Walter O. Grotz, age 92, of Delano, died peacefully in his sleep Sunday, May 14, 2017, at the VA Hospital.
There will be a celebration of Walter’s life Monday, May 22 from 4 to 8 p.m. in St. Martha Hall at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 217 South 2nd Street, Delano.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Tuesday, May 23 at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, preceded by a one-hour visitation in St. Martha Hall. Interment with military honors will be in the Calvary Cemetery in Delano.
The Iten Funeral Home in Delano is handling the arrangements.
Walter was born Feb. 10, 1925, in Delano.
He and Mary Zeller were married June 21, 1949, in Waverly.
A World War II veteran and prisoner of war survivor, Walter was serving in the United States Eighth Army Air Corps as a technical sergeant when his plane was shot down and he was captured by the Nazis. His bravery and determination helped him persevere through the Stalag Luft IV prisoner of war camp and death march. He was liberated in May 1945. Walter received the following awards: Theatre Service Medal, WWII Victory Medal, ETO Service Medal, Purple Heart, Air Medal and POW Medal.
After returning to Delano, Walter worked at the Chevrolet garage with his father, and then the Delano Post Office. He worked at the post office for 34 years, serving 16 years as postmaster.
Walter was inquisitive, hard-working, kind, and passionate. He enjoyed fishing, wood working, traveling, playing bridge, and spending time with his family.
Walter spent several years doing research and sharing the benefits of oxygen therapy with his friends and community.
He was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend.
Walter was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Frances (Malok) Grotz; his stepmother, Ethel Grotz; and brother, Edwin Grotz.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Mary; his four children, James (Lori) Grotz, Bernadette (Stephen) Goepferd, Larry (Julie) Grotz, and Don (Cindy) Grotz; his six grandchildren, Angela, Leah, John, Matt, Daniel and Nathan; five great-grandchildren, Sam, Theo, Jack, Eve and Gus; two siblings, Agnes Herbst and Eileen Klaers; and many friends.