Ralph Wayne Grounds was born on September 25, 1936, in Blooming Grove to Ima Shumate Grounds and James Ralph Grounds, as the oldest of 6 children. He attended school in Hillsboro and earned a GED after joining the United States Air Force in 1958. At his first assignment at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS, he met the love of his life, Bobbie Gainer. They were married on June 24, 1961. He worked as a Special Vehicle Equipment Supervisor and Mechanic, being deployed to many locations, such as Thailand, North Africa, and the very end of the Aluetian Chain in Alaska. After 20 years, he retired from military service and moved back to Hillsboro, along with his daughters and son, and started a job with Spartan Copper. In 1982, he established Grounds Locksmith. He always enjoyed going to "The Barn” at Clara and DL Williams' to listen to music with his friends. He also frequented the local Chinese Buffett where he would sit at his special table and eat his standard fare of fish, egg drop soup and a large pot of green tea and leave with 6 fortune cookies to share with friends. He had a passion for collecting Texas quarters and stamping "Where's George" on all of his paper money to track where it went.
As a locksmith his motto was "from can to can't" and he took that seriously, all the way to the end. He lived life on his terms and didn't waiver in his beliefs nor his faith in God. He was a man of few words but didn't really need to use them. If you asked him how he was, he was always "better." He is probably experiencing the best "better" he has ever been right now.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Barbara Gainer Grounds; daughters, Karen Grounds Bartosh and husband Larry, of Abbott; Sheryl Grounds-Tyler of Sherman; son, Christopher Grounds, of Hillsboro; grandchildren, Brenna Grounds Karlik and husband Dennis, of Hillsboro; Jamie Bartosh Cabrera and husband Carlos of Abbott; James Bartosh of Abbott; great-grandchildren, Karlea Karlik and Sebastian Cabrera; and brothers Melvin Grounds and special friend Ella of Joplin, MO, Edwin Grounds and wife Dorothy of Everman, sisters Elsie Mullins and husband Roland of San Angelo, Lynda Gray and husband Chuck of Texarkana, AR and Shirley Ball of Bryson City, North Carolina and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mr. Grounds will lie in state from 9:00am - 7:00pm on February 26th at Marshall & Marshall Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 2:00pm on February 27th at the First Baptist Church of Hillsboro, with Rev. Kenneth James and Danny Gilliam officiating. A military burial will follow at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery at a time yet to be determined. Facial masks and social distancing are required.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Marshall and Marshall Funeral Home to assist with funeral expenses.
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