The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


September 11, 2012

Merle L. Lortz


Merle L. Lortz, 71, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, at Freeman West Hospital.

He was born on Nov. 1, 1940, in Webb City, to Wesley M. Lortz and Marguerite Johnson Lortz. Merle was the owner of the Webb City Sentinel and Wisebuyer. He graduated from Webb City High School in the class of 1958. Merle received the Distinguished Citizen Award through the Webb City R-7 School Foundation in 2005, and was inducted into the Missouri Coaches Hall of Fame in the spring of 2012, for being on the Webb City Football Chain Gang for 48 years.

He married Evelyn Benjamin Lortz on Aug. 30, 1958. She survives him at home.

Merle is also survived by a son, David Lortz and wife, Stacy, of Webb City; daughters, Tammy Anderson and husband, Chuck, of Joplin, and Terri Lortz and significant other, Bobby Roland, of Webb City; grandchildren, Robbie Lortz, Travis Lortz, Andy Hilton, Johnny Hilton, Jr., Amanda Lortz, Shelby Lortz and Spencer Lortz; great-grandchildren, Johnny Hilton III, Beth Hilton, Holden Lortz and Lydia Lortz; brother, J.W. Lortz, of Wichita; and sister, Marty Anderson, of Carthage.  He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Dennis Lortz in September 2003; and a brother, Dean Lortz.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Simpson Funeral Home with Rev. Tom Shouse officiating. A visitation will be held on Wednesday from 1 p.m. until service time at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefer donations be made to the Merle Lortz Distinguished Citizens Scholarship Fund in his memory.

Services are under the direction of Simpson Funeral Home in Webb City.

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