Joseph Nicholson Groomes, Jr. passed away at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. He was predeceased in death by his beloved wife of 41 years, Shirley Ann Edwards Groomes. A child of the depression, Joe was born May 18, 1931 in Baltimore, Maryland to Harriet Buchanan Cavey Groomes and Joseph Nicholson Groomes. As a very young boy, his family made Washington, DC their home. He attended St. Gabriel’s Catholic Elementary School and graduated from Calvin Coolidge High School. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the US Army, where he served a tour of duty on the Japanese island of Okinawa. He was honorably discharged from the US Army in 1953. Upon his return to the states, he married Shirley, his high school sweetheart. In 1962, they moved their family to Warrenton, Virginia where, together, Joe and Shirley became anchors in the local business community with the establishment of Furniture Interiors. And it was here, in the small-town community of Warrenton, that they built their family’s life blessed and enriched by the remarkable friends who surrounded them and the deep Catholic faith that guided them.
Joe began his post-military-service career in law enforcement, serving as a uniformed officer in the US Secret Service at the White House under President Eisenhower and then as an officer of the Metropolitan Police Department. The next chapter of his career – as the HVAC foreman in the Office of the Architect of the Capital -- was a reflection of advice his parents had bestowed on him at a young age; to train in a trade. He completed his long career where it began – in law enforcement -- as a Deputy with the Fauquier County Sherriff’s Department.
He is survived by his three children: Joseph Nicholson Groomes, III; Karen Harriet Groomes Morgan (John); and Patrick Edwards Groomes (Leslie). He leaves behind for his five grandsons -- Robert, Evan, Ian, Aidan and Christopher – a legacy of fierce independence and optimism; tremendous kindness, compassion, and a belief in the goodness of humanity; and an unparalleled patriotism for this great country he so deeply loved.
Due to concerns of rising Covid numbers, the graveside service originally scheduled for November 27, 2020 will be postponed to a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in Joe’s name to either of the two organizations whose missions he supported: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital or The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial & Museum.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
National Law Enforcement Memorial & Museum