Gregory Walter Stark, 91, Owned Stark & Cronk Plumbing

Gregory Walter Stark, 91, of Exeter, N.H., and former longtime resident of Groveland, passed quietly at Riverwoods in Exeter with his family by his side. He was the husband of the late Helen E. (Rowell) Stark, who died Dec. 21, 1996, and Grace (Chase) Wright.

Born in Haverhill, May 3, 1925, he was one of two sons of the late Otto W. and Winifred (Irving) Stark, grew up in Groveland, where he attended elementary school and was a graduate of Haverhill High School. Shortly after graduating high school, Stark joined the military, serving with the United States Navy from from July 2, 1943 until his honorable discharge Feb. 14, 1946.

Returning from military service, he worked five years for Murray & Dougdale. In 1954 he went to work with his father at Stark & Cronk, expanding the business to become Stark & Cronk Plumbing and Heating, becoming owner of the business and retiring in 1990, passing the business on to his son, Gregory W. Stark Jr. as third generation owner.

For many years he was the Groveland Water Commissioner and had been a longtime member of the Haverhill Master Plumbers Association.

Stark was very active with the Masonic organizations, and was a 70-year member of Charles C. Dame Lodge of Georgetown, past high priest of Pentucket Chapter, Haverhill Commandrey, Haverhill Council and Aleppo Temple in Wilmington. He was also an active member of the Haverhill Rotary Club and the Groveland VFW. As busy as he was with work and civic obligations, he always made time for his family and friends, enjoying many wonderful family vacations, quiet time for hunting, and his annual fishing trips to Forest City, Maine.

He is survived by Grace (Chase) Wright of Exeter, N.H.; son, Gregory W. Stark Jr. and wife Patti of Groveland; two daughters, Rhonda J. Smith and husband MacGregor of Merrimac and Diane E. Knight and husband David of Amesbury; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; and the extended Wright family members. He was predeceased by his only brother, Richard I. Stark.

Funeral services and burial in Riverview Cemetery, Groveland, will be private for the family. Arrangements are by Paul C. Rogers Family Funeral Home, 2 Hillside Avenue, Amesbury. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Building Fund of the Groveland Congregational Church, 4 King Street, Groveland, MA 01834 or to the Rockingham County VNA & Hospice, 137 Epping Road, Exeter, NH 03833.

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