Cover photo for Sally Hank Groves's Obituary
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1930 Sally 2024

Sally Hank Groves

September 11, 1930 — April 4, 2024


Longtime Lancaster resident Sally Borter Hank Groves, born Sept 11, 1930, died on April 4th, 2024, at her Willow Valley home.  She was 93 years old.

She leaves her two sons, Josh (Julie Carlson), Ned (Deborah Rhodes), her four grandchildren, Will, Darcy, Caroline, and Kate, and many beloved relatives, including cousins Stanton Lawrence III, Anne Lawrence, Mary Orme, George Orme, and Milton (Trig) Ignatius.

Sally was the daughter of Frederick (Fred) Borter Hank and Isobel Heal Hank and was raised in Rutherford, NJ. Her father was VP of engineering for New York Central Railroad, which afforded her the opportunity to travel to Asia, primarily in India, where Fred was a railroad engineering consultant to the Indian government.

She graduated in 1948 from Emma Willard School in Troy, NY, and from Bennett College in Millbrook, NY in 1950. Sally then attended and graduated from the Berkeley Secretarial School.

On April 14, 1953, Sally married Joseph (Jeph) Groves, and the couple settled in Houston, TX, where Jeph worked for Shell Oil. Sally opened and operated a pre-school in Houston named the House at Pooh Corner in Dec. 1953.

In 1958 Jeph was transferred to Baltimore, MD, to work for Shell Oil. Sally became a math teacher at Garrison Forest School in Townsend, MD. While living in Baltimore, Sally and Jeph became keen bridge players, hosting bridge parties and playing in local duplicate games, where they earned their first IMPs. In 1966 they moved to Madison, CT where Jeph began work for Blu-Ray Corp., a manufacturer of architectural copying machines.

At this time, Sally took an increasing interest in needlepoint, creating needlepoint pillows, coasters, belts, and picture frames. Along with her friend Joan Sturgess, she opened The Needlepoint Shop in New Haven, CT, where she sold needlepoint designs, yarn, and needles, and gave lessons.

In 1970, she and her family moved to Lancaster, PA, where Jeph took a job as a regional salesman for Blu-Ray. In Lancaster, Sally learned to embrace the rural surroundings and became a regular customer at the small Amish farms where she found organic foods and handmade goods. In Lancaster, Sally became a well-known hostess and was famous for her Christmas holiday party with eggnog and rum balls. She became a supplier of desserts to several restaurants, including the Revere Tavern, where she also worked as a hostess. Later, she earned her real estate license and worked as a Realtor for a number of years.

Sally lived on and off in Lancaster from 1970 until 2024. In the late eighties, after Jeph passed away, she worked closely with her youngest son, Ned, to open an assisted living home in Ephrata PA, called The Groves.  She then left Lancaster and bought a house on Jekyll Island, Georgia, where she became an avid croquet player as a member of the Jekyll Island Club. After many years on Jekyll Island, she moved back to Lancaster and renovated a home on Putter Ave overlooking Media Heights Golf Club, where she was a social member for many years prior to moving into an independent living apartment in Willow Valley. Sally volunteered with Meals on Wheels, and at the two Episcopal churches in Lancaster, St. Thomas and St. James.

For many years, Sally drove a 1968 white Volkswagen Beetle with chrome bumpers, which was her signature mode of transportation until the late 1980s, when she decided to only drive convertibles, often with the top down, with a colorful bow in her hair.  One of the great joys in her later years was teaching all her grandchildren how to drive in one of her convertibles.

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