longtime Escondido resident, butcher at Talone’s
Wesley Grove was a long-time resident of Escondido and Butcher at Talone’s Meat Market, who had quite a story to tell.
He was born May 25, 1932 in Kansas. He moved to Escondido at age 5 during the Depression with his parents. His father, a migrant worker, did whatever jobs were available to support his family, staying in migrant camps along the way. He said, “it was just like Grapes of Wrath.” When they got to the California border, they were turning people away because there weren’t enough jobs. His father Roy had kept a letter from his brother saying that if he ever came to Escondido, he had a job for him. Because of that letter, they let them through. Escondido is where they stayed.
For a short time, they made camp at what is now the football field of Escondido High School. He remembers rain running through the tent under their beds and rarely having shoes.
He attended Escondido high school in 1950 and played on the football team as the star fullback.
He served in the United States Army in Korea from September 1, 1950 to June 23rd, 1952. Korean SVC 3 February, 1952 to May 28, 1952. He spent most of his service time in Occupied Japan and drove a half – track.
Shortly after returning Mr. Grove was at Lake Wohlford where he and some friends played music. There he met the love of his life, wife Carolyn Griffin, who was on vacation from Ocilla, Georgia. They fell in love and six months later married.
Mr. Grove worked at the Safeway Market meat department for 5 years while starting his family, then became a butcher at Talone’s Meat Market where he worked for 25 years.
Everyone knew Wes Grove. At Talone’s he found his love for languages. He became fluent in Spanish and at least one phrase from every language, so he could talk with everyone who crossed his path.
During the 70’s, on the weekends, Mr. Grove would gather musicians to play at the local Elks Lodge, American Legion, Lake Wohlford and private parties.
He wore many shoes. A butcher, a guitar picker, Amway salesman, furniture salesman and park ranger.
He was a docent at Escondido’s Historical Grape Day Park . He had so much knowledge and stories of Escondido from the early days.
After his wife Carolyn of 60 years died from lymphoma in 2013, Grove reconnected with an old girlfriend he had known as a teenager, Shirley Mae Hawkins. He found his match in energy, enthusiasm and communication. They married and lived happily for over four years.
Mr. Grove had a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side and affected his speech. He was brought home on hospice care several days later. Family and friends were able to visit, tell stories, sing, and laugh during his last days. He passed away on Wednesday December 5 surrounded by his loving family.
Mr. Grove is survived by his wife Shirley Mae Grove, his four children; Mike Grove (wife Hester), Elizabeth Vierich (husband Chris), Rebecca Herd (husband John) Roy Grove (wife Treva) his four grandchildren Jason Grove (wife Jessica), Amanda, Khya, Johnny and great-grandson Luca. His brother-in-law Jack Griffin (wife Arlene), his nephew Jim Hundley (wife Mitra), numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Step children Beverly Fisher, Roxanne Richards (husband Bob), and his beloved dog, Moki.
He is preceded by his loving wife of 60 years, Carolyn Grove, his sister Irene Hundley, his half Brothers Leroy (wife Clara), Ernest Vrooman, William, Robert and Clifford Grove, His Half Sisters Jennie Higley, Lucy McCreary/Watson, Mary Goben and Lillie Burdess.
There will be a memorial service on Sunday, December 16 at 3 p.m. at Ascension Lutheran Church,1140 N. Midway Dr., Escondido.