Leslie Paul (Les) Groves, 85, of McPherson, passed away at 6:30 a.m., Jan. 22, 2018 while in the company of family members, at McPherson Hospital.

Leslie was born in Freeman, South Dakota on Nov. 2, 1932, a son of Mary (Stucky) and William Paul Adelbert Groves.

Les attended the Freeman Public School, Freeman, South Dakota, graduating in 1950. He then attended Freeman Junior College, and graduated with his associates arts degree. Les attended and graduated from Bethel College in North Newton, with his Bachelor of Arts degree. He then received his Master of Arts degree in psychology and counseling from Emporia State Teachers College, Emporia.

He was a member of First Presbyterian Church McPherson, where he served as Deacon for three years. Les was raised in the Bethany Mennonite Church, Freeman, South Dakota and a member of the Eden Mennonite Church rural Moundridge, and McPherson First Mennonite Church.

Through the years, Les taught in Harvey County at Garden Valley District 43, then rural Hesston, District 112, Plainview Country School, rural Inman, and began a 34 year career with McPherson USD 418 that started at Washington School in the fourth grade, Park School with the sixth grade, and retired in 1993 from Roosevelt Grade School teaching the fifth grade.

Les enjoyed children, creative writing, poetry, and music. He was a member of McPherson Teachers Association, Kansas and National Education Association; the Men’s Mennonite Chorus Association for 47 years (as of 2015); International Amateur Poetry Association; numerous poetry and writing groups. In 2015, Les received the Poet of the Year award.

Les Groves was united in marriage to Ellen Stucky at the Eden Mennonite Church on Aug. 12, 1953. Ellen died on March 26, 2010.

Les is survived by his children, Russell Groves and his wife Jeanne, of Hillsboro, Jan Groves and his wife Anne, of Valley Center; his sister Lois Goertzen, of North Newton; his granddaughter Lia-Jing, of Valley Center.

Les was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Mary Groves; his wife of over fifty-eight years, Ellen (Stucky) Groves; sister, Doris Kaufman; and brothers, Raymond, Roy, Carlyle, Quentin, and Les’s twin brother, Lowell Groves.

Friends are invited to call from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at Glidden - Ediger Chapel.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25 at First Presbyterian Church, McPherson, with the Rev. H. Dick Reynolds, Jr. officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church or Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus.