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Howard Gruetzner of Hewitt passed away early Saturday morning, August 24, 2019, at the age of 70. Visitation will be 6 to 8 P.M. Thursday, August 29, 2019, in the chapel of Grace Gardens Funeral Home, 8220 Woodway Dr. Funeral services will be 11:00 A.M. Friday, August 30, 2019, at Grace Gardens Funeral Home with Jordan Hubbard officiating. Interment will follow in Lorena Cemetery.
Howard was born November 7, 1948, in Waco, Texas, the son of the late Winifred Alwayne and Martha Lillian (Attaway) Gruetzner. He began his education in the Midway School System, graduating from Midway in 1967. He did undergraduate work at Baylor University, University of Texas and Texas A&M.
Later, he earned a Masters degree from Antioch College after which began his life-long calling to work in dementia care with a specialty in Alzheimer’s. This included authoring a book for Alzheimer’s caregivers. Numerous revisions continued to make his book a bestseller.
He was passionate about helping those who were affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias and their caregivers. He was instrumental in starting and leading numerous local and national Alzheimer’s / Parkinson’s support groups and participated in many educational conferences as a keynote speaker. He was also a nationally recognized expert in Alzheimer’s care. Additionally, he served as adjunct professor in Gerontology at Baylor University, as well as mentoring many graduate students as interns in Gerontology.
Howard also enjoyed serving his community and church in many capacities, including board president and elder/deacon at Lakewood Christian Church and as Youth director for Hewitt United Methodist Church. He loved music of all types and also sang tenor in the choir of both churches. His passion for music also led him to play the guitar and he enjoyed regaling his family at Christmas with festive carols.
On March 5, 1993, he married his soulmate and love of his life Ginger Ann Kirkland in Hewitt, Texas. While he never had children of his own, he gained two sons through marriage. Family was very important to Howard and he delighted in providing a listening ear and helpful advice whenever it was needed. Other hobbies included reading, listening to music, Bible study with Ginger and raising registered Beefmaster cattle with his father and son, Zac.
Survivors include his wife, Ginger Gruetzner; two sons, Zac Gruetzner and wife Catherine, Corbet Conner and wife Timberly; a sister, Beverly (Shaw) Adams; eight grandchildren, Darielle, Jennah, Sahara, Rachel, Joseph, Tag, A.J., Meg and an expected great grandson, Rhyder.
In Lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Crestview Church of Christ, The Gerontology Department at Baylor University, or The Area Agency on Aging.
The guest book is offered at gracegardensfh.com. Through this site, you are encouraged to leave a condolence or fond memory about Howard.