Colonel Ronald M Groomes (U.S. Army Retired)
Ronald Milton Groomes, son of the late Malachi and Margaret Lee Groomes, was born on December 25, 1929, in Trenton, New Jersey and entered into rest on March 23, 2023, at San Antonio Military Hospital. He resided in the San Antonio area for more than three years.
Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at Hughes Funeral Home, 324 Bellevue Ave., Trenton, NJ 08618. Calling hour will be 10 a.m. until the time of service. Interment will be at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery, Arneytown, NJ.
His civilian career started with the New Jersey Division of Corrections and Parole as a corrections officer at Trenton State Prison, New Jersey. The positions he held included Corrections Sgt, Senior Inspector, Assistant Supervisor of Cottage Life, Supervisor of Cottage Life, Assistant Superintendent at Rahway State Prison, Superintendent of Leesburg State Prison, Accreditation Manager and Affirmative Action Officer for the New Jersey Department of Corrections. The highlight of his career was serving as the first African American superintendent of an adult institution in the State of New Jersey.
His military career started with being drafted into the Army in August 1951 and graduating from Officer’s Candidate School (OCS) as a 2nd Lieutenant in August 1952. He served as a Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Company Commander, Battalion Executive Officer, Committee Director, Battalion Commander, Division G-2 Intelligence Officer, and Commanding Officer Committee Group with the retired rank of Colonel. He was inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame at Fort Benning Georgia in 1991. His proudest achievement was selection by the promotion board to fill General Officer vacancies. His final MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) was Infantry General.
In 1954, Ronald Groomes was the first African American to be accepted into the New Jersey State Police Academy. Although he did not successfully graduate, he opened the door for Trooper Paul McLemore in 1961 and other applicants of color. In 2013, the National Black State Trooper Coalition, Marshall C. Brown Chapter honored him with a Special Recognition Award at their Annual Saluting A Trailblazer Awards Dinner Dance.
Throughout the years Ron coached West End Little League and Football in Trenton. An avid golfer, he played in many tournaments and traveled with friends. He had many friends, but his family and grandchildren were always first.
Ron was a member of Bethlehem AME Church in Burlington, NJ serving as Trustee and Church Treasurer, Retired Officer’s Association, American Legion Post 182, OCS Alumni Association and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He and his family are grateful to the doctors and nurses at SAMMC and the San Antonio Area for the care he received as a Texan.
In addition to his parents, Ronald is preceded in death by his wives, Yvonne P. Groomes, Frances O. Groomes and son Kirk R. Groomes. He is survived by his daughter, Tracey Groomes; grandchildren Devon Groomes, Kirk Groomes Jr. (Leidy) and Brittany Peace; four great-grandchildren; sisters Leola and Inez Groomes, a special friend Mary Mason and a host of step-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends.
The family kindly requests contributions be made to: The Locust Hill African Cemetery and Museum Project in Trenton NJ. This Project is sponsored by the 6th Regiment United States Colored Troops, a nonprofit organization engaged in the restoration of the Locust Hill Cemetery, and establishing a museum to honor and preserve the black lives laid to rest there.
Locust Hill African Cemetery and Museum Project
Donation Link: Locust Hill African Cemetery and Museum Project - Trenton NJ
Locust Hill African Cemetery Museum
688 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Trenton, NJ 08619