John Groman

John GromanJohn Edward Groman, Age 74, of Brays Island Plantation, Sheldon, SC (formerly of Dover, MA), died on August 24th. He was born in New Britain, Connecticut on May 24, 1945. John earned a scholarship to St. Paul’s School, Concord, NH where he graduated with highest honors in 1963. He was competitive in academics and athletics and was rumored to have held the school’s record for highest number of demerits for his antics.

He earned a BS (cum laude) from Yale University (1967) and an MBA from Harvard Business School (1969), graduating as a Baker Scholar. In 1969, he co-founded Epsilon Data Management which pioneered and developed sophisticated database communication and development systems for fraternities, non-profits, political organizations and corporations. John was a brilliant strategic thinker and was an important creative force behind the personalized direct mail industry. He instinctively knew how to motivate people. In 1993, he founded Bella Sante, which is a collection of highly successful luxury day and medical spas in the Boston area.

John was a man of great complexity. When news of his passing started to spread, his wife of 45 years Cara (Finnegan) Groman, began hearing from people: They called him a genius, provocative, inspirational, ambitious, loyal, driven, loving, generous, opinionated, brusque, intense, and somewhat frightening. One friend said if John were an animal, he’d be an armadillo: hard outer crust, and soft on the inside. John had two drives in his life: to make money to improve his family’s lives, and then to give it away to improve the lives of others.

In addition to his wife, Cara, John leaves two children, Madeline Groman Richard and her husband Shawn; a son Andrew, and his wife Hadley (Meenan); three grandchildren, Henry, Amelia and Charlie; and two brothers Walter and David. His parents Walter and Mary (Zelek) Groman and his sister Janice predeceased him. Contributions in his memory can go to Recovery Journeys, Inc. (PO Box 384, Sheldon, SC 29941), an organization John and Cara founded to provide rich experiences and support for people suffering from addiction, poverty, and other factors that limit personal growth. A Celebration of Life in John’s honor will take place in Cohasset, MA for family and friends at 11:00am on Saturday, September 28th. For details: jegcelebration@gmail.com

Published in The New York Times on Sept. 21, 2019