He was born Aug. 1, 1930, in Portsmouth, the son of the late John Henry and Florence Minerva Swearingen Grooms.
John was a retired sergeant with the Portsmouth Police Department where he received many commendations over his years of service. In the 1970s he developed the first Domestic Firearms Class for women in the state of Ohio. He saved the life of a fellow officer in the line of duty and received an award from the Governor of Ohio for his heroic actions. Johnny also worked for AAA for many years where he supervised the Driver’s Education program, and he took area traffic scouts on the annual Washington, D.C., trip for more than 20 years.
An Army veteran of the Korean War, he received the Bronze Star Medal, Distinguished Unit Emblem, Combat Infantry Badge, the Korean Service Medal with three Bronze Campaign Stars, and two Overseas Bars.
Johnny was a member of Temple Baptist Church for over 50 years, where he was a former deacon and president of Sunday school. He was a former Mason and member of the Scottish Rite, a former Scioto County Special Deputy, a member of the F.O.P. Lodge No.33, NRA, and City of Portsmouth Traffic Committee.
He was preceded in death May 17, 2006, by his wife of 53 years, Dorothy “Dot” Jean Knittel Grooms, whom he married Nov. 23, 1953, in Columbus, Ohio.
Surviving are his daughters, Kathryn Ann Horsley of Hamilton, Ohio, and Brenda Lee (Mark) Benson of Portsmouth; two grandchildren, Le Lonna Marie (Duane) Richardson and Joshua Ryan (Christi) Horsley; and three great-grandchildren, Noelle Marie Richardson, Kennedy Richardson and Ryley Richardson.
Also preceding him in death were a brother, Teddy Grooms; and a sister, Bonnie Lufkin.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Ralph F. Scott Funeral Home in Portsmouth, with the Rev. John Gowdy officiating, and interment in Scioto Burial Park. The James Dickey Post No.23 American Legion will conduct military graveside rites.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. and one hour before services Thursday.
Memorial contributions may be made to the MRDD Trust Fund, 2619 Gallia St., Portsmouth, OH 45662, and Gideon’s International.
The flag of the U.S. Army will be flown at the funeral home Wednesday and Thursday in honor of Johnny’s service to our country.
Online condolences may be sent to www.RalphFScott.com.