed Church (presently the Trinity United Church of Christ on North Street). He preached in German to a large German community and his ministry lasted 25 years.
She has been a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Wooster since 1930. Except for recent years, she has been an active member of the church, having served as elder, deacon, and a trustee. She was also active in the Women?s Association and was a morning circle leader at the church.
Alice participated in the community of Wooster serving as President of Band Mothers, Presbyterian Women?s Federated Clubs and Travelers? Club where she was President in 1957-1959. Upon her death, she had been an esteemed member of Travelers Club since 1945. She was a charter member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood (Chapter DF) with a 50 year membership. She was a former member of the Olive Branch, the Isaac Walton League, a charter member of the Junior Women?s Club, member of the Wooster-Wayne Chapter of the DAR, the Salvation Army Women?s Auxiliary and Wayne County Historical Society.
Alice was a spirited, hard-working woman with a curiosity about life. She loved politics, expressed strong opinions and loved a good discussion or argument with family and friends. She frequently talked ?Health and Nutrition? with family, friends and acquaintances telling them about the benefits of nutritious eating and drinking lots of water (she practiced her own beliefs and lived a very long and happy life). She will be most remembered around town for her unrelenting passion as she vigorously campaigned against Fluoridation, an issue very important to her.
In her middle years, she was known by a friend of George?s as ?Snow on the Roof, Fire in the Furnace?-a wonderful description of her! Alice enjoyed socializing, decorating her house, gardening, cooking and entertaining family and friends. Her house was featured on the annual AAUW house tour in 1980. She regularly played bridge and belonged to a monthly bridge club until three months before her 100th birthday in May 2005. She also kept up her driving license and regularly drove her car in and out of town until age 97.
In August 2001, Alice donated 86 acres of land to the City of Wooster to be used as a park and nature trail. She wanted it to be named ?Grosjean Park? in honor of her husband. Her husband, George, owned and operated the Farmer?s Livestock Association for 32 years. He was a board member of the Wayne County Fair for 30 years and enjoyed being superintendent of the harness races. In 1988 (a year before he died), he was honored to become a member of the Wooster High School Sports Hall of Fame.
One of the highlights of Alice?s later life was the week-long celebration of her 100th birthday in 2005. The Spring 2005 Wooster College Alumni magazine featured her picture on its cover and her life story as its lead article: ?Living to 100-a Visit with Alice Grosjean?, written by Lisa Watts. She loved the color ?Pink? so she was pleased to see a full color photo of her pink living room. The article closed with this quote: ?I?ve enjoyed every phase of my life. Now I don?t mind being old?.
In Wayne Ancestors (Fall 2005), the Wayne County Genealogical society featured Alice?s life in a three-page article titled: ?Member Celebrates 100th Birthday? (her own words dictated to her daughter). At the end of the article, she expressed these words: ?Despite the advancement of women?s freedom in the workplace, I never wanted nor chose to have a career, other than that of a wife, mother and homemaker. In spite of all the many changes in the world, I still feel that my life has been blessed by my family, relatives, friends and my faith in God. I have indeed been fortunate to have been able to reach 100 years of age and to have led such a fulfilled life over many decades?.
For over 67 years, she lived in her house on Burbank Road in Wooster that she and her husband purchased in 1941. This house was one of her greatest joys and it was here that all four of her children were raised. She was happy that all of her children graduated from college and pursued a post-graduate education. Her daughter Georgeann came to live with her and care for her when she was 98 years old. She spent the last two years of her life at West View Manor where she received excellent care.
Alice was a wonderful mother, grandmother, aunt and friend. She was deeply loved and her ?sparkle? and zest for life will certainly be remembered and missed by all those who knew her.
Alice had one sister, Jessie Hull, deceased and a brother, Walter, who died in infancy. She is survived by her son Walter (Pearl) Grosjean and two daughters: Judith (Lou) Benoist and Georgeann Grosjean. Her eldest daughter, Carol Reed Renner preceded her in death in March, 2005.
She is survived by eight grandchildren: Julie (Dag) Skattum, London, England, Heidi (Jack) Gant, Wooster, OH, Scott Grosjean, Chicago, Il, children of Walter and Pearl; Blaise (Elizabeth) Benoist, Orlando, FL, Leonel (Michele) Benoist, Tampa, FL, children of Judith and Lou; Elizabeth (John) Click, Shaker Heights, OH, Scott (Rebecca) Renner, Wellesley, MA, John (Copeland) Renner, Columbia, SC, children of Carol and Don Reed and Jack Renner.
Alice is also survived by sixteen great-grandchildren: Lars, Erik, and Nils Skattum (children of Julie and Dag); Megan and Trevor Gant (children of Heidi and Jack); Caroline and Tucker Click (children of Elizabeth and John); Luc and Juliette Benoist (children of Blaise and Elizabeth); Chace, Chloe and Trey Benoist (children of Leonel and Michele); Henry and Clara Renner (children of Scott and Rebecca); and Sophie and Bailey Renner (daughters of John and Copeland Renner).
If desired, memorial contributions may be made to George F. Grosjean Memorial Fund, c/o The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH 44691 or to the Salvation Army, Wooster Corps, 437 S. Market St., Wooster, OH 44691 or the First Presbyterian Church, 621 College Ave., Wooster, OH 44691.
Friends may call from 6-8:00 P.M. on Monday, May 31 at the McIntire, Davis & Greene Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St. Wooster. There will be a private interment.
A Memorial Service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 621 College Ave., Wooster on Tuesday, June 1, at 2:00 P.M. with the Rev. James Watt officiating.
George F. Grosjean Memorial Fund, c/o The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH 44691 or to the Salvation Army, Wooster Corps, 437 S. Market St., Wooster, OH 44691 or to the First Presbyterian Church, 621 College Ave., Wooster, OH 44691
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 2:00 P.M. at the First Presbyterian Church
Monday, May 31, 2010 from 6-8:00 P.M. at the Funeral Home