The North Bend Eagle


The centenarian
Jean Groff enjoys the outdoors as she contemplates her 100th birthday.

Groff celebrating 100 despite pandemic

by Mary Le Arneal
Posted 7/15/20

Jean McGinn Groff was born July 21, 1920, on the family farm in rural Morse Bluff, just missing the 1918-1919 Spanish flu pandemic. Not to miss out on the fun, she is weathering it though the 2020 pandemic.

“She just stays here,” nephew Mike McGinn says. “We’ve been to the doctor a few times, but otherwise she has stayed home.”

McGinn goes out to see his aunt on a daily basis and takes her on occasional rides to check out the countryside.

Groff was born at the family home place east of Cedar Hill Catholic Church. She grew up on the farm, traveling to North Bend for high school where she was the salutatorian of her class in 1937.

Groff said she grew up as a tomboy, with an older brother, Marvin, and two neighbor boys to play with. She remembers going trapping with her brother and she played a lot of softball with the boys.

During her senior year, her dad and brother, Pat and Marvin McGinn, opened a grocery store in downtown North Bend. Groff helped out in the store some, but her sights were set elsewhere.

After graduating from NBHS, she went to California to visit her mom’s sister and stayed to attend Marin Junior College in Kentfield. After college Groff lived in California for a while (“Too much concrete,” Mike said) before returning to Nebraska. She was married to a man from Omaha, they later divorced.
When she did return to Nebraska, Groff worked at Miracle Hills Golf Course managing their books for many years. She was the first manager of the North Bend pool when it opened July 2, 1959.

Groff was always athletic, and softball her favorite sport. She was named “Woman Athlete of the Year” at Marin.

The family will have a celebration for Groff’s 100th birthday. They invite others to send Jean greetings c/o Mike McGinn, P.O. Box 190, North Bend, NE 68649.

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