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H. J. "Hank" Gruy

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H. J. "Hank" Gruy Obituary
Gruy, H.J. "Hank" 1915-2012 Legendary petroleum engineer and geologist Hank Gruy rode off into the sunset for the last time on December 19, 2012. Henry Jones Gruy was born June 10, 1915, in Victoria, Texas, the only child of Bessie Jones Gruy and Henry Gruy, who emigrated from Austria in 1908. Hank graduated from Central High School (now R.L. Paschal) in Fort Worth in 1932. After high school he went to work on his uncle Joe Gruy's ranch in Hebbronville, Texas, an experience that he recalled with fondness because it gave him his lifelong love of horses and riding. He was a regular on the Houston Rodeo trail drives during the late 1970s and early '80s. When his uncle asked him why he wasn't going to college, Hank replied that he had been accepted at Rice but couldn't afford it. Joe said he'd pay if Hank would agree to go to Texas A&M. Hank started there in 1933 and graduated in 1937 with a bachelor's degree in Petroleum Engineering. He worked for Standard Oil of Texas and then Shell before joining the consulting ?rm DeGolyer and MacNaughton from 1945-1950, when he set out on his own with H.J. Gruy and Associates. He was active with Gruy and Associates until he was 95 years old. His company was a pioneer in the transition of engineering calculations from mechanical calculators to computers. Hank loved to tell stories, could recite entire verses of poetry pretty much on demand, and had a quip or a toast for any occasion. He spoke German and was passionate about his Austrian heritage. Hank earned many professional accolades and authored numerous technical and legal articles and papers, including one on the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. He was proudest of his induction into the National Academy of Engineering in 1988. He was a lifelong member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and served as its president in the 1960s. In 1983 he received SPE's highest honor, The DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal. He also received Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the National Oil and Natural Gas Producers Association and the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University. Hank loved A&M, which educated multiple generations of Gruys, and in 2007 he and his wife dedicated the Rae T. and H.J. Gruy '37 Fountain on the College Station campus. He is predeceased by his wife Rae T. Gruy, who died in May 2012, and wives Evelyn Hudson Gruy (the mother of his three children) and Erma Bell Jopling Gruy. Survivors include his sons Robert (A&M class of '69, wife Connie Hedrick) and William (wife Laura Holmes) and daughter Janet Gruy Winter (husband George). His stepchildren include Joan Talley (husband Bill and her children Benjamin and David Wirtz), Bruce Madison (wife Ellie), and Lisa Michaelcheck. Hank had nine grandchildren: Elaine Gruy Srnka (class of '88, husband David, class of '87), Bruce Henry Gruy, Magdalena Winter Anifowose (husband Leo), George Henry Winter, Gabrielle Winter Sablan (husband Sammy), Philip Winter (class of '03, wife Tracy Tittle, class of '05), Hannah Gruy, William Gruy, and Nick Gruy. His great-grandchildren are Sydney Srnka, Samuel Srnka, and Josephine Anifowose. His surviving cousins are Viggo Gruy (class of '44) and Joe Gruy (class of '49). His family is thankful for his compassionate caregiver, Kristina Jacobson.

Published in Dallas Morning News on Dec. 23, 2012
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