I created the Virginia Groom Foundation to honor my mother, the most generous, kind person I have ever known. -John F. Groom
“To everyone Ginny met, she will be remembered as a bright light of kindness and joy. You couldn’t help but be happier just being in her company. She changed people for the better, and that goodness has a ripple effect. If I’m in a happier place, maybe I’m a little nicer to the kid bagging my groceries, who is then happier and nicer to the next customer, who is then happier and nicer to his staff or his family, etc.
That something she had, was contagious and, I believe, made the world a better place.”
– Connie, a close friend
In 2021 the Virginia Groom Foundation worked with local partners – usually past or present Groom Ventures employees or contractors that we’ve known for years – to provide basic necessities such as food, clothing, and medicine in a number of locations around the world, as well as some direct cash gifts to individuals unemployed due to Covid.
Remembering Virginia Groom
Virginia Groom was born on Christmas day in 1932 in Norfolk Virginia. She grew up in different cities in the US as her father was transferred frequently as part of his management training for Burroughs Adding Machines, an early pioneer in the computer industry. Her mother was a child prodigy piano player and was still playing at age 93.
Like her mother, Virginia played the piano and sang in church. At some point in her youth she seriously considered becoming a missionary.
After being divorced from my father, she moved to Phoenix, where my brother and sister lived, to start a new life. During her later years she enjoyed traveling and participating in her church. She particularly enjoyed having her mother live with her.
She was living with me back in Virginia at the time of her death in 2021, still focused on family, still a delight to be around, always concerned with others, never complaining, despite many health issues. Smiling and laughing to the end.
Like her mother before her, she was a Christian in the best sense; not judging others, but living her life with consideration for others, always thankful for what was done for her, loyal to those close to her.
Her youth was marked by World War Two, in which her father served as a captain. My grandmother taught piano. Her brother, Warren Miller, became a recording artist for United Artists records, and was later the founder of a successful string of recording studios across the country, Studio Center.
The pillars of her life were music, church, and family.
After graduating from Mary Washington College she applied to study social work, but ended up becoming a teacher. She spent two years teaching and then married my father. They lived land to mouth as he attended Harvard Law School.
They soon settled in Arlington, Virginia, across from Washington D.C, where my father practiced law. In the summers, mom enjoyed taking her 3 kids to museums, especially after I had failed out of nursery school. She remained active in the choir at Walker Chapel Church and her life revolved around family and friends.
She was involved in a number of service organizations, in particular the Junior League of Northern Virginia where she served as chairman of the Tiera Ball, a major fundraising event.