Donald A. Groomes, 78, of Connellsville, passed away Saturday, October 29, 2011 at home surrounded by his loving family. Don was born May 4, 1933 at Rices Landing a son of the late W. Arthur and Ida (Neff) Groomes.
Don was the owner-operator of Groomes Transit Inc. and Groomes Tours of Scottdale for 33 years and was a graduate of Freeport High School Class of 1951.
A civic minded businessman, Don was a member of the Scottdale Rotary Club where he received the Paul Harris Fellow Award. He was a member of the Iron Workers Union and was a 32nd degree mason belonging to the Marion Lodge F & AM 562; the Syria Shrine, the Uniontown Lodge of Perfection and a member of the Masonic Motorcycle Corps. Besides his love of family, Don's greatest passion was aviation. He was a pilot and flight instructor, was a member of the EAA Pilots Association, and flew helicopters for Penn Line and Asplundh Aviation. He also enjoyed boating and motorcycles. Don proudly served in the US Air Force and was always willing to lend a helping hand, which gained him recognition in the 1970's when he received a heroism award from the National Safety Council for helping a family escape danger by rescuing them from a burning wrecked automobile on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, where he pulled the family to safety.
In addition to his parents, Don was preceded in death by infant twin sons.
Fond memories of Don will be remembered by his family, including his devoted wife, Janie (Blackburn) Groomes; four children, Susan Robinson and husband Bob of Connecticut; Janice Groomes of Quebec, Canada; Linda Rumbaugh and husband Randy of Dawson and Thomas Groomes and wife Rhonda of South Connesllville; five step-children, whom he loved as his own, Vicki Siesky and husband Jeff of White; Bobbie Eicher and husband Gary of Scottdale; Cherie Miller and husband Scott of Scottdale; Robert Guynn and wife Katie of Mt. Airy, MD; and Paula Robbins and husband Ken of Connellsville; 21 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren; his two sisters, Betty Kupas of Leechburg and Carolyn Groomes of Oklahoma and numerous nieces and nephews and his faithful dog, Maggie.