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Pattie Herman Grove: 'Fiercely independent,' she never forgot her friends

Pattie Herman Grove in September 2019.

Pattie Herman Grove in September 2019. Credit: Cindy Grove

Pattie Herman Grove was the one who remembered the birthdays and anniversaries, never forgetting to mail out cards with handwritten notes to those in her life.

“Mom doesn’t forget anything and anybody,” said her daughter Cindy Grove, 61, of Smithtown. “If she spoke to you, you would be receiving something from mom.” 

Pattie Grove, of Commack, died of coronavirus on April 17. She was 91. 

When Pattie was ill with pneumonia last year, she got to know her roommates in her hospital room, her daughter said, taking down their numbers and calling them afterward. She stayed in touch with others, including people she worked with decades ago. She even sent birthday and Christmas cards to Cindy Grove’s ex-husband after their separation.

“She keeps in contact with everybody,” Cindy Grove said. “Everybody and anybody that comes into her life.”

Pattie Grove was born on June 25, 1928, in Manhattan to Joseph and Helen Herman, her family said. Her mother was a seamstress, and her father worked for Con Edison as a mechanic.

When Cindy Grove was in third grade, her father left and her mother raised five children alone, she said.

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Cindy Grove’s boyfriend Tod Schild, 61, of Garden City, described Pattie Grove as someone who was easygoing and “fiercely independent.”

Pattie Grove worked as a switchboard operator and didn’t retire until she was 75, as a call operator, her family said. She drove until she was in her mid-80s.

“We did everything together,” Cindy Grove said. “She went everywhere I went.”

One of the trips the mother and daughter took was a stroll in Eisenhower Park on March 18, which was captured by a Newsday photographer. The photo showed Cindy Grove pushing her mother in a wheelchair in the afternoon sun.

“It was the day after St. Patrick’s Day, the first beautiful day we had,” Cindy Grove said, recalling a sense of joy when looking at the photo again in recent days. “It was a happy moment because I see my mom happy. She’s waving, and she loved that day when we were outside.”

In addition to Cindy, Pattie Grove is survived by her four other children, Fred Grove Jr. of Patchogue, Timothy Grove of Milltown, New Jersey, Scott Grove of Commack and Lisa Grove of Mastic Beach.

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