Lavern (Levy) Roy Lutz was called home to our Lord on November 18th, at Morris Hospital. He passed away receiving kind and compassionate care, with his wife, Jackie, at his side. They were together and comforting one another every day of their sixty-seven years of marriage.
Levy was born on March 18th, 1928, in Morris IL, to the late Frank and Agnes (Dick) Lutz. He was the middle son of German immigrants, and he took pride in the hard-working spirit of his family. As a child of The Great Depression, Levy learned to value hard work and frugality. He led by example in these areas, always working to provide the best possible life for his wife, Jackie, and his four sons, Lawrence, David, Stephen, and Michael. He later went on to teach his granddaughters about saving money and being thankful for what they have, telling and retelling stories about gardening with his mother instead of grocery shopping, eating “ketchup soup,” and catching squirrels to survive the depression. He led a life of hard work and diligence, and his example and lessons will live on for generations.
Beginning in 1951, Levy served in the United States Army and spent two years as a private first class stationed in Germany. He drove tanks for the army and had the unique experience of being able to return to the country from which his parents had come and act as a peacekeeper and as a rebuilder. He also loved telling of his adventures in the army – driving tanks down the Autobahn and hopping trains to Switzerland on his nights off to see original productions of the Sound of Music.
Upon returning to Morris after his time in the service, Levy married the love of his life, Jacqulyn (Jackie) on May 10th, 1953. They went on to be married for sixty-seven years. They faced the wonders and the challenges of life together, side by side. Here in Morris, they raised four sons. The wrangling and guiding and teaching required to nurture Larry, Dave, Steve, and Mike should be all you need to hear to understand the strength of Levy and Jackie both as individuals and as a couple.
And nurture and raise them well, they certainly did. Lavern took great pride in his four sons – the men they grew into and the successes they achieved. He loved spending time with his boys. In 2010, Levy and all four sons were blessed to travel to Germany together. Together they were able to visit extended family and tour the country that meant so much to their father. Levy kept in contact and relationship with his German extended family all throughout his life. His German heritage was important to him, and he was so thankful to be able to share it with his sons. All four sons showed love and dedication to both of their parents all throughout their lives.
In his later years, upon becoming a grandpa to six girls, a softness came into his life and into his heart that Levy embraced with open arms. While he was never one to gush, he was the first one to show up at a basketball game, no matter how far away, or at every performance of a theater production. He took so much pride in his granddaughters, and he gave his girls confidence by encouraging their ideas and their talents, cheering for them, and pushing them to grow.
As his great grandchildren came into the picture, he loved getting to know them, spending time showing them his garden and his flowers. He spent hours looking through old pictures of past fishing exploits, describing the fish in detail, answering as many questions as each child asked.
During his working years, Levy worked at The Federal Paper Board in Morris for thirty-six years. He then went on to work at Commonwealth Edison, where he worked for ten years before his retirement. During these forty-six years, he worked hard and took pride in his work. Everyone who knew him, knew that his work ethic was strong and that he could be trusted to be responsible and excellent.
Throughout his life, Levy was an avid fisherman. He loved spending time in his fishing boat, usually with his sons, out on the water, and would proudly come home to describe his many, impressive catches. These amazing catches earned him the nickname “Levy Lutz the Living Legend". With his catches, Levy hosted fish fry nights for his extended family, and he cooked up beer-battered walleye that would make anyone’s mouth water. He was a master of his craft.
Levy also took great pride in his both his vegetable garden and his flower gardens. The gardens flourished, and he was happy to be able to share what he grew. The flowers in his yard were beautiful and brought smiles to the faces of all who went past. In fact, they were so beautiful, they inspired his daughter-in-law Molly, a second-grade teacher, to create a field trip every Fall and Spring, walking from the Immaculate Conception School three blocks away to view Mr. Lutz’s beautiful flowers. He looked forward to these visits every year.
Lavern was preceded in death by his mother and father Frank and Agnes (Dick) Lutz, his elder brother Frank Lutz Jr., and his younger brother John (Johnny) Lutz. And Levy and Jackie have left behind a strong, tight-knit unit as a testament to their love of family. Levy is survived by his four sons Larry (Toni) Lutz, Dave Lutz, Stephen (Paula) Lutz, and Michael (Molly) Lutz; his six grandchildren Sarah (John) Musick, Erica (Chris) Haan, Stephany Lutz, Michelle (Colton) Kelly, Kate (Brit) Andros, and Kristen (Chris) Madigan; and his 10 great grandchildren, Ava Haan, Colin Haan, Zachary Haan, Mason Haan, Elijah Musick, Benjamin Musick, Anthony Andros, James Andros, Clare Madigan, and Keira Madigan; he is also survived by many cousins and countless friends.
His loss will be deeply felt by both his family and by many in the community of Morris, of which he was such a proud member.
Private graveside services will be held at Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery in Morris, where Levy will be laid to rest with his wife, Jackie.
In lieu of flowers, anyone wanting to honor Lavern’s memory can make donations to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of Morris, where Lavern was a devoted, lifelong parishioner, to the Christian Youth Center of Morris, which Lavern supported during his life, or to the Joliet Area Community Hospice, who cared for him so beautifully at his passing.
Family and friends are encouraged to sign the online guest book, upload photographs, and share Lavern’s memorial page by logging onto: www.ReevesFuneral.com
Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Reeves Funeral Homes, Ltd. In Morris (815) 942-2500.
To send flowers to Lavern's family, please visit our floral store.