Which type of fish will you spend the most time trying to catch this summer?
Sweetheart of the Silver Salmon Sisterhood Passes Away
Lenore Annie Groundwater passed away peacefully on October 10th, 2012 in Green Valley, Arizona, as a result of complications from a recent fall. Until just days ago, she lived independently in her Green Valley condominium.
Born on December 11, 1917 in San Luis Obispo, California to William and Kitty Groundwater, Lenore grew up in South Pasadena and graduated from South Pasadena High School in 1935, where she was a classmate of William Holden.
What became a lifelong love for the arts and music began with childhood study of classical piano and flourished after high school when she moved to New York City to study art and fashion design at the Art Career School located in the historic Flatiron Building. She returned to Los Angeles where she was employed by the Robinson May Company creating window displays. And during World War II she worked as a draft person for the Douglas Aircraft Company.
In 1945 she married Lyle Frank Groundwater in Los Angeles. The newlyweds purchased a 160-acre ranch on the banks of the Deschutes River near Rainier, Washington where the city girl learned to drive tractors, cut hay, and raise Hereford cattle, chickens, pigs, and standard poodles. While Lyle and Lenore loved life on the ranch, they decided to try their hands at real estate and in 1956 they moved to Black Lake and opened Groundwater Realty in Olympia.
Lenore lived a life filled with art, adventure, and independence. She loved entertaining, spending time with wonderful friends, and was a talented artist — family and friends looked forward to receiving her handmade Christmas cards each year. She enjoyed reading, sewing, needlework, playing classical piano, boating, fishing, and was passionate about current events—rarely missing PBS news. She was an active member of beta sigma phi and a seasoned traveler, visiting most corners of the world including Fiji, the Tahitian Islands, Europe, Asia, Indonesia, Mexico, South America, and her ancestral home, the Orkney Islands. At 88, she traveled to Thailand, a trip that included traveling by long boat and jeep to a remote resort on the island of Koh Phangan.
In 2011 she won the Women’s Silver Salmon Derby in Valdez, Alaska, and was back fishing in Alaska a month before her fall. Lenore was vital and active until the end, having taken trips to visit family and friends in Texas and Wisconsin this summer. She was blessed with the ability to make conversation with anyone, anywhere, and was admired by many as she traveled.
She is survived by her three children: Lance (Paula) Groundwater, of Valdez, Alaska; Linda (Don) Miles, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Frank (Rebecca) Groundwater, of Bend, Oregon; six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Lenore was preceded in death by her husband Lyle, who passed in 2003.
Friends of the family are invited to a celebration to be held at the Water Street Café, 610 Water Street SW, Olympia, on Saturday, October 20th from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. She will be buried with Lyle at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington.