August 8, 1925 ~ April 17, 2014

Resided in: Asheville, NC

Howard Crawford Gryder, 88, of Asheville, died on Thursday, April 17, 2014, at the John F. Keever Hospice Solace Center. An Asheville native, Mr. Gryder was a son of the late Lester Randolph and Docia Fore Gryder. He was preceded in death by a son, Stephen Brian Gryder. Mr. Gryder, known to all as Howard, was recognized for his expertise in the lumber industry, consulting for North Carolina universities and national and international companies. For 45 years he owned and operated a local lumber drying operation. Even in his spare time, he loved woodworking. Howard enjoyed fishing and gardening; but, spending time with his family, particularly his grandchildren, was his favorite thing to do. All who knew him respected Howard as a man of honor, integrity, and compassion. He was a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, serving during WWII in the Pacific. He was a proud member of the VFW. A spiritual man, Howard was a member of Oakley Baptist Church. Howard is survived by his wife of 66 years, Betty Davis Gryder; daughters, Elizabeth Crawford Watkins (Larry), Nancy Gryder (Pam), and Cathy Bradburn (Max); son, Matt Gryder (Tammy); sisters, Joyce, Faye, and Becky; brother, Dan; grandchildren, Chase, Ethan, Shannon, and Josh; and many other family members and friends. A memorial service for Mr. Gryder will be on Monday at 2:00 p.m. at the Groce Funeral Home chapel on Patton Ave. with the Rev. Pam Vesely officiating. Military honors will be performed by the North Carolina Honor Guard. His family will receive friends for one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the VFW National Home for Children, 3573 South Waverly Rd., Eaton Rapids, MI 48827, or at

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  1. Howard was a dear man who was always a friend to everyone. His friendly smile will be missed but the memories he provided will be cherished forever. Our prayers are with each of you during this most difficult time.

  2. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Many happy memories were made playing in your backyard and sledding on ‘the hill’. All of you have a special place in my heart.

  3. A wonderfully special man, will be missed by all who ever crossed his path, you only had to meet him once to know he was special!

  4. So sorry for your loss, my mom is Vick Andy, your family is very special to her… My prayers are with you. Stacy Jamison

  5. We are praying that God will bring you comfort during this difficult time..Howard was a good man. He will be missed.. He will remain in our hearts forever..Our deepest sympathy, thoughts, and prayers are with you and your family.

  6. Aunt Betty, I am sorry we could not come. Uncle Howard & you are very dear to us. We will miss him very much. You & Uncle Howard had such an influence on my life and my Dad’s life. My fondest memories are those when our families got together. I remember when Uncle Howard & I were bringing a black cat back from the lake at night. Uncle Howard and I were laughing all the way home. So many great memories from a GREAT man!

    We will keep you and the family in our prayers. We love you very much,

  7. Dear Gryder Siblings. Recently read about your father passing away. Just wanted to say that he and your Mom sure sent some nice children for us to work with at ACR. It is with fondness that I remember all of you. When I think of Stephen it is with regret that he had such a short life. I know you will miss your Dad, but keep your memories of him alive and he will always be with you. Love and take care of your Mom, she will need you in the coming days. Praying that God will give you peace and grace.
    Love in Christ,
    Ethel Jacobson – ‘Jake’


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