Eta Mu Chapter of Sigma Chi at Eastern Illinois - John Groebe ’81: “It has been very rewarding.”

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John Groebe ’81 isn’t the only member of his family to become a Sig, as his biological brother and cousin both are as well. His time in the chapter taught him many things that he has used in his career with the family real estate firm, Groebe Real Estate. Today, John has encountered much success and struggles in choosing which is his biggest accomplishment, though catching a three pound bass on a golf course pond while breaking 80 sounds like a good start!

"I joined Sigma Chi because I knew a very active member who was a Sig at EIU. William Leonard ’81 introduced me to a number of the members and the men seemed like smart gentlemen. Additionally, I found out my cousin, Philip Groebe ’71, was a founder of the chapter.

My favorite memory during my time at the chapter is extremely difficult to answer. It would probably be listening to James Curtis ’79, my first counsel, give the charge at the meetings.  I don't remember it at my initiation—I just know I cried.  Or, maybe it was my big brother, Phil Iftner ’80, taking a running start at the slip-n-slide in the side yard up to my parents’ car as they dropped me off to move into the Chapter House—The Old Barn. 

I have kept up with some brothers; Gary Munson ’78, Kevin Pierce ’84, Jeff Middleton ’81, Bill Leonard and my brother, Chuck Groebe ’83. I have lost touch with so many good friends.  

I worked for my family real estate firm, Groebe Real Estate, in southwest Chicago. I made a good living and supported my wife and two kids, Stacey and Ashley.  Mostly, my role for the company is in general sales through my personal sales as well as motivating and assisting other agents in their sales.  It has been very rewarding.

Sigma Chi has assisted me in communication with others, problem-solving, party differences, financing and budgeting real estate management, working with government agencies and learning to accept and generate positive use of people’s different talents and convictions.

My biggest accomplishment is a tough question...Top in sales for the company?  Raising two wonderful children?  Being able to retire? Catching a three pound bass on a golf course pond while breaking 80? (A good day.)  I would say the biggest accomplishment is deciding three years ago that alcohol is not necessary in my life.  

My best advice to all undergrad members of Sigma Chi is to consider a sober life.  It is truly wonderful and your life will blossom."

In Hoc,
John A. Groebe

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