A celebration of Tony Grove’s life 

Tony Grove with store mascot and pooch Eddard showing off a comic store that
had been a staple of Keizer for 17 years. Keizertimes File Photo

A celebration of life for Tony Grove, the late owner of Tony’s Kingdom of Comics, will be held on Saturday, June 29, at the Keizer Elks Club. 

Grove passed away at the age of 60 after a fall at his home in May. 

His Keizer store, which sold comic books, graphic novels and toys, operated for 17 years. Grove was known for his philanthropy, especially his work with the Keizer Community Food Bank. 

His devotion to the local food bank stems from Grove’s grandmother’s altruism. She raised Tony from the age of two, demonstrating charity to help those less fortunate. 

From the very first day of business, Tony’s Kingdom of Comics had been a repository for donations to benefit the food bank. He collected thousands of pounds of food over the years. 

The store held charity events at the store as well as featuring appearances at Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Portland. The store events always featured characters such as Star Wars Storm Troopers, Spiderman and Batman, to the delight of the public. 

Besides his charity work, his daughter, AnnMare Grove, said his proudest achievement was raising two daughters, including Alyssa.

“Tony would always say his family was his greatest achievement. He took great pride in them and did his best after their mother and he separated when they were young,” wrote Annmare Grove.

“He also took great pride in his opening of Tony’s Kingdom of Comics after working years as a professional painter. He put his professional career aside to follow his dream and passion: opening a comic book shop for his community.” 

“Our biggest regret,” wrote Annmare, “is that he was not able to enjoy his grandchildren and retirement before his health ultimately failed him. “

As teens, his daughters both worked at the store.

During their teenage years, AnnMare and Alyssa both worked the shop with Tony before pursuing careers of their own. AnnMare became a tattoo artist in the area and has infused many of the comic book culture icons into her work. 

Grove is also survived by two grandchildren, Quentin Crus and Matthew Tudor.

Before his passing, Grove was in the process of selling the store; the deal fell through. The store has now permanently closed. Family members, store employees and dozens of long-time customers aided to pack up and close the store. 

The store’s inventory was hauled away by loved ones, store employees and customers to a storage unit in Salem. 

“The stock will be kept there until such time that an interested party is willing to take it into their own store or collection,” said his daughter. “There are many wonderful pieces still there, such as a large inventory of comic books and back issues, hardcover trades, statues, toys and much more.”

The store’s mascot, Eddard, a shepherd, who welcomed customers, and Grove’s beloved companion, now lives with his daughter, AnnMare, her husband Shawn and their son Quentin.

Tony Grove’s legacy, said his daughter, will be the lives he’s touched over 17 years of business. There are plans to create food donation stations at Punx With Purpose and Punx In The Park, a non-profit organization in which both AnnMare and Shawn participate, to continue the charitable contribution Tony was committed to. 

Tony Grove held various events over the years to support women’s shelters, toy drives for youth and other local charities. He was a supporter of Comic Book Covers for Cancer, which used blank comic books, which he donated, and artists from around the world would draw on. These books would then be auctioned off to help raise funds for cancer research. Tony was a sponsor and donated toys/comics and other prizes for the annual resource fair and youth focused fundraiser Punx In The Park which AnnMare and Shawn helped found. 

The potluck Celebration of Life is scheduled for June 29, noon to 3 p.m., at the Keizer Elks Club, 4250 Cherry Ave. NE. The public is welcome to attend and share memories. Photos can be shared on the store’s Facebook page.

Contact Publisher Lyndon Zaitz:
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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