The Gruetzner legacyHoward Gruetzner, a longtime resident of the Waco area, died on Aug. 24. Howard touched many lives. He was an intellectual pioneer and innovator in the area of dementia and Alzheimer’s caregiving. In the early 1990s he wrote one of the seminal books on the topic. Howard provided one-on-one counseling and facilitated support groups for thousands of overburdened family caregivers and improved the lives of millions more through his writings.

He was also a humble and unpretentious family man and cattle farmer, a man of impeccable integrity. Shortly after I moved to Waco from Houston to work at the Area Agency on Aging Howard called me well before the time we were scheduled to meet to let me know his cows had gotten out and that he would be running a few minutes late.

My many lunchtime conversations with Howard in Waco and Fort Worth will be among the most treasured memories of my career. His knowledge of psychology, medicine and philosophy was extensive and his thinking was always on the cutting edge. Howard was a significant influence on much of the nationally recognized Alzheimer’s/dementia work we did in Waco and later throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Often the greatness and influence of those who make important long-term contributions to society go unrecognized until after their death because their ideas were ahead of their time. Such is the case with Howard Gruetzner. His legacy will endure well into the future.

Donald R. Smith, Director, Area Agency on Aging, Vice President, Community Investment, United Way of Tarrant County

EDITOR’S NOTE: We share your high praise of Howard Gruetzner, particularly regarding his generosity and insight involving dementia caregivers. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. today in the chapel of Grace Gardens Funeral Home, 8220 Woodway Dr. Services will be 11 a.m. Friday at Grace Gardens Chapel with Jordan Hubbard officiating.

Baffled reader

How is it possible that a TIF grant will not be authorized for the Elm Avenue Market project (Trib article, Aug. 8) to secure a much-needed grocery store option for that part of town? Yet the very next day (Trib, Aug. 9) shows that a TIF grant won recommendations for an expansion of Magnolia Market?

Really? Really? Could someone please explain how this is a better use of TIF funds? Will this in any way assist the people on Elm Avenue to the degree that a nonprofit grocery store in a “food desert” will?

Someone really needs to reconsider how best to utilize TIF funds because it sure isn’t happening at this point in time.

PL Graygo, Hewitt

EDITOR’S NOTE: The city and developer Nancy Grayson reached an impasse over a TIF amendment and roll-down doors at Grayson’s Elm Avenue Market project. For her part, Grayson questions whether residents actually oppose such roll-down doors.

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