Louis Gruntz, a 30-year veteran of the Jefferson Parish attorney's office, who since February had worked as Kenner City Attorney, died Friday.He was 67.
No official cause of death was given but Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni said a family member found Gruntz in his home early Friday, after he failed to show up for work.
Yenni hired Gruntz as the city's parish attorney in February, after the resignation of Keith Conley earlier this year.Conley was later elected to the Kenner City Council.
'Louis was much more than an advisor and city attorney, he was a personal friend,' Yenni said.'He was often the voice of reason, a wise leader who could convince even his fiercest critics that his arguments had merit. He understood the value of building bridges of understanding. He could disagree without ever provoking a battle.'
During his time in Jefferson Parish, Gruntz was a part-time assistant Parish Attorney, a full-time Assistant Parish Attorney supervisor and Interim Parish Attorney. He was Jefferson's Deputy Parish Attorney when he retired and then went to work for Kenner.
He was first hired to work in Jefferson Parish in 1981 under the administration of Joseph S. Yenni (the current mayor's grandfather) by Parish Attorney Hubert Vondenstein. Vondenstein had also served as Kenner City Attorney under Joe Yenni, when he was mayor. In all, Gruntz served under seven parish presidents.
Gruntz was a practicing attorney for more than 35 years. During his legal career, he served as the president of the Louisiana Parish Attorney's Association from 1995-97 and won the Joseph S. Yenni Award for Outstanding Service in 1999.
Gruntz was a graduate of Jesuit High School and had a passion for genealogy. He also was a World War II enthusiast who wrote the book: 'A Tank Gunner's Story: CPL Gruntz of the 712th Tank Battalion' about the experiences of his father during the war.
Gruntz was set to address the World War II Discussion Group at the East Bank Regional Library next week to talk about his father's account of his wartime experience, collected while standing on the exact sites where his father battled, was wounded and saw friends killed in Normandy, France.
Gruntz is survived by five children, seven grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete Friday.