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Phil was born and raised in Des Moines where he attended Roosevelt High School, graduating with the Class of 1953. A talented athlete, Phil was recruited by Iowa State where he played baseball and graduated with a degree in industrial engineering. His senior year at Iowa State the baseball team went to the College World Series in Omaha and finished Third.
Phil signed a professional baseball contract with the Chicago White Sox as a pitcher and played minor league ball in Holdrege, Nebraska; Twin Falls, Idaho, and Lincoln, Nebraska, as well as the Slater Nighthawks.
After retiring from baseball Phil was an engineer for several companies including Armstrong Rubber, Massey Ferguson, Shaeffer Pen and Pella Window Corp. After 35 years with Pella, Phil retired on March 1, 2011.
Phil was always a hardworking, conscientious and reliable person in his work and many personal relationships. He was loving, kind and always well-liked by his many friends, relatives and coworkers. Phil thoroughly enjoyed his years in professional baseball and reunited annually with his baseball teammates. His values and personality were influenced by his parents' rural Norwegian and German roots. Phil was also very active in Pella Kiwanis. Phil loved spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as the frequent fishing trips to Canada with his stepson, Steve, and grandson, Chris.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Ellie (Eleanor Luella Wunder) Groth of Avoca, Iowa. Additionally, he is survived by his stepson, Steven C. Foulke (Cynthia) of Hartford, Iowa, his grandchildren: Stephanie VanVleet (Brandon), Christopher Foulke and Alayna Foulke and two great grandchildren: Mason and Presley VanVleet. Phil is also survived by his brother David A Groth (Beverly) and their three sons Todd Groth (Whitney), Deon Groth (Lauri) and Bryan Groth (Machelle) and five nieces and nephews.
He will be missed by all that knew him.
Memorial services were held on January 25, at the Second Reformed Church in Pella. Memorials may be given to Hospice of Pella or the Second Reformed Church. The Garden Chapel Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
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