George R. Grogan passed away at home in Santa Rosa on June 1, 2013. He was 97 years old. He was born March 2, 1916 in Kaukauna Wisconsin. His parents were Francis Grogan and Elizabeth Foley Grogan. He was the third child in a family of four brothers. George participated in sports in high school. He attended the University of Idaho and played on the basketball team. After two years he transferred to the University of Michigan in 1938 majoring in Forestry. He had spent some summers in Michigan with his Uncle George Grogan who was a forester. That inspired him to choose that profession. After graduating from the University of Michigan he set out for his first forestry job. He got off the train at Milford, California in July of 1939 and spent the summer working for the US Forest Service. The crew he worked on was verifying the boundaries of the Lassen National Forest. Two other members of that seasonal crew were William M (Bill) Beaty and John Zivnuska. In later years George and Bill became good friends and were in Redding Rotary together. John Zivnuska became Dean of the School of Forestry at UC Berkeley. The following year he was hired by Red River Lumber Company as a forester. George recalled hearing about Pearl Harbor while eating breakfast at a restaurant in Westwood. He was asked what he was going to do and he replied that he had already signed up for the Navy. Of course at that time everyone thought the war was only in Europe. His report date was moved up a couple of months. He went to Officer Candidate School and then was assigned to Pacific Fleet Destroyers. He served on different ships including the USS Kidd. He felt lucky to have not been assigned to the ship when it was hit by a kamikaze and sustained serious damage. Most of his time in the Navy during World War II he taught the use of sonar. While on leave in 1943 he was married to Joan Mayer also of Kaukauna, Wisconsin. They were married at Mission San Luis Obispo. When the war ended he returned to his job as a forester in Westwood. He and Joan lived at Clear Creek near Westwood and then moved to Burney. He saw that the holdings of Red River Lumber Company were being divided up among the Walker family members, things were changing and he went to work for the California Division of Forestry which is now known as CalFire. He did some work at Latour State Forest and then transferred to Santa Rosa where he worked as a Forest Technician on the North Coast. In 1955 he came back to Redding to be Deputy State Forester of the Sierra Cascade District. George and Joan enjoyed attending dances at the Elks Lodge. He enjoyed the camaraderie in Redding Rotary. He and Joan and the family were members of St Joseph Parish. In 1973 his job took him to Santa Rosa, the North Coast region for the second time. He retired in 1981. One aspect of his job that he enjoyed was hiring graduate foresters to work for the agency. When he retired it was estimated that 5o people whom he had hired were working for the agency. He was proud of that. He was a member of the Society of American Foresters and a Registered Professional Forester. In Santa Rosa he and Joan were members of St Eugene's Parish. They did some traveling after he retired including a trip to New Brunswick, Canada where his father was born. He enjoyed history, he read several books about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and they visited many of the sites along the trail. Joan and George took some ferry trips in British Columbia and Joan said it reminded George of his time at sea in the Navy. George enjoyed wood working and growing vegetables. George had an engaging personality. He was a sports fan and followed the Bay Area teams. He grew up as a Green Bay Packers fan. The 49ers became his favorite team but he still followed the Packers too. George was predeceased by his wife Joan (2012) and their daughter Maureen (1983). He was also predeceased by his three brothers Francis, Robert and John. He is survived by three children, Richard of Redding, Katy Thomas of Cotati and Janet Edwards of San Diego. The grandchildren are Joel and Tristan, Erin and Christopher and Julie and Allison. The family would like to thank Home Healthcare, Inc as well as Dr. Bisbee and his staff. Inurnment was at Calvary Cemetery in Santa Rosa and a private joint service for Joan and George will be held. Memorial donations can be made to St Eugene's in Santa Rosa or the
. Daniel's Chapel of the Roses in Santa Rosa is handling the arrangements.
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Daniels Chapel of the Roses
1225 Sonoma Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Published Online in the Press Democrat from June 23 to June 26, 2013