R. HAROLD GRIZZARD, 98
H & M Realty
LAKELAND - R. Harold Grizzard was born in Winchester, TN May 27, 1915 to Thomas Marshall and May Sanders Grizzard and passed away February 23, 2014 due to natural causes.
He was raised in Cowan, TN, graduated from Winchester High School, and attended the University of the South at Suwannee, TN, for two years then transferring to Florida Southern College earning a BA degree in Business.
Harold worked for over sixty-five years accomplishing much and influencing many. He began work in the early thirties at the Grizzard Tire Company retreading tires. After graduating from College in 1939, he worked construction with the Works Progress Administration building Patrick Air Force Base. Drafted into the U.S. Army, joining the Army Air Corps in 1941, Mr. Grizzard was wounded while stationed at Wheeler Field, in Hawaii. After he was honorably discharged from service, he worked with his brother in Lakeland, and then with another brother at a Studebaker Dealership in Leesburg. In 1948, he branched out on his own and founded Sunshine Oil Company. He owned Sunshine Oil Company for 27 years. Sunshine grew to include three service stations and a home fuel oil delivery business. He then went to work for his brother at Grizzard Realty and later founded his own real estate business H & M Realty with his wife Mildred. In his leisure time he enjoyed building, restoring, collecting, and showing antique cars, stamp and coin collecting, growing orchids, acrylic painting, and was an avid reader.
He was an active member of First United Methodist Church going on several mission trips, serving on several boards and committees, and ushered for 53 years. He was involved in the community and active in the Kiwanis Club, Antique Car Club, The Bromeliad Society, the Orchid Society, the Polk County Historical Association, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, and Central Florida League of Cities. He held leadership positions as the President of the FL Southern College Alumni Association, Campfire Inc., Lakeland Antique Car Club and Lakeland Exchange Club. As a life-long "yellow dog," Democrat he was active in both local and state politics and served as a state Democratic Party Committeeman. He also served the City of Lakeland for over twenty years as a City Commissioner, member and Chairman of the Housing Authority, and ultimately as Mayor of Lakeland.
He was recognized and honored as Florida's Outstanding Older Worker for the State of Florida in 2005 by Experience Works. The City of Lakeland proclaimed June 17, 2013 as Harold Grizzard Day celebrating the accomplishments of a very caring and selfless man.
Harold was predeceased by his parents Thomas Marshall and May Saunders; brothers Leslie Marion of Lakeland and Thomas Beverly of Leesburg, Florida; and his wife of 61 years, Mildred Booth Grizzard. He is survived by a daughter Carol Ann Grizzard Shull Sargeant (C. Richard "Dick"), a son Robert H. Grizzard II (Elizabeth "Betsy" Cairnes) all of Lakeland, three grandchildren H. Dean Shull III of Los Angeles, CA, Mary Ann Shull Koon (Dr. James E.) of Winter Haven, FL, Martha Cecelia Grizzard Swartzman (Dr. David) of Brighton, U.K; four step grandchildren, Ashley Sargeant Hagan (Greg), Antioch, TN; Shea Sargeant Nagel (Eric B.), Virginia Waters, UK; Commander Chase Sargeant, USN (Cherrie Lang), Yokosuka, Japan; Tosh Sargeant (Tina Meitzler), Lakeland, FL; eleven great grandchildren, and brother-in-law N. Hugh Booth Jr. (Dorothy), Indialantic, FL.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, March 2, from 3-5pm at Heath Funeral Chapel in the Heath Tribute Center. A service will be held Monday, March 3, at 10am at First United Methodist Church, 72 Lake Morton Dr., Lakeland, FL 33801. Interment at Lakeland Memorial Gardens following the services.
Condolences may be sent to the family at
Heath Funeral Chapel
328 South Ingraham Avenue Lakeland, FL 33801
Published in Ledger from Feb. 27 to Feb. 28, 2014