WELL respected Island solicitor and ‘people person’, Thomas Groves, has died aged 82.

Born in Winford, in 1938, to Edward and Phoebe Groves, he was educated at King James Grammar School in Newport.

Mr Groves retained several lifelong friendships with his fellow pupils, but it was a conversation with a friend of his father that led him into law — and he spent his entire working life with Jeromes Solicitors.

After studying law at Southampton University, Mr Groves joined the firm in August, 1956, and retired in December, 2003.

He was a partner at Jeromes for 34 years, and a senior partner for 15 years. 

Isle of Wight County Press:

Mr Groves married Christabelle in 1966 and the couple had three children — Linda, Susan and Graham — and later three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

Mr Groves spent the last 34 years of his life married to Janet, with whom he had two children — Daniel and Matthew. 

His youngest child, Matthew, proudly followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a solicitor.

Mr Groves was an avid sportsman and a member of various Island sporting clubs, playing cricket, hockey, badminton and table tennis. His true love was tennis, which he played into his early 70s. 

He was a member of Sandown and Shanklin Lions for 23 years, and Ventnor Rotary Club for 20 years, where he became an honorary member. 

Mr Groves was proud of his charitable contributions over the years.

He enjoyed nature in all its splendour, and often went on walks to take in the local beauty spots — an interest he passed on to his family.

Always interested in history, Mr Groves was an avid reader of history books and watcher of military documentaries.

He also enjoyed reminiscing about his own history on the Island — in particular, his fond memories of Newchurch where he grew up. 

His retirement was filled with tennis, socialising and family life, until he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. 

This made the treasured social aspects of his life more difficult, but he always looked forward to visits from family and friends. 

Previously a resident of St Lawrence, he became a resident of Springfield Nursing Home, Shanklin, for the last four years.

Mr Groves was known as being gregarious, with a sharp sense of humour, but also supportive, caring and compassionate.

He died on January 27. 

A private funeral will take place at the IW Crematorium on February 19.