Funeral Services were Friday for the founder of a Mabank business that has grown from its simple beginnings to expand into other areas of northeast Texas.
Estle Groom died Oct. 17, just a day after he turned 95-years-old. He packed a lot into those years, establishing Groom and Sons hardware and becoming a leader in the Cedar Creek Lake business world and his community.
"In memory of our beloved founder," along with his picture were shared on the Groom and Sons' Facebook page following his passing. Family members and friends commented on his kindness and willingness to help those who needed his time and expertise.
Groom was a recipient of a Mabank Cedar Creek Chamber Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2005 was honored with Estle Groom Day for his legacy and contributions to the community.
Groom grew up on his family's Van Zandt County cotton farm, before joining he Coast Guard in 1942. When the war ended he came back to Mabank and soon moved into the business world, with a laundromat and service station.
Like many East Texans in the post war years, Groom and his wife Annie moved to the Dallas area. He set up shop in the Pleasant Grove area. He came back to Mabank in 1972 and bought an existing hardware store. Annie's declining health led him to give up the story for a while, but he and his sons bought it back in 1984, giving it its current name Groom and Sons.
Estle is remembered for his willingness to spend the time with his customers to meet their needs and answer their questions. He was seen as a "quiet leader," and later, a community father.
The store grew from three employees to 100, with the building covering 40,000 square feet. There was also a warehouse and lumber yard.
Earlier this year, Groom and Sons, a fixture in Mabank since 1948 was sold.