Garrett Funeral Home

460 North Main St., Waynesville, NC


Erwin R. Gruner

March 7, 1934December 27, 2019

Erwin Robert Gruner, 85, of Clyde, NC, formerly a resident of Clay, NY died Friday, December 27th, 2019 at home after a battle with cancer. Mr. Gruner was born on March 7th, 1934 in Syracuse, NY to Herman and Annelise (Schulze) Gruner of Lyncourt, NY. A graduate of Smith Tech in Syracuse, "Erv" joined the U.S. Navy and became a SEABEE with MCB-6 (Mobile Construction Battalion) deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Upon his honorable discharge in 1958, he returned to Syracuse and went to work as a welder and mechanic with various construction companies as a member of the Operating Engineers Union - Local 545, an affiliation that would last 60 years, including his retirement in 1996. Erwin married Jean S. Watkins of Valley Stream, NY in 1958 and built their home and life in Clay, NY in 1961. They remained in that house until the pull of grandchildren led to relocating to Clyde, NC for winters close to their beloved Haley and Noah. Summers would find them on the shores of Cranberry Lake, NY at the home built by Jean's parents and maintained by Erwin since 1973. Erwin's spare time was spent tinkering with small engine repair, welding, watching televised sports, and a love-hate relationship with bowling and golf. Erv was a fixture first at Lyncourt Lanes then later at Bowling Green in North Syracuse. A long time member of the Greater Syracuse travelling league and many house leagues, he was always available to sub with just a phone call. Through his participation in the ABC, then USBC National Tournaments, the Hoinke & Petersen Classics, and the NY State Elks Tournaments, he and Jean travelled the State and Nation. Some of his proudest moments were qualifying for the Herald Am, Bowling for Dollars, his two perfect games, a 299, and every time he converted the 10 pin at Solvay Rec.! Never the less he enjoyed the camaraderie of his fellow keglers and duffers more than the games, themselves.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jean Watkins Gruner, three sons, David (Nona Kirby) of Chambersburg, PA, Scott (Kristin Cook) of Clyde, NC, and Michael (Camille Santangelo) of Baldwinsville, NY, and two grandchildren, Haley & Noah of Clyde, NC.

No memorial or funeral services are planned at this time. Garrett Funerals and Cremations of Waynesville, NC will handle final arrangements.



Erwin R. Gruner

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Don and Suzanne Hamiel

January 8, 2020

When Erwin and Jean moved to Clyde NC we became friends and good neighbors, it was always nice to stop by to visit with both of them, it was as if we were freinds for many years. Erwin we will miss our visits. Jean and family you will be in our thoughts and prayers for days to come.RIP dear friend. 🙏🙏

Marti Raatemarti

January 7, 2020

Erwin and Jeannie were fantastic neighbors for 39 years before we moved . Have kept contact forever. Visited both of their homes many times. Will see Jeannie when she returns to Cranberry summer of 2020. Rest in piece Erwin. Prayers for Jeannie as life goes on


Nick Hunter

January 4, 2020

Erv always had a joke and a kind word. A hard working and fun loving man who always made me feel important when we would talk on Lone Pine Rd. RIP my friend!!