Howard Booth Groetzinger, “Howdy”, passed away peacefully on April 2, 2019 in Lexington, SC.
Born on September 14, 1925 in Pittsburgh, PA, to Howard B. Groetzinger and Thelma (Laughlin), he spent most of his formative years in Ben Avon, PA, along with his brother David (deceased) and surviving sister, Sarah. At Ben Avon High School, he met the love of his live, Geraldine E. Ellinger (“Bets”). After a long courtship, they married in 1948 and were blessed with 5 children.
In 1943, Howard joined the United States Marine Corps where he rose to the office of 1st Lieutenant. During that time, he earned his degree in Civil Engineering at Villanova University. He served two tours of duty, the first during WW II and the second in the Korean War.
Howard began a career as a sales engineer for H.H. Robertson Co., selling commercial building materials. He took lots of joy in his work, engineering and selling steel construction materials for many prominent buildings and often regretted having retired at the age of 67. Working in sales required Howard to move several times and in 1984, he and Bets made the move south to Charlotte, NC. Since they had lived there for 3 years in the 1970’s, Charlotte very quickly became their “home” once again and they thrived there for another 31 years. As Howdy would always quip, “Just another day in paradise!”
Golf was a lifelong passion for Howard. For many years he played at Raintree Country Club in Matthews, NC. He was also very fond of time spent by the pool with a book in hand. Though separated by miles, Howdy and Bets often traveled to visit their children and growing families. “Papa” and “Mimi” enjoyed sharing in the experiences and accomplishments of their seven grandchildren.
At other times, he could be found ushering at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Charlotte, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, or with “Room in the Inn”. To those who knew him, Howdy was a very kind, gentle and humble man. As was demonstrated in his volunteer work, his concern for those less fortunate was very much a part of his character.
In 2015, Howard and Betty relocated to Lexington, SC to be near to their daughter and son-in-law (Marla & Dave), from whom they have received so much support and loving care.
In addition to his sister, he is survived by his beloved wife, Betty, sons Stephen (Cynthia), Donald, Richard and his daughters, Judith Fay (Robert) and Marla Hamilton (David) and 7 grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1001 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC on June 22, 2019. Visitation will begin at 10:00 am and the service at 11:00. In lieu of flowers, any donations in his memory may be sent to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, designated for the benefit of “Room in the Inn” or Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte, www.habitatcharlotte.org.