Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

William Francis Grof

William Francis Grof, 78, passed away on October 28, 2023.

Bill was born an only child on July 12, 1945, in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, to William H. Grof and Rita F. (Darrah) Grof. He attended Meyersdale Joint Schools for ten years and then graduated from Amherst Central High School in Amherst, New York, in 1963.

Following high school, he attended and graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1967 with a BS degree in Physics.

Having been a ROTC cadet at the University at Buffalo, Bill was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force in 1967. His second assignment took him to Sundance Air Force Station near Sundance, Wyoming.

There he met and married the love of his life, Judy Ellen Clark, and went from being a city boy to a cowboy. He rode his first horse in Wyoming.

Two months after they were married, he was transferred to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. There Bill earned his masters degree in engineering physics and was promoted to Captain.

His last assignment in the Air Force was at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado, where in 1974, he was honorably discharged from the Air Force. That same year, he accepted a job with Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

He worked for Bettis 33 years, 31 of which were spent working at a naval reactor facility located near Idaho Falls, Idaho. He retired in 2008.

In Idaho and Wyoming, Bill, Judy and their three children had many wonderful times together. Spending an abundant time in the forest and mountains, Table Mountain was a favorite, and enjoying appaloosa horses.

Summer biking and hiking and winter cross country skiing kept the family busy. Bill showed his dog, Pete, in obedience and agility trials. Bill's hobbies also included photography and cooking.

It was in the Idaho and Wyoming mountains, with their lofty grandeur and beautiful flowers, that he came to really appreciate the God of creation. Bill and Judy were both Christians and spent all their years belonging to, and serving at, a Christian church.

First, they were both Christians, having been lost but now found (Amazing Grace), with a life in Jesus Christ. Bill was an elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Idaho Falls.

Bill is survived by his three children, Susan, Katherine (Gale), and Daniel; six grandchildren, Caitlyn, Dillon (Michaela), Linkin, Emma, Ava (Bailey) and Sawyer; and three great grandchildren, Emery, Dean and Lane.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Judy, passing on November 28, 2018; a fourth child Elizabeth, who died during childbirth; and parents, William and Rita Grof.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, November 9, 2023, at First Presbyterian Church (325 Elm St.). Military Honors will be performed by the Bonneville County Veterans Memorial Team and Air Force Honor Guard.

Bill and Judy have a headstone at New Sweden Cemetery in Idaho Falls.

Condolences may be sent to the family online at

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