Benjamin VanOrmer "Benny" GRONINGER

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Photo that accompanied Benny's obituary in the Lewistown Sentinel.
Contributed by ray on 1/23/18

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Benjamin "Benny" V. Groninger is the oldest son of Benjamin Edward and Marian Van Ormer Groninger from Old Port.

Ben was born in Port Royal in 1930 and graduated a year early from Tuscarora Valley High School in 1947.

After graduation, Ben studied engineering at Penn State (at the Edinboro campus his freshman year, and then State College for the remainder).

During this time, he met Shirley L. Lequea (born in Belleville in 1931, graduated Lewistown High School in 1949). The meeting occurred at the house of his next door neighbors (The Hertzlers) in Old Port.

Ben ate well in State College (since Shirley waitressed at the Corner Room!), and graduated as a Civil Engineer from Penn State in 1951.

Ben and Shirley were married on June 7, 1952, and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary together in 2012! Ben and Shirley had three children – Patti, Randy and Lisa.

Ben’s Aerospace Engineering career began with the Glenn L. Martin (Martin Marietta and now Lockheed Martin) in Baltimore, Maryland, working on projects such as the P5M and P6M Submarine Hunter Airplanes.

In 1970, Ben (with the family in tow) went to Littleton, Colorado to support preparation and submittal of the Martin Marietta proposal for the External Fuel Tank for the NASA Space Program. After award of the External Tank Contract to Martin Marietta in 1973, the family moved to Slidell, Louisiana, where Ben worked on the Design, Development and Production of the External Fuel Tank for the NASA Space Shuttle, until his retirement in 1990.

Ben and Shirley currently (2012) live in Slidell. However, they try to visit their "true home" and friends in Old Port at least once a year.

Randy and his wife Jude live in Bagdad, Florida and Lisa and her husband Rick live in New Orleans, Louisiana.

OBITUARY for BENJAMIN V. GRONINGER

Benjamin “Benny” Van Ormer Groninger, passed away peacefully on Jan. 19, 2018, with his family by his side. Ben was born in Port Royal, on Nov. 11, 1930, and graduated a year early from Tuscarora Valley High School in 1947. Ben studied engineering at Penn State. During that time, he met the love of his life, Shirley Lequea, from Lewistown. Ben ate well in State College (since Shirley waitressed at the Corner Room!), and graduated as a civil engineer from Penn State in 1951. Ben and Shirley were married June 7, 1952, and celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary together in 2017! Ben and Shirley had three children, Patti, Randy and Lisa.

Ben’s aerospace engineering career began in 1951 with the Glenn L. Martin Company (which later became Martin Marietta and then Lockheed Martin) in Baltimore, Md., working on projects such as the P5M and P6M Submarine Hunter Airplanes. In 1970, Ben, with the family in tow, moved to Littleton, Colo. to help prepare Martin Marietta’s proposal for the external fuel tank for the NASA Space Shuttle program. After the award of the external fuel tank contract to Martin Marietta in 1973, the family moved to Slidell, La., where Ben worked on the design, development and production of the external tank until his retirement in 1990.

During his retirement years, Ben and Shirley continued to live in Slidell, but spent much time at their second home in Old Port, traveling and greatly enjoying family, friends and life on the side porch.

Ben was the oldest son of Benjamin Edward and Marian Van Ormer Groninger, from Old Port. He is survived by: his wife Shirley; son Randy (wife Jude), of Bagdad, Fla.; and daughter Lisa (husband Rick), of New Orleans, La.

We gratefully thank the many special people that have come into our lives and helped us through the last few years, including nurses Rachel, Kim, Olivia, Katrina, Colleen and Sheila, and everyone at Passages Hospice. All have been truly wonderful and all have become a special part of the family.

Future arrangements in Port Royal through the Rex Funeral Home will be announced.

Photos & Additional Comments

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Contributed by lgbdaisygirl on 7/23/12 - Image Year: 1947
Ben at the time of his High School Graduation in 1947 from Tuscarora Valley.
Contributed by ranjude on 7/27/12 - Image Year: 1931
Ben Groninger
Contributed by ranjude on 7/27/12 - Image Year: 1934
Ben Groninger
Contributed by ranjude on 4/23/18 - Image Year: 1936
BENNY IN FIRST GRADE: Dorthy G. Kepner was his teacher. (Photo submitted by son, Randy Groninger)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/23/12 - Image Year: 1943
Brothers Ben Groninger and Bill Groninger and Ray Kohler in their Easter finest in the William Ard yard at Old Port. (l-r) Bill, Ben and Ray (Approx. 1943)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/23/12 - Image Year: 1947
SENIOR CLASS OF TVHS 1947 First Row: (L-R) Pauline McClure, Evelyn Cargill, Joy McCahan, Donna Eaton, Irene Wagner; Second Row: Betty Leister, Kathryn Meminger, Betty Paige, Emma Isenberg; Third Row: Charles Snyder, Raymond Dunn, Donald Stitt, Robert Booher, Ben Groninger; Fourth Row: Mr. Park Gerhart (Teacher) Donald Graham, Clinton Bashore, Jr., Robert Naylor, William Lyter, Marvin Towsey.
Contributed by ranjude on 4/5/17 - Image Year: 1952
GRONINGER WEDDING: Benny and Shirley's wedding on June 7, 1952. (Pictured l-r): Edith Lequea (Shirley's mother), Shirley, Benny, Bill (Benny's Brother), Marian, and Ben Groninger, (Benny's Parents)
Contributed by lgbdaisygirl on 7/23/12 - Image Year: 1952
Ben and Shirley - Married on June 7, 1952
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/27/12 - Image Year: 1953
Shirley (daughter-in-law) and sons Benny and Bill with Ben and Marian at the back door in Old Port (1953).
Contributed by rkohler3 on 4/6/17 - Image Year: 1958
NOAH HERTZLER (c) visits Ben and Shirley Groninger at Stansbury Manor in Baltimore, Maryland. Ben is holding son Randy Groninger. (Photo submitted by Randy Groninger)
Contributed by ranjude on 4/23/18 - Image Year: 1960
BENNY & SHIRLEY AT CHRISTMAS DINNER (Photo submitted by son Randy who says that this is one of his favorite photos of his parents.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 2/24/17 - Image Year: 1963
BROTHERS: Bill and Benny at Ben's home in Bel Air, Maryland in 1963. (Photo submitted by Randy Groninger)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/27/12 - Image Year: 1966
GRONINGERS: Son Benny, daughter-in-law Shirley, grand-daughter Lisa with Ben and Marian in back of the Old Port home.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/27/12 - Image Year: 1980
BROTHERS: Ben and Bill Groninger with Bobby Hertzler at Ben and Marian's 50th wedding anniversary celebration at the Lions Club in Port Royal.
Contributed by lgbdaisygirl on 7/23/12 - Image Year: 1992
40th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY: Ben and Shirley's 40th Wedding Anniversary
Contributed by lgbdaisygirl on 7/23/12 - Image Year: 1981
STS-1 Space Shuttle Launch. Ben worked on the External Fuel Tank for the NASA Space Program.
Contributed by lgbdaisygirl on 7/23/12 - Image Year: 2002
Ben and Shirley and Family - Molly's at the Market - New Orleans French Quarter
Contributed by lgbdaisygirl on 7/23/12 - Image Year: 2004
Ben and Shirley Groninger's - Old Port Yard Party in 2004. (Ben and Shirley are seated at the table.)
Contributed by lgbdaisygirl on 7/23/12 - Image Year: 2002
Ben and Shirley at their Slidell, Louisiana home.
Contributed by lgbdaisygirl on 7/23/12 - Image Year: 2008
INDY 500 - Ben and Shirley at Indianapolis 500 in 2008
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/27/12 - Image Year: 2009
BROTHERS: Bill and Benny at the Hollywood Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. (Photo submitted by Benny's son Randy Groninger)
Contributed by ranjude on 3/24/17 - Image Year: 2012
READY TO CELEBRATE: (from left) Jim McClure, Ben V. Groninger, Sandy McClure, Shirley Groninger at the Groninger home in Old Port. All are dressed and ready to attend the Tuscarora Valley High School Reunion and the beginning of the Port Royal Bicentennial Celebration. (Submitted by Randy Groninger)



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