Melinda Flory Groom died on April 19, 2022 at her home in Blue Lake. She was 81 years old.

Melinda was born in 1940 to parents Emily and Paul Flory. Growing up, she lived in New Jersey, Ohio, Ithaca New York, and spent a year in England. She went to Bryn Mawr College, and then was one of the first two women admitted to the graduate physics program at Caltech, where she obtained her master’s degree.

There she met Don Groom. They shared a love of the outdoors, and got engaged in the Muir Hut, on Muir Pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains. They married in 1962. From Pasadena they moved to Ithaca, to Salt Lake City and finally to Moraga, Calif, and Blue Lake. Melinda got a teaching certificate from Saint Mary’s College and worked as a high school math and physics teacher.

Melinda’s heart was in nature. She was happiest tromping through the woods in search of wildflowers or mushrooms, riding horses, or working in her garden. Active until the very end, she would eagerly explore uncharted areas and embark on long hikes. In her later years she volunteered at Patrick’s Point State Park, led Sierra Club hikes, served as an active member of the California Native Plant Society, and supported a variety of environmental and humanitarian causes.

She is survived by her husband Don; her three children, Susanna, Jeremy, and Charles; her two siblings Susan and John; and four grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the North Coast Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, the Environmental Protection Information Center, or Food for People.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, May 6 at 3 p.m. at the Blue Lake Cemetery in Blue Lake . People may bring garden flowers to place in the grave. The community is invited to attend, and to join us in fellowship afterwards as we celebrate Melinda’s generous, adventurous, and independent spirit.


The obituary above was submitted by Melinda Groom’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email