Distinguished Citizen

 Merle Lortz



Degrees and Certifications:

Merle Lortz

In 1940, Merle Lortz was born at Jane Chinn Hospital to
Wesley and Sybil Lortz. During the years since his birth, Merle
has remained content to call Webb City home. At the age of
twelve, he began his affiliation with the Webb City
Sentinel/Wise Buyer, serving as a delivery boy working for
the late Hal Wise. While attending Webb City High School,
Merle also worked at West End Pharmacy for forty cents per
hour. Merle graduated from high school in 1958.

Following graduation, having obtained employment, he and
his bride Evelyn moved to Wichita, Kansas. Merle’s evaluation
of the three months he spent there was, “It was a big city, the
people were not friendly and I hated every minute we lived
there.” In February, 1959, Merle moved back to Webb City and
began working full time at the Webb City Sentinel/Wise
Buyer, which was then under the ownership of the late William
Myers. In 1983 Merle and Bob Foos became partners in the
ownership of these publishing entities.

Merle and Evelyn are the parents of four children. They have
two sons Dennis, now deceased, and David, who lives in Webb
City. They also have two daughters Tammy Anderson of
Joplin; and Terry Lortz of Webb City. Additionally, they have
seven grandchildren.

Merle’s commitment to the community and his family have
been evidenced throughout his life. He has worked hard to
assure the presence of a publishing company that serves the
community well. He has given of himself in the support of
youth activities by serving a number of years as a coach in the
Webb City youth baseball program. For the past forty years
he has volunteered and served as a member of the chain crew
at Webb City High School football games. When Merle
returned to Webb City in 1959 he said, “I wanted to come back
to Webb City where the people were friendly.” We are glad he
made that decision and wish to honor him tonight as a
Distinguished Citizen of the Webb City R-7 School District