‘Old-School’ Jewelry Salesman Eddie Grove Dies at 81

IndependentsMar 07, 2024

‘Old-School’ Jewelry Salesman Eddie Grove Dies at 81

The Pennsylvania native, who sold for Gumuchian and others, is remembered for being kind and outgoing.

Eddie Grove
Eddie Grove, who worked in the industry as a traveling salesman for 35 years, died unexpectedly in January. Friends and loved ones remember him for his skills as a salesman, kindness, and integrity.
York, Pa.—Eddie Grove, an “old-school” traveling jewelry salesman who spent more than three decades on the road, died earlier this year of cardiac arrest. 

He was 81. 

Born Oct. 25, 1942, in York, Pennsylvania, Grove started working in retail after high school before being drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. 

He served in Germany before returning to the United States and finding a job at Shaffner’s, a jewelry store that was an institution in York. 

There, Grove met different salesmen as they came in off the road to offer their lines to the store. 

He also traveled to New York City with the store manager and made more connections there, connections that led to the next phase of his career—traveling jewelry salesman. 

Grove spent 35 years on the road selling for companies based in New York, including 13 years with Gumuchian.

Myriam Gumuchian said Grove was one of her longest-serving sales reps, working for the company from 1994 until his retirement in 2007. He sold up and down the East Coast and in the Midwest as well. 

She described him as an “old-school road warrior”-type who was committed to his customers and moved quickly. He never wasted time when he thought he could make a sale, earning him the nickname “Fast Eddie.” 

“He was genuinely a guy who loved this industry with a passion,” Gumuchian said. 

While Grove’s travels took him all over, longtime partner Sue Bond said he remained a resident of York, the south central Pennsylvania town where they both grew up, his entire life. 

Bond described him as an intelligent man who always had a twinkle in his eye. He loved to talk and be social, was full of energy, and was a great friend to people. 

He also was, according to Bond, eclectic in his tastes. 

Grove loved fine dining and shopping.

One of his longtime customers, now-retired jeweler Jim Alperin, said Grove loved clothes and whenever he heard a men’s clothing store was going out of business, he would offer to buy all the ties. 

When calling on customers, he’d lay out all the ties and tell them to pick one for themselves. 

“It’s because of that that I have a beautiful collection of ties that I no longer wear now that I’m retired,” Alperin said. 

Grove also collected prints by American painter and illustrator Maxfield Parrish, who was known for his neo-classical style, and glass works by René Lalique, the French jewelry designer and glass artist.  

His collection of Lalique glass was so extensive that it will be going up for auction at Cordier Auctions in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in the near future,  Bond said. 

“He was unique,” she recalled with a laugh. 

In addition to Bond, Grove is survived by a sister, Janlyn Simmons of York, and a brother, Scott Grove of San Francisco. 

Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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