Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Douglas Cole “Doug” Groff (1912-1993)

Athlete, businessman.

Born at Winnipeg on 16 September 1912, son of Franklin Bricker Groff and Annie May Clemens Cole (1883-1958), he served in the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry during the Second World War. Returning from military duty, he joined the family business Groff Agency Limited, established by his uncle, along with three of his brothers. As President, he turned the firm into one of the largest sporting goods firms in Canada. He retired in the early 1980s.

An active athlete, he was a members of the Canadian Olympic team at the 1940 Helsinki games. He was later Manitoba Ski Champion and a Manitoba, Canadian, and international canoeing champion. He served on an athletics committee of the Manitoba Centennial Corporation and served as President of the Winnipeg Ski Club, Chairman of the Manitoba Ski Zone, Vice President of the Canadian Amateur Ski Association, Rear Commodore of the Winnipeg Canoe Club, and Chairman of the Organization Board of the 1967 Pan American Games. He also served as President of the Community Chest of Greater Winnipeg, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce (1963-1964), Ducks Unlimited Canada (1980), and Rotary Club of Winnipeg. He recognition of his prowess in canoeing, he was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame (1983).

On 25 December 1941, he married Florence Ida Kieper (?-1994) at Winnipeg and they had four daughters. He was a member of the Royal Lake of the Woods Yacht Club, St. Charles Country Club, and Winnipeg Winter Club.

He died at Winnipeg on 13 April 1993.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Cross House (54 Yale Avenue, Winnipeg)


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Groff-Kieper marriage solemnized on Christmas Day,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 December 1941, page 12.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 15 April 1993, page 42.

Obituary [Florence Groff], Winnipeg Free Press, 4 October 1994, page 28.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 6 September 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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