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Lairy J. Gritz

Obituary
  • "Lairy is like a brother to me even though he was actually..."

Lairy J. Gritz

Lairy J. Gritz, 77, of Springfield, passed away Wednesday, January 29, 2014 in the Neighborhoods at Quail Creek.

Lairy was born February 28, 1936 in Hennessey, Oklahoma to Lamar and Esther (Lairy) Gritz. He received his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma University (Boomer Sooner!) and received a Master's Degree from the University of Missouri Rolla. He was a mechanical engineer and owned Ozark York/Lenox in Springfield. Lairy was an Army Veteran. He married his high school sweetheart, Betty Melendy December 30, 1956. He was stationed in Bamberg, Germany where he and Betty enjoyed living and traveling around Europe. He was licensed as a private pilot until an emergency landing/plane crash. Subsequently, Betty wouldn't let him fly again. Lairy was very active at South Haven Baptist Church. He served as a deacon and he and Betty served faithfully together in the children's department.

Betty precedes him in death, along with his parents.

He is survived by his daughter, Melenda Parrish and her husband Tim of Springfield; his son, David Gritz and his wife Ligaya of Pelham, New York. Lairy is also survived by four grandchildren: Sam and Luke Parrish and Daniel and Katy Gritz; a sister, June Ludwig of Fort Worth, Texas; and many Melendy relatives that he was very close to.

Services for Lairy will be at 9:00 a.m. Monday, February 3, 2014 in South Haven Baptist Church under the care of Greenlawn Funeral Home East. Burial with full military honors will be at 11:00 a.m. in Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Springfield. Visitation will be from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, February 2, 2014 in Greenlawn East.

The family is very grateful for the compassionate care given to Lairy from the Neighborhoods at Quail Creek and Good Shepherd Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to South Haven Baptist Church, 2353 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, MO 65807 or The Missouri Baptist Children's Home, 603 N. Main St., Mt Vernon, MO 65712 or to The Lairy and Betty Gritz Scholarship Fund, Evangel University, 1111 N. Glenstone, Springfield, MO 65802.

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Published in the News-Leader on Feb. 1, 2014
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