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Gruenther Memorial Service Sunday

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Sonora, CA – The family calls it a celebration of life and a chance for the community to say good-bye to Major Lucas Gruenther. Gruenther, a pilot assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing, went missing during a nighttime training mission over the Adriatic Sea on January 28. The investigation into his death is ongoing.

This Sunday’s celebration of Life service is being held at Summerville High School on 1755 Tuolumne Road where Gruenther was a student.

Family Friend Jerry Whiteheads says, “This is a way for the community to pay their last respects and also, celebrate his life. He was a truly amazing person. He lived more in his 32-33 years than most people will live in twice that amount of time. This just serves as an opportunity to let everybody say good-bye and how sad we are that he’s gone.”

Whitehead says they are asking all those who attend to wear something green in honor his military unit. There will be a one hour service in the big gym starting at 1p.m. with family and friends reminiscing about Gruenther and a video of his life in the military. A reception will follow in the small gym.

They are also still accepting donation for a scholarship fund set up in Gruenther’s name at

Click here for an earlier story on a service held for Gruenther at his air force base in Italy.