Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ivor D. Groves Jr. | 1919-2008

Exacting in life, from faith to physics

BRANDON — It was only natural that Ivor Groves would develop a penchant for all things electrical and mechanical.

When he was a boy in Tampa, his father was a refrigerator repairman, back when refrigerators were considered high-tech. His father even built a solar energy system for the family home in the 1930s.

"His father was a tinkerer," said Mr. Groves' wife, Marjorie. "So that kind of thing just came naturally to Ivor. He could fix anything."

From a young age, Mr. Groves also had a passion for radio. He built his first ham radio when he was a teenager, and until last year he spent a lot of his spare time talking to amateur radio enthusiasts around the world.

Mr. Groves, 88, died Sept. 2 after dealing with heart problems.

He had turned his passions for machines and sound transmission into a career. For 30 years, until he retired in 1979, Mr. Groves worked at the Naval Underwater Research Laboratory in Orlando, where he was involved in developing and improving transducers for underwater applications, including sonar.

He became a recognized expert in the field, editing a textbook titled Acoustic Transducers. In 1974, he presented a paper in England at the eighth International Congress on Acoustics.

Mr. Groves was born in Kentucky but moved to Tampa with his family when he was 5. While he was still a teenager, his radio experience helped him land a job as a radio operator at the forestry tower in Valrico.

He graduated from Hillsborough High School in 1938 and studied physics at Rollins College.

During his college years, he befriended a young man he met in church. He went to his friend's house one day and met his younger sister, who would become his wife.

"I met him on my front porch," Mrs. Groves said. "I had my hair up in curlers."

He interrupted his studies to join the Army Air Forces during World War II. He flew bombers to military bases around the world where they were needed.

He later earned his bachelor's degree in physics and a master's in business from Rollins College. He and his wife raised their three children in Orlando.

At the Underwater Research Laboratory, Mr. Groves was known not just for his expertise but for demanding the best from himself and his coworkers. When he retired, his coworkers collected some of their favorite quotes from Mr. Groves into a tribute that they titled "Ivorisms."

"Do I have to hit you with a 2-by-4 to get your attention?" was one. Another was, "You can't fly with the owls at night and the eagles in the day."

Besides his work and his family, his passion was religion. He was a deacon in his church in Orlando, and even supervised the building of a new church.

"It was one of the definitions of Ivor Groves, absolutely, that he was a Christian and a Baptist," said his daughter, Carol Noland of Valrico.

Most important, Mr. Groves made sure every aspect of his life was influenced by his faith.

"He was a man of integrity who lived by God and his family, and everything he did to the best of his ability," his wife said.

Beside his wife and Noland, Mr. Groves is survived by a son, Ivor, and daughter Gail Wolven, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Exacting in life, from faith to physics 09/11/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 4:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: Trump shoves fellow NATO leader aside on his first summit


    President Donald Trump muscled himself to the front of the NATO pack during a photo opportunity in Brussels on Thursday, pushing aside the leader of soon-to-be member Montenegro.

    In this image taken from NATO TV, Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, second right, appears to be pushed by U.S. President Donald Trump as they were given a tour of NATO's new headquarters after taking part in a group photo, during a NATO summit of heads of state and government in Brussels on Thursday. [NATO TV via AP]
  2. FBI probes fraudster's alleged church scam following Tampa Bay Times report

    Real Estate

    PLANT CITY — Once again, the FBI is investigating felon fraudster Victor Thomas Clavizzao.

    The FBI is investigating convicted mortgage fraudster Victor Thomas Clavizzao on new allegations following a Tampa Bay Times report.
[TImes file photo]

  3. See inside this Snell Isle home with an amazing chandelier and infinity pool

    Home and Garden

    When Elizabeth and David Samuelson started planning the house they built six years ago on Snell Isle, the couple envisioned a West Indies look with masonry stucco walls and a metal hip roof. As they moved forward, it evolved into something they describe as coastal contemporary.

    Elizabeth Samuelson and David Samuelson's at the entrance to their Snell Isle house which has numerous luxurious features yet is a comfortable home for a family of four. An infinity pool blends seamlessly from the terrace right into Tampa Bay. Doors surrounding the family room open and are then out of sight enabling the interior to seem more outside than inside. David designed and made a chandelier with hundreds of dangling, clear fish that hangs over the foyer.
  4. Appeals court deals blow to Trump administration travel ban


    WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court dealt another blow to President Donald Trump's revised travel ban targeting six-Muslim majority countries on Thursday, siding with groups that say the policy illegally targets Muslims.

    Donald Trump will likely appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. [Stephanie Lecocq/Pool via AP]
  5. Bucs suspended RB Doug Martin breaks his silence and says his drug problem is 'definitely behind me.'


    He would not talk about the drug he abused. He didn’t identify the rehab facility he entered last January or how long he was there.

    Doug Martin was contrite but optimistic about returning to the form he demonstrated as the NFL's second leading rusher two years ago.