Sunday, October 10, 2010

Paul Groody, funeral director who embalmed Lee Harvey Oswald dies

Paul Joseph Groody went to walk with his Lord, Jesus Christ, on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010. Funeral: 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Beck Funeral Home, Austin, with interment to follow in Capital Memorial Park, Pflugerville. Visitation: 1 to 7 p.m. Monday at Beck Funeral Home. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you donate to any affiliation of United States veterans who so bravely serve our country. Born to Hazley Thomas Groody, M.D. and Marie Conrad Groody, he and his two older brothers, Tom and John, were reared in Manhattan, Kan. Their happy home was full of music, discovery, humor and hard work. With a four-year tour in Europe and Japan, Paul proudly served his country during World War II as a surgical technician officer and chaplain's assistance. His bravery was honored with an American Theater Campaign Medal, EAME Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars, and Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal. He commanded his own medical-aid station during combat within the 386th Regiment, 97th Infantry Division ("Trident"). The Trident Division experienced extensive front line combat in France, Czechoslovakia and Germany and was part of General Patton's left flank during the Battle of the Bulge. The Trident Division is acclaimed for its part in the liberation of Czechoslovakia through the capture of Cheb and freeing of concentration camp victims at Flossenburg. Near the end of the war, Paul married the love of his life, Virginia Rose Westberg, who together celebrated an astonishing 66 years of marriage. After the war, Paul continued his career as a mortician and funeral director. As a matter of coincidence, he will be buried at Capital Memorial Park, which is one of the many Texas cemeteries he designed and constructed during the 1950s. In the 1960s, Paul became a small piece of history through his involvement with the JFK assassination. While residing in Fort Worth on Nov. 22 1963, he was summoned by the U.S. Secret Service to administer an expectantly secret and prompt burial of Lee Harvey Oswald. Paul later became a testimonial figure surrounding the JFK assassination conspiracy theory as a consequence of his 1981 exhumation and second entombment of Oswald. Touching countless lives throughout his life, Paul's unique quality was that he was always positive, an amazing storyteller and an amusing humorist. His technical skills were only surpassed by his artistic ability. Foremost, Paul demonstrated kindheartedness towards and interest in everyone he met. Survivors: His devoted wife; children, Patricia Enstrom and Don Groody; grandchildren, Duncan Campbell, Dashelle Groody, Patrick Enstrom and Kristen Braasch; great-grandsons, Declan Campbell and Oliver Braasch; and many west coast Groody members survive Paul

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