Arthur Williams Gruver, age 87, a resident of Reliance, Virginia passed away Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at his home.
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A funeral service for Mr. Gruver will be conducted at 1:00 PM Saturday, April 19, 2014 at Reliance United Methodist Church with Rev. Mary Lock and Rev. Joel Thornton officiating. Burial will follow in Reliance Cemetery, Warren County.
He was born on April 15, 1927 in Reliance, Virginia, a son of the late David Newton and Nellie Belle Branner Gruver.
He was the youngest of their seven children, all whom preceded him in death, sisters, Martha Lee Gruver, Henriette Gruver, and Elsie G. Marcantonio; brothers, Lester, Merle and Nelson Gruver.
His family was very active in the Reliance EUB church (now Reliance United Methodist Church) and at nine years of age he became a member. He attended Reliance Elementary School and Middletown High School. In 1945 he joined the Navy Seabees. His tour of duty took him to Pearl Harbor, Okinawa, and then on to Amoy, Shanghai and Hong Kong, China, traveling back to the U.S. through the Panama Canal. He then worked briefly at Dick and Annabelle's Esso Station in Middletown and in 1949 became employed by Downing Motor Company in Front Royal as a mechanic. In 1960 he became a machinist for Valley Distributors, Inc. in Winchester, which later became Big A Auto Parts from where he retired in 1989.
He married Mary Virginia Dicks on May 5, 1956 in Reliance EUB Church. Following a trip to Arizona and Texas, they moved into their home in the Reliance community.
He enjoyed bowling and was an avid grass mower. He loved mowing for his family and friends and could be seen many days from early Spring through late Fall on his John Deere riding mower. He loved and pampered their last three cats and they were their "children" for many years. During his last illness he was fortunate to have two devoted caregivers Danielle Plum and Deborah Poore.
Mr. Gruver is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Mary Virginia Dicks Gruver of Reliance, VA; six nephews; a niece, and a number of great and great-great nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be Guy T. Gruver, Robert L. Gruver, Roger Robinson, Raymond Sargent, Richard Sargent, and Michael Sargent.
Honorary pallbearers will be Robert E. Gruver, Roy Rumsey, Linwood McIntire, and Bruce Robinson.
The family will receive friends at Stover Funeral Home on Friday evening from 6-8 PM.
Flowers will be accepted or those who wish may make memorial contributions to Royal Oak Animal Clinic, "Need Animal Care Fund", 25 W. Jackson St., Front Royal, VA 22630 or Middletown Fire and Rescue Co., P.O. Box 111, Middletown, VA 22645.
Sign the guest book and submit condolences to the family at www.stoverfuneralhome.com
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Published in Northern Virginia Daily on Apr. 17, 2014