Harry H. Witzke's Family Funeral Home, Inc.

Harry D. Grunwell

  December 24, 1945 - December 5, 2012


Obituary: Harry Dutton Grunwell, a retired Army officer and Marriottsville resident, died December 5 at Howard County General Hospital of complications of multiple sclerosis. He was 66.Mr. Grunwell, the son of Paul and Bernice (Balentine), was born and raised in Ogden, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Chichester High School in 1963 and Pennsylvania State University in 1967, where he was a goalie on the lacrosse team.He enlisted in the Army in 1968 and was selected for training as a Korean linguist at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, where he later served as an instructor. In Monterey he also wed his high school sweetheart, the former Marie Iacono.Mr. Grunwell’s career in Army intelligence and cryptography took him to Korea for six year-long tours of duty. On the DMZ, he commanded the helicopter surveillance program against North Korea. He was permanently stationed in Fort Meade from 1979 until his retirement in 1990, when he achieved the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4. He was admired for his no-nonsense approach and for encouraging soldiers who served under him to maximize their education and training. For his distinguished service he was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. Subsequently, he earned his certification as a computer network engineer and worked for California Microwave Systems and McCormick Corporation. Mr. Grunwell was a voracious reader with a great love of history, technology, and the Korean language and culture. He played jazz piano and was a “kick-ass racquetball player.” He will be remembered for his generosity, sense of humor, steadfast friendship, and courage in the face of a long illness. He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, William. In addition to his wife of 44 years, he is survived by one brother, Edward (Doreen) of Boothwyn, PA; one daughter, Jeanne Marie (James) Ford of New Market, MD; and grandchildren, Katharine and Patrick Ford. A memorial service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in the spring. Donations may be made in his memory to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 733 Third Ave., 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10017; or Disabled American Veterans, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.

Guestbook Entries

   Ahmad Jabbari  I just heard this sad news today, May 31, 2013. Harry and I went to Penn State and graduated together. His room, in Hamilton Hall, was next to mine. We shared many good moments and I have several photographs of him. He was a kind and gentle person. I will miss him dearly. Ahmad K. Jabbari