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Harry Bretz Jr.: February 22, 1922-August 28, 2012


He was born in Elizabethtown and lived many years in Middletown. He was a World War II veteran, having served in the Army-Air Signal Corps, which took him to Great Britain, France and Germany. He was only 20 at the time and had been married for 6 months, but he was proud to serve his country. His most vivid memory of his time overseas came when he and his fellow GI’s were ordered to go through a Nazi concentration camp in Germany - so the world would always remember and never forget. After returning home in 1945, he took over his wife’s family grocery store and it became “Bretz Grocery.” After many years in the grocery business, he went to work at Olmsted AFB in Middletown until the base closed in 1966 and he transferred to Robins AFB in Warner Robins, Ga. The family settled in Perry, Ga. He loved his transplanted home, Perry. He would brag to all of his “Yankee” relatives and friends how wonderful this little town was and how great it was to live in the South. After retiring from Robins AFB he kept busy with his love of collecting. He was an avid collector of McDonald’s memorabilia, antiques, old time Valentines, Coke-a-Cola, stamps, you name it.

Harry always had a sense of community, having served on the Middletown Area School Board for many years, five of those as president. He also served as the American Legion Adjutant for over 20 years in Georgia and was a charter member of his beloved Crossroads United Methodist Church. Everyone who encountered Harry could always expect a warm welcome and a Tootsie Roll – his signature greeting. We know Tootsie Rolls are being passed out in Heaven right about now!

He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years and mother to his five children Lila H. Bretz, a son Timothy J. Bretz, parents Harry Bretz Sr. and Edna N. Heisey,  brothers Richard, Robert, Paul, and Jim, and a sister Dorothy.

Left to cherish his memory is his loving wife of 5 years Nancy Pardue Bretz of Perry; his children David T. Bretz (Joan) of Middletown, Michael H. Bretz (Linda) of Laughlin, Nev., Abby Bretz Wetherington (Joe) of Warner Robins, Ga., and Lona Bretz Davis of Macon, Ga.; daughter-in-law Corliss Bretz of Sarasota, Fla.; and stepson Chuck Breazeale (Laura) of Elko, Ga.; 14 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held on Saturday at his church, with the Rev. Leland Collins officiating. 

Interment was in Perry Memorial Gardens Cemetery. 

Donations may be made to Crossroads United Methodist Church, 1600 Main St., Perry, GA 31069.

Friends are invited to share a special memory or leave a condolence for the family in the online guestbook at