Atlantic City is renaming Rhode Island Avenue after the late Buddy Grover, the inspirational volunteer lighthouse keeper at Atlantic City's Absecon Lighthouse, who died in January at age 96.

The street renaming will come after a Celebration of Life for Grover from 5 -7 pm on Wednesday, June 26 at Boardwalk Hall.

Rhode Island Avenue will be renamed "George Buddy Grover III Way" at a ceremony at 11:30 am Thursday, June 27th.

Buddy Grover's Later Life Volunteer Job Made Him Famous

Buddy Grover, a retired Atlantic City mailman took the volunteer job at Absecon Lighthouse shortly after his wife passed away in 2008, as a way to stay busy and involved in the community, according to his obituary.

Soon he was donning a replica of a United States Lighthouse Service keeper's uniform and climbing the 228-steps to the top of the lighthouse on a regular basis.


Atop the lighthouse, he met people from every walk of life and from every continent (except Antarctica), and he treated all of them the same – with a warm smile, amusing anecdotes, historical insights and answers to virtually any question posed to him.


People were always awed when he told them how old he was and he often would joke and say he was the "future ghost of the Absecon Lighthouse".

Buddy Grover gained local and national attention for continuing to climb the 228 stairs at Absecon Lighthouse to give tours until just last year.

Grover continued working at Absecon Lighthouse even after a medical issue forced him to stop climbing the lighthouse stairs any longer. Buddy simply shifted his role to greeting guests as they entered the Lighthouse.

Buddy Grover Lived on $35,000 a Year

In an MSNBC feature on Buddy Grover in June of 2023, he said that before his time with Absecon Lighthouse, he had worked jobs in the hotel industry, transporting the elderly to medical appointments and as a mailman to make ends meet.

Those three jobs gave him a total of $35,000 in pensions, which Buddy said was enough to help support him in his retirement.

He was a longtime resident of Atlantic City's Inlet Towers.

Buddy Grover's Keys to a Long, Happy Life

Buddy accredited his long life to a variety of luck, exercise, and mental stimulation. He told MSNBC that his mother lived well into her 90s, but that he also had a daily routine that helped.

Buddy liked to read every day, did crossword puzzles, stayed socially active, and started each day by doing knee-to-chest exercises.

And, Buddy listed one other thing that kept him going. A happy-go-lucky attitude.

 “I’ve always had a positive outlook on life. If there were any unpleasantries, I’ve forgotten them.” ″[I’m] living from day to day and looking forward to what tomorrow is going to hold. There’s always something worthwhile.”

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