Alfred Lawrence Grotz, beloved husband, father, brother and uncle, died Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, of a sudden heart attack. Service: 11 a.m. Wednesday in Blessing Colonial Chapel. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dalmatian Rescue of North Texas, dalpal.com
, or a local chapter of the Humane Society. A charismatic and popular teacher of American and world history, geography and economics, Al taught at Kennedale High School from 1998 to 2013. Since retirement, he continued to teach a variety of courses at Tarrant County College as well as in the dual-credit program at Mansfield and Arlington high schools. The son of Lawrence John Grotz, an American, and Elisabeth Wagner Grotz, a German, Al was born in Tacoma, Wash., on July 5, 1949, but primarily grew up in East Northport on the Long Island peninsula in New York, along with his younger sister, Elizabeth Grotz Jones. A competitive cross-country runner at St. Anthony's High School, Al remained an avid runner all his life, racing in 5Ks and 10Ks as well as several marathons, including the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth. He came to Texas in 1967 to attend West Texas State University in Canyon, where he was recruited to be on the track team, graduating with a degree in history, and he spent the rest of his life in Texas, living in Amarillo, Houston, Lubbock and in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A soft-spoken, quietly spiritual man who also loved to laugh, Al was passionate about American history, golf and Dalmatians, among many other things. He will be lovingly remembered and dearly missed by his family, friends and students. Survivors: For 20 years, he was married to Linda Frost Grotz and they raised two children, Jennifer Lynn Grotz, a published poet and tenured professor at the University of Rochester, and Eric Grotz, who passed away in 2006. In 1999, he married Carolyn Miller Grotz and together they raised their daughter, Sara Miller Urquidez, a petroleum engineer-turned-college counselor who oversees a college-access program in 15 Dallas ISD high schools with the same compassion, patience and kindness she learned from observing her dad in the classroom. She is married to Dallas attorney Thomas J. Urquidez. Al is also survived by his sister, Elizabeth Katherine Jones, and his niece and nephew, Christine Jones and Daniel Jones, all of San Francisco, Calif.