Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Eddie Grove, Revered ‘Old-School’ Jewelry Salesman, Passes Away at 81

York, Pennsylvania—Eddie Grove, a revered figure in the realm of jewelry sales known for his old-school approach, breathed his last earlier this year due to cardiac arrest. He was 81.

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Born on October 25, 1942, in York, Pennsylvania, Grove embarked on his journey in retail following high school. However, his path took a turn when he was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, where he served in Germany. Upon his return to the United States, Grove found himself employed at Shaffner’s, a prestigious jewelry store in York. It was here that he first encountered the world of traveling salesmen, who frequented the store to showcase their lines.

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Building on these interactions, Grove ventured to New York City alongside the store manager, forging valuable connections that would propel his career into its next chapter—becoming a traveling jewelry salesman. Over the course of 35 years, he represented various companies based in New York, notably spending 13 years with Gumuchian.

Reflecting on Grove’s tenure, Myriam Gumuchian, founder of Gumuchian, hailed him as one of the company’s longest-serving sales representatives, spanning from 1994 until his retirement in 2007. Grove’s sales territory extended across the East Coast and the Midwest, earning him a reputation as an “old-school road warrior” who prioritized customer relationships and swift transactions, earning him the moniker “Fast Eddie.”

“He was genuinely a guy who loved this industry with a passion,” remarked Gumuchian.

Despite his extensive travels, Grove remained rooted in his hometown of York, according to his longtime partner, Sue Bond. Describing him as an affable and sociable individual with an insatiable zest for life, Bond highlighted Grove’s eclectic interests, ranging from fine dining to collecting prints by American painter Maxfield Parrish and glassworks by renowned French artist René Lalique.

Among Grove’s idiosyncrasies was his penchant for acquiring ties, a trait fondly remembered by his former customer, retired jeweler Jim Alperin. Alperin recalled Grove’s habit of procuring ties from closing men’s clothing stores, offering them to clients during his sales calls—an act that left a lasting impression.

Grove’s extensive collection of Lalique glass, noted Bond, will soon be up for auction at Cordier Auctions in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a testament to his distinctive tastes and passions.

In addition to Bond, Grove is survived by his sister, Janlyn Simmons of York, and his brother, Scott Grove of San Francisco.

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