Eliza Lynore Banchoff Grover: July 27, 1999 – October 7, 2023

by Contributed Content on October 20, 2023

On Saturday afternoon October 7, 2023, Eliza Grover was walking home on a sidewalk near an elementary school in Towson, Maryland, when she was hit by a drunk driver whose truck jumped the curb. Her life ended in an instant, generating tremendous ripple effects of grief across her many communities.

On Monday, October 30, at 4:30 pm, Eliza’s communities will come together at Stanford’s Memorial Church. All are welcome.

Eliza was born in San Francisco on July 27, 1999. The family moved to Menlo Park two months after her twin sisters Natalie and Mariah were born in November 2001. Eliza attended Oak Knoll Elementary School, Hillview Middle School, and Menlo-Atherton High School, graduating in 2017.

In seventh grade, she spent the year in Oaxaca, Mexico with her family, experiencing a local school and a completely different life. She made friends, was recruited into every sports team the small school offered, and developed a love of the Spanish language and Latin American cultures that she cultivated for the rest of her life. Years later, she wrote her college essays about the ways that year had transformed her sense of herself and of the world.

Eliza loved sports and being part of a team. After tumbling at Burgess and swimming with PASA, she played soccer and basketball before settling into an enduring love of volleyball. Over the years, she played at numerous South Bay clubs, most recently Red Rock, where she also coached younger players. At Menlo-Atherton, she joined the school’s first freshman team before jumping up to play Varsity for the next three years. The team won two Northern California Division 1 championships and competed in back-to-back State Championships. In her senior year, she was the team’s captain and the league’s co-MVP.

Eliza and her sisters grew up with a deep connection to the Sierra Nevada. The family spent many dreamy summer weeks on Fallen Leaf Lake and later made a home in Serene Lakes, where they continue to gather. An intrepid outdoors woman, Eliza loved downhill and cross-country skiing, hiking, backpacking, and swimming in mountain lakes. In August 2023, Eliza spent five days on the Tahoe Rim Trail with family and friends.

Eliza attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated in 2021 with a BS in Cognitive Neuroscience. While at Brown she was a research assistant at the Bradley Sleep Laboratory and an Associate Member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society. During the summers, she worked as an intern at Grail, Inc. and as a research assistant at the Stanford Concussion and Brain Performance Center, where she contributed to a published paper on concussion in girls. She also returned to Oaxaca with Child Family Health International to study health equity and gain experience in community health centers and hospitals.

While at Brown, Eliza played Division 1 NCAA volleyball as a right-side hitter for the Bears. She was a steady force on the team, earning Academic All-Ivy and Academic All-District honors as well as All-Ivy Honorable Mention twice. She loved the team and relished the competition, but when COVID canceled her senior season, she took it in stride and signed up to earn her EMT and Wilderness First Aid certifications and work in a low-income clinic in Providence. She also found her love for running and completed the first of many half-marathons.

Upon graduation, Eliza spent a summer leading outdoor trips for Overland Adventures and then moved to Seattle, a city that had always had a powerful gravitational pull for her. It quickly became her beloved home. With her close friends and an ever-growing, cherished social circle, Eliza took every chance she could to be outside, exploring the city, adventuring in Washington’s wilderness, and watching sunsets over Puget Sound, sometimes punctuating the beauty with a polar plunge. She played adult-league volleyball and board games, had dinner parties, danced with her friends at concerts, and made all of them join Good Reads.

Having arrived in Seattle without a job, Eliza found her place at the Rainier Clinical Research Center, initially as a Research Assistant and then as a Clinical Research Coordinator, helping to implement medical device clinical trials for people with diabetes. She relished the opportunity to come to know the patients and to learn from physicians. In her own words, the job “cemented her passion for the research process and its potential for population-level impact.” Never a fashion icon, she also really liked wearing scrubs. With inspiring clarity, she decided that she wanted to become a doctor and applied for post-baccalaureate programs to complete the requirements for medical school.

In May 2023, Eliza began a year of intensive study at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland. She was the only one in her cohort who took all of her notes by hand, her signature chicken-scratch handwriting sprawled in fat notebooks. Eliza made friends within the program and sought other connections, practicing with and helping to coach the undergraduate volleyball team, and volunteering with local not-for-profits.

And she ran, more and more, and always joyfully. She was training for the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October, and had started to talk about trail running and ultramarathons. While she ran, she often listened to running podcasts. She admitted that this was weird. She was just unabashedly fascinated and enchanted by the experience of being in her body for all of those miles. On the morning of her death, she ran 10 miles and then, in the afternoon, took that final walk.

Eliza was a devoted daughter, sister, and friend, who openly and fully adored the people who were lucky enough to be part of her life. Through shared adventures, laughing fits, consistent phone calls, and beautiful letters, she prioritized and nurtured her relationships.

To know Eliza was to know how much she loved her sisters, and centered their bond in her life, always finding ways to include them in her conversations and welcome them into her friendships. She was immensely proud of their accomplishments and the women they have grown up to be. Eliza was fiercely competitive, yet inclusive and warm, building community everywhere she went. She always made sure the people in her life felt listened to, supported, and, at times, humbled.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks community members to consider a contribution to the Eliza Grover Memorial Fund, which will support girls’ academics/athletics at Menlo-Atherton High School and land preservation and recreation on Donner Summit. The Fund is in the process of being established as a not-for-profit (501c3). To receive a message when a donation link is available, please complete this brief form at https://tinyurl.com/ElizaGroverMemorialFund.

Eliza is survived by her younger sisters Natalie and Mariah; her parents, Ann Banchoff and Christopher Grover of Menlo Park; grandparents Lynore Banchoff of Menlo Park, Mimi Grover of Grass Valley, CA, and Thomas & Kathleen Banchoff of Providence, RI; many adoring aunts, uncles and cousins; and an extended family of friends near and far.

Note: This remembrance of Eliza was provided by her family.


Jen Jackson & Roger Miller (Serene Lakes) October 20, 2023 at 9:26 pm

Dear Chris and Ann, Natalie and Mariah, and the many people who loved Eliza,

Roger and I are so so sorry to learn of your tremendous loss. Eliza sounds like an amazing human and I can only hope that the many happy memories you have with her may bring you some solace. You are in our hearts. If there’s anything we can do to be of service in this terrible time, don’t hesitate to let us know.

Wishing you peace and ease as you navigate this time,

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Lynn Carteris October 28, 2023 at 11:48 pm

Thinking of you all at this difficult time. Sending love and prayers.
Lynn and Jim Carteris

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Jeffrey O’Brien October 21, 2023 at 6:34 am

Eliza, it seems to me, was easily the most accomplished athlete – yet – in our families.

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Lisa October 22, 2023 at 11:24 am

Wendy call me I can’t find your phone number 425/633-5084

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Corinna Suter October 21, 2023 at 9:20 am

What a touching obituary, what an amazing young woman. I am so sorry for your loss and wish you a lot of love and time for mourning and remembering Eliza.

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Laura Martin October 21, 2023 at 9:51 am

May God help you Dr Grover and your beautiful family through this very difficult time in your life’s.
I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but when I almost lost my 9 yr old in a tractor accident my life changed forever. And I couldn’t imagine a life without him. So please take my sincere condolences, my heart aches for your loss. Eliza, changed many peoples life’s from reading her life journey, everywhere she went I’m sure she will be remembered. Praying for your family whole heartedly Dr Grover.

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Greg Olsen October 21, 2023 at 2:45 pm

I feel so fortunate to have known Eliza and to have had the opportunity to watch her grow into the amazing person she was over the years as a close friend of my daughter. Eliza was that positive-influence-friend that every parent hopes their child will find and will spend as much time with as possible. Eliza exhibited a remarkable quiet confidence at an early age. She seemed to always enjoy life’s journey without angst about the destination or any need for validation along the way. She was authentic and humble, and possessed exceptional empathy for other people’s needs. Eliza made the people around her happier and better.

I cherish the memories I have of Eliza and will never forget the joy she brought me and my family. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

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Nancy Corson Carter October 21, 2023 at 3:23 pm

Dear Lynore and Family,
I am deeply saddened to. hear of this beautiful, so full of life young person being so needlessly, so heedlessly ended.
She certainly lives on in the lives of many thankful-for-her persons, now suffering her loss.
My condolences,

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Judy Fink October 22, 2023 at 7:45 am

What a magnificent write-up of a magnificent young woman, May the extraordinary life she lived be inspirational to others. I am heartbroken for the entire Banchoff family who I know are utterly grief stricken, but who at the same time can take some solace in knowing their contribution to the astonishing person Eliza was. Sending you all my deepest condolences, and may Eliza’s light shine forever.

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Allie Bayne October 23, 2023 at 9:45 am

I went to school with Eliza from 6th grade all the way until high school graduation. I remember one time we went to a birthday and I didn’t really know many people there so I just hung out with her the whole time because of how nice she was. I can honestly say Eliza was one of the kindest souls on this planet. I can’t believe this is real. My heart is with everyone in her family. I’ll never forget Eliza.

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Marisol Flores October 23, 2023 at 10:21 am

A meaningful and beautiful life. My deepest condolences to her family and friends specially her parents. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

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Norma Butler October 23, 2023 at 1:25 pm

In reading her obituary Eliza lead such an amazing life. A woman who every parent would be proud of. I would like to share my first time meeting Eliza. It was when Dr. Grover and his wife brought her over to meet the staff. Dr. Grover was so happy and proud to show us his beautiful baby girl who was just a couple of months old. Over the course of years Dr. Grover always spoke of his daughters fondly. Sending you my sincere and deepest condolences to you and family.

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Julie Parsonnet October 23, 2023 at 8:11 pm

My heart simply aches. I’ve “watched” Eliza grow up through your stories, Anne. It feels like a shining light has been lost from the world. I send you my deepest condolences.

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Diane Short October 24, 2023 at 12:37 pm

Eliza always had a smile and positive energy whenever I saw her. I am so sorry for your loss of this beautiful woman inside and out.

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Saúl Aragòn Ramírez October 24, 2023 at 3:11 pm

Ann y Christopher , es muy difícil para nosotros en la familia Aragòn Arreola de Arrazola Oaxaca asimilar esta triste noticia , reciban un abrazo de parte de la familia , recordamos con mucho aprecio a Eliza en su estancia aquí en Oaxaca

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Jackson Confer October 24, 2023 at 3:44 pm

I went to school with Eliza for many years and while we were never particularly close, I have always remember her fondly as a deeply kind, intelligent, and hardworking person. I couldn’t think of a bad thing to say about her if I tried. I am absolutely devastated to hear that her time among us was cut far too short and to her friends and family, I am so sorry for your loss.

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Kelly Brieger October 24, 2023 at 4:47 pm

I am so sorry for this wonderful family. Lynore was my neighbor for many years and she is just wonderful. Ann is the salt of the earth and was always kind and lovely to me. Eliza matriculated through school with my kids from Kindergarten, Oak Knoll through MA. My heart breaks for you all, I am so sorry. Words can never express the depth needed at this time.

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Feyi October 24, 2023 at 8:02 pm

I am deeply saddened to hear of this great loss . My heartfelt prayers and condolences goes to Ann, Chris, Natalie and Mariah who are so close to my heart.

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Barbara Caldwell October 27, 2023 at 9:40 am

I am so moved by the beautiful obituary you wrote for Eliza and saddened by her loss. She touched so many lives with her care, love, and inspiration. Sending lots of love to you Chris, Ann, Natalie, and Mariah. Wish I could be there with you.

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Vicki Lambert October 30, 2023 at 4:09 pm

…There are no words that are adequate…no gestures…only loving thoughts and prayers for strength and peace… for you and your family during this difficult time and the unthinkable loss of such a beautiful young person. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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Erica Hinckson November 01, 2023 at 2:26 pm

Dear Ann and family,

words cannot express the sorrow we feel about the tragic loss of Eliza. Eliza was an amazing daughter to you who loved life. Unfortunately due to being on the other side of the world, we were not able to be with you at this very difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Ann and the family. On behalf of the team at AUT our sincere condolences.

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Araceli García Casas November 03, 2023 at 10:45 am

Querida Ann, recibe mi abrazo fraterno, no puedo ni siquiera imaginar el gran dolor que tienen, Deseo que la luz de Eliza siempre los acompañe. Mis oraciones con toda tu familia

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Evaleen Jones November 06, 2023 at 6:46 am

Dear Chris and Ann,

May love like the sunlight that Eliza manifest surround your family. May her energy shall linger in the hearts she touched. No words can touch the depth of your loss. Holding your family in the Light. Warmly, Evaleen Jones, and CFHI.

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AFRODITI STATHI November 09, 2023 at 1:57 am

Dear Ann and family,

words can not describe what you go through. Thank you for sharing this beautiful text describing Eliza and her life. Her smile will always be there to help you heal.
My thoughts are with you in these very difficult times. Hold each other tight and be strong.

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Cara Barr November 12, 2023 at 10:39 am

Eliza babysit my daughter Emerson as a baby when we were on Hobart. Seems like ages ago and yet very vivid how willing she was to step up, how responsible she was, and delighted at all the baby giggles, etc. When she wasn’t able to , she introduced her sisters who also lovingly and easily helped us out.
Em and I were at her beautiful memorial at Stanford. We feel honored to have known her for the short time we did but the impact was lasting. Our hearts are with you all xo

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