Laurence "Larry" Melzer

6 entries
  • "Dorothy, Steve, Sally and all the Melzer clan, we share in..."
    - Vicki and Gene Miller
  • "Steve, I was saddened to hear of your dad's passing. It is..."
    - Linda Morgan
  • "The Melzers are part of my treasured memories of Midland. ..."
    - Bill Slater
  • "Dorothy, Steve and Sally We have such great memories of our..."
    - Bill & Donna Morrison
  • "Steve and family, May God's strength and comfort be yours...."
    - Tom Reed
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Laurence "Larry" Melzer, of Midland, died Monday, April 21, 2008.

Larry was born as the second son of a country doctor and a nurse on July 13, 1915 in Barrett, Minnesota. But to us, our dad, grandfather, and great grandfather, he was of that tough North Dakota stock as he spent his whole youth in Woodworth, ND. He graduated high school there but then, because his professor at North Dakota State mentioned he should pursue math and engineering, he transferred to the Colorado School of Mines and graduated in 1939. From there he began a lifelong pursuit of geology and the oil and gas fields of Texas. He soon pursued Dorothy Brooks of Burden, Kansas, the daughter of a country doctor, whom he met on a visit to his mother's hometown, and they were married later that year.

Larry began his professional career working for Stanolind Petroleum. In the early fifties he began work for Statex Petroleum where their team found several new fields. In 1956 and upon realizing that their merger with a California company would allow some sale of stock and require a family move to California, Larry chose a path that would lead to being a lifelong independent oilman.

Like most families of the time, he lived the busts and booms of the oil industry and in the sixties, in order to put his four children through college, he acquired and ran the Kroenlein's Geological Service. Larry and his family were very active members of the Memorial Christian Church where he served as Chairman of the Board in the sixties. He was a loyal member of the Exchange Club and faithfully served the suicide prevention hotline. He loved his Greentree Country Club Wednesday Night group. His hobbies were golfing, hunting, the birds of Texas and North Dakota, watching all sports, reading, and helping folks with the challenges of daily living.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Simon and Beatrice Melzer; brother, Simon Melzer; and daughter, Marianne Melzer Staib.

Larry is survived by his loving wife of nearly 70 years, Dorothy of Midland; daughter Betty Moore and husband Charles of Midland, Texas; son, Stephen Melzer and wife Sally of Midland, Texas; daughter, Martha Savage of Monroe, Louisiana; nieces, Dr. Barbara Melzer of San Antonio, Texas, and Beatrice Melzer of Minneapolis, Minnesota; grandchildren, Kathy and Mark Thomas of Richardson, Debbie and Paul Haynes of San Antonio, Missy and Bob Billman of McKinney, Robert and Amanda Staib of Lewisville, Trey and Becki Moore of Houston, Heidi Moore of Baton Rouge, Scott and Audrey Melzer of Greenville, SC, Mike and Debbie Melzer of The Woodlands, Robert Savage and Ann E. Savage of Baton Rouge; and twelve great-grandchildren.

He was a very loving father and grandfather who relished spending time with his wonderful family. The tradition of celebrating his birthday in July with family reunions will live on. His legacy of working up until the last (he wanted to be part of a Bakken well in ND while in the hospital) and his sweetness of nature and his organizational skills will be with his family forever.

The family will receive friends at Ellis Funeral Home Thursday, April 24, 2008 between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M. Memorial services are scheduled for 11:00 A.M. Friday, April 25, 2008 at Memorial Christian Church with Reverend Dr. Terry Ruthermich officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of Ellis Funeral Home. To place online condolences please visit
Published in Midland Reporter-Telegram on Apr. 24, 2008