Lawrence Gripka, husband of Mary Louise (Wimsatt) and son of August and Martha Gripka, ended his journey here on earth at 6:40 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 22 at St. John's Hospital in Cassville. Lawrence started his great journey of life on Sept. 5, 1916 in Monett. Lawrence lived most of his life in the Pierce City area.
He and Louise raised nine children: Dorothy (Blinzler) of Monett; Gene (Lawrence E.), of Pierce City; Helen (Eddingfield), of Wentworth; Bettye (Yale), of Fayetteville, Ark.; Ed, of Newalla, Okla.; Rita (Cartmell), of Wentworth; Tom, Tim and John all of Pierce City. They also shared in the loving and raising of 21 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
Lawrence was a veteran of World War II serving in Patton's Army as a medic on the front lines in Germany. After the war, he was sent to Mauthausen, Austria to care for the concentration camp survivors.
Lawrence loved playing baseball which he taught to his children, grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Through the YMCA of Monett, he played and coached the Puppy Dogs for over 40 years.
After taking care of his wife through a long illness prior to her death, he gave his time to St. Mary's school as recess monitor. He loved every minute of the 13 years he was blessed to be able to do this. In May of this year, due to ailing health, at the age of 93, Lawrence had to give this up.
|Visitation will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26 at St. Mary's Church in Pierce City with Rosary to follow at 7:30. Funeral mass will be held at the church at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in Pierce City.||Arrangements are under the direction of Lakin Funeral Home in Pierce City.|
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Mary's School in Lawrence's name.