Award Ceremony on May 16th

I’m pleased to announce that the Florence M. Grous Scholarship Memorial Fund has raised $8,220 to date.  Amazing!  Thank you to everyone who has donated!  The Scholarship will be awarded annually to a Rutgers nursing student nearing the end of their studies.

I’m also very pleased to announce that on Friday, May 16, 2014, the very first Scholar will be presented with this year’s award.  There will be a small ceremony with the the Scholar, the Dean of Nursing, Nursing Administration and Staff, and our entire family.  Dad, Carolyn, Alice, Jerry and I are all looking forward to attending at the Rutgers campus in Newark NJ.  We will meet the Scholar and have a tour of the nursing facility.

This scholarship will be awarded annually.  If you are looking for a great place to donate your tax refund, please consider adding to the amount raised so far so that we can keep the scholarship going for many years to come.  If available, matching funds really help too.  We hope to raise at least $50,000 over time in order to have it endowed.  Details on how to donate are in a prior posting, or contact one of us.

“Golden Coins”

“Golden Coins”

December 5, 2013
by Philip P. Grous

– – –

Time to start cashing in some of those Golden Coins from my memory bank.  I watched a beautiful show tonight, “The Sound of Music Live!”, a live 3 hour performance on NBC.  I was really impressed by the great production and performances.  I know Mom would have loved it too.  As I watched and enjoyed the show, I realized that, all of the beautiful moments that we ever had, we shared them together.  It would have been great if we could have watched it together tonight.

Then I recalled what I said in “Precious Tears”.  When things get a little tough or I feel sad about her not being here, I need to recall the good times that she enjoyed.  That is what adds value to those Golden Coins.

The was so lucky (no, I don’t mean at the Casino) but she was lucky there too.  She had a very enjoyable and satisfying life [Coin].  She loved traveling around our country; both on my business trips and on vacations [Coin].  Maybe not the camping trips too much.  Day or night trips to AC and Chester, [Coin] and she didn’t even know about the Great Lottery Ticket scratch-off at her luncheon or the family Memorial trip to Harrah’s afterward in her honor.  Then there were the cruises [Coins], the trips to colleges, trips to Florida and Massachusetts [more Coins].  Vacations to the Shore and elsewhere.  They were great.  She even liked it at work where she was really the background boss according to her old boss, John Gahagan [Coin].  She was the go-to-person for soft pretzels, group lottery tickets and office pools.  She liked her co-workers and she was very good at her job [Coin].

But most of all, she enjoyed her children (and her grandchildren even more) [Coins].  A sad thing though is that she didn’t get to see how you rallied together and around me too in our very darkest hours.  She would be so proud of you. [Coins]  She did a great job.

There is so much more.  She enjoyed thirteen years of comfortable retirement, doing whatever she wanted whenever she wanted.  Friday night Bingo. [Coin]  She had many good friends and neighbors who all enjoyed each other.  Evidence of that is the large attendance at her viewing and Mass. [Coin]

Oh, and she loved a game of cards with a little money on the line.  We often played with the Guims until late at night and once she even played Pinochle with her family all the way through the night until the next morning. [Coin]  A trip to Florida was never complete without a few sessions of Contract Rummy (but not #2).  She helped start the Neighbors’ Game Group and tried to get the Senior Citizens interested in playing games at our meetings. [Coin]

So, that’s a lot of Coins that I cashed in.  I hope there are a lot more left in my Bank because I’ll probably need them in the future.  You know, it really does help ease some of those Precious Tears.

 – – –

“Precious Tears”

“Precious Tears”

November 21, 2013
by Philip P. Grous
Read during Florence’s internment ceremony on November 26, 2013

– – –

As we prepare ourselves, physically and emotionally, to take Florence to her new home, we recall that we have shed many tears over the past two months.

e were concerned about her periodic “crying” episodes when she would almost come to tears for no apparent reason while talking with someone.  There were a few excited tears of happiness when she emerged from her hip surgery with a new vigor to continue on with the rest of her life.  We cried a river of tears in Kennedy Hospital with each new piece of discouraging news from the physicians or every sign of her discomfort.  We celebrated her 76th Birthday at her bedside, but the words to the Birthday Song were particularly difficult to utter.  There were community tears when some of the dedicated nurses came into her room and cried with us.  Even Hospital administrators were touched by our closeness as a family looking out for our Mom and Wife.

There have been good times in the past too.  When we were just newlywed, we went to Strawbridge & Clothier to buy our furniture.  They weren’t exactly tears, but rather shock as we took on our first “large” debt, over $600 for the furniture.  But what a joy!  We were on our way to actually setting up house.

There were anxieties too when each of our four children were born.  So happy to have them, but would we be able to handle it?  We were excited about their futures, and our job together as parents.

The good times were repeated often when we traveled around the country and sailed on our Caribbean cruises.  She enjoyed her family gatherings, the children, our friends, and especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She would call them on the phone, or they would call her, and she actually had long conversations with them.  She was fond of a little “gaming” too (see her frequent trips to Harrah’s in Chester or Borgata in Atlantic City).  Her favorite trip of all was to Las Vegas, where she could play all night.  And she was always looking for a good card game where she could win a few dollars.

Think of each of those tears as Golden Coins and deposit them in your Memory Bank.  Then, when you feel a little sad about Florence, cash in a few of those Golden Coins to bring back some of the precious memories.

 

– – –

Florence Grous Memorial Scholarship Fund

Florence Grous Memorial Scholarship Fund

Mom was in Kennedy Hospital from October 12-16 and October 18-November 5, 2013.

During her stay, she was in the Emergency Room (ER), the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the Progressive Care Unit (PCU). The nurses that provided Mom’s constant care were just simply amazing. These nurses have such an intense and difficult job to do, and yet, they come in every day and provide attentive and compassionate care to those who need it the most. They are on call 24 hours a day, every day, in the event that you should ever need them.

Our family was so inspired by their dedication to their profession. It was truly impressive, and it wasn’t just a few nurses, it was every single one of them. We made it a point to thank them all, but we can’t thank them enough. We have all of their names and will be writing letters of appreciation to every one of these unsung heroes of our society.

To honor Mom and these amazing women and men, we are honored to establish the “FLORENCE GROUS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP“, to be awarded annually to a Rutgers nursing student who is about to dedicate their working lives to the nursing profession, just like those RN’s that took such tremendous care of Mom in her time of need.

We desire the scholarship to be given to a local student who is nearing the completion of their studies. Rutgers School of Nursing students rotate through Kennedy Hospital as part of their training. The School of Nursing and they are establishing and administering the scholarship fund. Applicants will be asked to write a short essay explaining why they chose nursing as a profession. Our family will help select the recipient and be invited to the award ceremony each Spring to present the award to a deserving student.

Donations may be made to Rutgers University Foundation in support of the “Florence Grous Memorial Scholarship Fund”.

For donations to be properly applied to the scholarship fund, be sure to:

Make checks payable to: “Rutgers University Foundation“,
and write “School of Nursing-Florence Grous Memorial Scholarship Fund” in the memo line.

Mail donations to:
        Attention: Martha L. Bahamon
Rutgers School of Nursing
65 Bergen Street, Suite 110
Newark, NJ  07107-3001

         Marianne Wiatroski, BSN, RN
         Director of Development, School of Nursing
         Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
         180 University Avenue, Room 338
         Newark, NJ 07102

 
Donations are tax deductible and you will receive a donation receipt. Check with your company to see if they will match your donation.

We thank those who have already made a generous donation. It’s come to our attention that some people thought donations were only being accepted at Mom’s funeral. Be assured that donations to Mom’s Scholarship Fund may be made at any time, now or years from now. Several people have mentioned they will contribute annually.

Thank you for considering a contribution now and in the future.

Thank you!


Thank you to all who sent cards or attended Mom’s viewing, funeral and luncheon.


People travelled from all over: Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey.  We really appreciate those that took the time and expense to travel such long distances.


Thank you to the current and former Pastor of St. William for con-celebrating the Funeral Mass.  Monsignor Mortimer is now 84 and claims to be retired, although he doesn’t seem to have slowed down a bit.  He was a long time pastor and is a great friend of Mom and Dad’s.  Father Joe Watson grew up in the parish, and is now the current pastor of St. William in Northeast Philadelphia.  Father Joe initiated the request to the Vatican for the wonderful 50th Wedding Anniversary blessing from the Pope Benedict.   I hope you had a chance to view it in the lobby before Mom’s funeral Mass.  Thank you to Father Ed for leading the Mass and pastor, Father Tony, for also con-celebrating.


Thanks to Marie, Barbara, and Mary for reading during the Mass.


Thanks to Jim Rementer, Music Director, for the beautiful music during the Mass.  Jim visited with us at Mom and Dad’s house and spent a few hours with us going over all the selections and details.  We thank him for his time and talents.


We couldn’t believe it when several people from the hospital staff came to the viewing and funeral.  One of Mom’s many outstanding nurses, the Nurse Manager from the ICU, the Assistant Nurse Manager from the PCU, Kennedy Hostpital’s Chief Nurse, and the Customer Services Director all took time out of their busy schedules to pay their respects.  I have to believe that is highly unusual, so thank you to each of them.


The Crystal Street gang so was great to see.  Thank you so much for attending.


Former bosses and coworkers attended as well.  Wow, Mom must have made quite an impression at work – and here I thought Mom always treated work as a social event!


Many of Mom and Dad’s friends, neighbors, Senior club members stopped by and we appreciate the effort it is for many of them.  The Mayor also took time to pay his respects.  Thanks to all of you.


Bob Fertig, and his staff from Fertig Funeral Home, were fantastic and took care of every detail.  Thank you for a job well done in guiding us through the funeral and burial process.


Of course, the extended Grous and Walker families gathered from near and far, many times over the past few weeks.  Thank you for your non-stop support and encouragement.  What a privilege it is to be part of such a strong and loving family!  Special thank yous to Keith for flying in from Oregon, Mary for flying from Texas, and Marie for coming in from Boston, Billy and Bert for the long drive from Florida.


As we put our everyday lives on hold to be with Mom, our spouses took care of absolutely everything.  We are so very blessed and fortunate to have John, Beth, Lorraine and Bill as our spouses.  We love you and thank you for everything!


Many expressed interest in donating to the Nursing scholarship being established in Mom’s memory.  Thank you very, very much.


Monday’s Funeral Mass was a beautiful tribute to Mom.  We appreciate everyone who took part. 

Obituary and Florence Grous Memorial Scholarship

FlorenceGrous-01-WhiteBackground

Florence “Sweet Pea” Grous, (nee Walker), 76, of Mullica Hill, NJ passed away peacefully on Nov. 5, 2013.  Cherished wife of Philip P. Grous, treasured mother of Carolyn (John) Griffin of Maple Shade, NJ, Paul J. (Beth) Grous of Sudbury, MA, Alice (Bill) Kapustiak of Valrico, FL, and Gerald (Lorraine) Grous of Phoenixville, PA.  Proud Granny of Kate, Billy, Patrick, Kristen, Gregory, Daniel, Jennifer, Madeleine, Caroline, Eleanor, Addison, Brian and Anne.  Great Granny of Anthem and Harlow.  Dear sister of Eileen Ridgway, William Walker, Barbara Walker, Regina Waters and Marie Scanlon.  Predeceased by her parents William and Frances (Connell) Walker, and siblings Frances Schenck, Joseph Walker and Jane Furlong.

 

Viewing  Monday Nov. 11, 2013 at the Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit Parish Center, 17 Earlington Ave., Mullica Hill, NJ, from 9 to 10:45 am.  Funeral Mass will be celebrated immediately following.  Interment private.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rutgers University Foundation in support of the Florence Grous Memorial Scholarship Fund, to be awarded annually to a nursing student, Attention: Martha L. Bahamon, Rutgers School of Nursing, 65 Bergen Street, Suite 110, Newark, NJ 07107-3001.

 

Thoughts and prayers may be extended to the family at www.FertigFuneralHome.com

 
—————————–

 

FLORENCE GROUS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND

 

Mom was in the hospital for the past few weeks, in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the Progressive Care Unit (PCU) and the Emergency Room (ER).  The nurses that provided Mom’s constant care was simply amazing.  These nurses have such an intense and difficult job to do, and yet, they come in every day and provide attentive and compassionate care to those who need it the most.  Our family was so inspired by their dedication to their profession.  It was truly impressive, and it wasn’t just a few nurses, it was every single one of them.  We made it a point to thank every one of them, but we can’t thank them enough.  We have all of their names and will be writing letters of appreciation to every one of these unsung heroes of our society.

 

To honor Mom and these amazing women and men, we are honored to establish the “Florence Grous Memorial Scholarship”, to be awarded annually to a nursing student who is about to dedicate their working lives to the nursing profession, just like those RN’s that took such tremendous care of Mom in her time of need.

 

We desire the scholarship to be given to a local student who is nearing the completion of their studies.  Rutgers School of Nursing students rotate through Kennedy Hospital as part of their training.  We contacted the School of Nursing and they are establishing and administering the scholarship fund.  Applicants will be asked to write a short essay explaining why they chose nursing as a profession.  Our family will help select the recipient and be invited to the award ceremony each Spring to present the award to a deserving student.

 

So, in lieu of flowers, we are requesting that donations be made to Rutgers University Foundation in support of the “Florence Grous Memorial Scholarship Fund“.

 

For donations to be properly applied to the fund, be sure to make checks payable to “Rutgers University Foundation” and write “School of Nursing-Florence Grous Memorial scholarship Fund” in the memo line.  Mail donations to: Attention: Martha L. Bahamon, Rutgers School of Nursing, 65 Bergen Street, Suite 110, Newark, NJ  07107-3001.  Donations are tax deductible and you will receive a donation receipt.  Check with your company to see if they will match your donation.

 

We thank you for considering a contribution now and in the future.

 

Every nurse was tremendous, but there were two in particular, Sarah and Vicky, who went so far beyond their nursing duties, we were so touched by their compassion.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

Obituary will appear in the Philadelphia Inquirer and South Jersey Times on Saturday and Sunday.

Funeral

Mom’s viewing and funeral will be on Monday, November 11, 2013 in Mullica Hill, NJ.

The viewing will be at the church from 9 to 10:45am, with the Funeral Mass immediately following.  Internment will be private at a later date.  There will be a luncheon after the Mass.
We will post final details tomorrow.

Rest In Peace Mom

Today at 5:10pm, Mom passed away peacefully and comfortably.  Dad, Carolyn, Paul, Alice and Jerry were all there by her side. 

Her sister, Barbara, had visited just 10 minutes earlier.  Her sibblings, Marie, Regina, and Billy visited earlier in the day too.

With your prayers, Mom had the strength to fight on for an amazing 15 days and 3 hours.

Thank you for all the support over the past few weeks.
  A very special thank you to all of Mom’s nurses.   It takes a special person to be a nurse.  There are two specific nurses, Sarah and Vicky, who I’ll write more about in a future post.

We’ll post funeral details here as soon as they are finalized.

We love you Mom!

2 weeks

It’s been two weeks now that Mom was removed from life support systems. 

She’s resting very comfortably right now.  She had a rough night last night, but all through today has been pretty quiet.

Thank you for your continued prayers and thoughts.