Eva Kastan Grove, a local philanthropist who co-founded the Grove Foundation, died on May 31 after a short but fierce illness, according to her family.
The Los Altos Hills resident was born in Vienna, Austria, to Selma and Karl Kastan on Nov. 28, 1935. She and her family fled to Bolivia in 1938 after Kristallnacht — when Nazi leaders unleashed a series of violent riots against the Jewish people in Germany, Austria and their neighbors.
The family later immigrated to the U.S. where they settled in Queens, New York.
Grove graduated from Hunter College in New York City with a bachelor's degree in pre-social work in 1958. Eva earned her master's in social work from Columbia University.
She married Andy Grove, a refugee from Hungary, in 1958. They moved to California, where her husband earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from University of California at Berkeley. He later became the third CEO of Intel Corp.
Her life was dedicated to giving back, according to daughter Karen Grove.
She was inspired by her parents and guided by the motto of her alma mater: "The Care of the Future is Mine," according to her family. She started the Eva Kastan Grove Fellowship at Hunter College, which provides mentorship, professional development, and a financial award to students who are committed to public service, public policy and human rights.
In 1986, Andy and Eva founded the Grove Foundation with a board that included themselves and their two daughters, Karen and Robie. At this time, the cornerstone of the foundation was to support service organizations similar to the ones that aided Andy and Eva as immigrants to the U.S. Over the years, the couple observed that people of color, people with disabilities and LGBT people did not receive the same treatment or have access to the support they received, which led to a shift in funding priorities.
Now, the foundation intentionally funds the most marginalized communities to lead the work and adapts the way the foundation operates its grant-making processes and reporting to center around the needs of change-makers. It raised $30 million in 2020, according to filings.
As a social worker in Santa Clara County, she facilitated adoptions. A local Planned Parenthood chapter, where she volunteered, gave her the Golden Speculum Award. She tutored immigrants to prepate them for their citizenship interviews. She canvassed, marched, wrote postcards, op-eds and letters and served on the board of her beloved Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), according to Karen.
When asked about her religion she would say, "Recycling," and her final wish was to be composted so that she could turn to soil for a forest and "become part of the world again," Karen said.
She was a skier, a hiker, a biker and a baker who specialized in adding raisins to just about everything.
"She touched us with her quirky approach to daily life: her prolific use of her label maker, her collection of jams, her example of dancing at every occasion and her spirit of participation, which included a competitive game of musical chairs on a beach last August," Karen said. "She didn't win the game, but she was surely the crowd favorite."
Eva was preceded in death by her husband, Andy, in 2016. She is survived by her two daughters and six grandchildren. She leaves behind old friends, her neighbors on Garland, her walking companions, her card playing pals, the staff of her foundation and her extended family, according to her daughters.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that people rinse their containers before recycling or use them for leftovers. Memorial donations may be made to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
An online remembrance page has been set up for Eva at tinyurl.com/EvaGroveMemorial.