Penn State mourns the death of slain alumnus, David L. Grove

Penn State Mont Alto is mourning the loss of one of its alums, David L. Grove, who was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 11. A wildlife conservation officer, Grove attended the campus from 2000 to 2002 before completing his bachelor’s degree in wildlife sciences from the College of Agricultural Sciences at University Park in 2004. He was shot and killed while arresting a suspected poacher in Adams County. According to a Pennsylvania Game Commission press release, the last time a game commission officer was killed in the line of duty was Nov. 7, 1915.

Beth Brantley, forestry faculty at Mont Alto, recalls inviting Grove to campus in September 2009 as a guest speaker. “David spoke with the freshmen forest technology students about his career as a WCO and the steps he took to get there.” says Brantley. “I had the opportunity to work with David while he was a student here at Mont Alto. He was an extraordinary young man -- very bright, inquisitive, positive, ethical. He will be missed.”

“Our thoughts are with the Grove family during this difficult time,” said David Gnage, chancellor. “Penn State Mont Alto is proud to call David our alumnus and we remember him fondly.”

Walter "Deet" James, now a hunting heritage biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, was a Penn State classmate of Grove's in the School of Forest Resources at University Park. The two were roommates while living and working together at Penn State's Deer Research Facility (commonly referred to as the Deer Pens).

"David and I attended classes together, worked together and went fishing a few times as well," James said. "We talked about hunting a lot, and I knew right from the start his passion for becoming a full-time wildlife conservation officer. David was kind to every person he met and was able to joke with people without being condescending, rude or hurtful. I never heard David utter a curse word and he was extremely slow to anger; he was very patient and compassionate with others.

"He loved what he was doing, and as far as I'm concerned, his overall demeanor was perfect for his chosen profession; they just don't come any better than David," James continued. "I am very saddened by the loss of such a great person and friend."

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Last Updated November 17, 2010