Wednesday, December 11, 2013
FALMOUTH - Kevin Grover was remembered Saturday for his lively sense of humor, tendency to bend the rules and his ability to make everyone his friend.
An attendee holds the program for the Celebration of Life for Kevin Grover at Falmouth High School on Saturday. Grover was a Falmouth second-grade teacher and 2010 Teacher of the Year who died Thanksgiving Day.
Photos by Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer
The Falmouth High School gymnasium is filled Saturday during the Celebration of Life for Kevin Grover, a Falmouth second-grade teacher and 2010 Teacher of the Year.
Friends, family, students and colleagues packed the Falmouth High School auditorium to reflect on the life of Grover, 40, a wildly popular second-grade Falmouth Elementary School teacher who died of a heart attack after returning from a run on Thanksgiving Day.
The crowd included some of his fellow 2010 Teachers of the Year who traveled from as far away as Colorado and Wyoming to remember their friend.
The service included songs Grover was learning to play on the guitar, performed by his brother-in-law, Steve Muise of Farmington. There was a slide show featuring pictures from Grover's life and presentations from family, friends and colleagues.
Attendees filled a van with food donations for the Falmouth Food Pantry in Grover's memory. A reception followed at the Falmouth Elementary School.
"Kevin would have been so good at this," noted Suzie Tierney, a fellow second-grade teacher who spoke for the Falmouth second-grade teachers team.
Tierney said Grover, the second-grade team leader, was known for his enthusiasm, use of technology in the classroom and positive humor. He would record his students reading on his iPad so they could hear themselves. He used about 20 different sign-offs on emails, such as "see you later sweet potater" and loved reading Mo Willems books to his students.
"His delivery was spot on" said Megan Goldman, a fellow second-grade teacher.
A graduate of the University of Maine, Farmington, Grover had a master's degree in literacy from the University of Southern Maine. He grew up in Greene and is survived by his wife, Rebecca, and children, Lily and Eli.
First-grade teacher Josh Olins said he and Grover became close friends.
"There aren't many Y chromosomes in our field of education so we formed a bond. We were immediately drawn together and led very parallel lives," Olins said.
He said one April Fools' Day they dressed as each other, swapped classrooms and kept up the joke through the school day and a teachers meeting.
Grover's best friend, Rob Wharton, described Grover as the social secretary, organizing guys' weekends and making up elaborate games with ever-changing rules. "He could be anywhere, anytime and make a friend," Wharton said.
His younger brother, Chris Grover, called his brother his "wing man and go-to guy."
"When Kevin was around he gave off love waves, just like radio waves and sound waves. I always wanted to be within reach of them, " Chris Grover said.
Grover's father, Michael, said the outpouring of support from so many people following his son's death has brought comfort to the family.
"It does wonders for our hearts and our sadness," Michael Grover said.
Then he turned to John Flaherty, his son's co-principal, to make a remark that made it obvious where his son got his sense of humor.
"If Kevin had known he was this popular, he might have asked for a raise," Grover said.
Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:
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Falmouth Elementary School second-grade teachers hug members of Kevin Grover’s family after speaking during the Celebration of Life for Kevin Grover at Falmouth High School on Saturday.