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Archive for Thursday, October 10, 1996

LEADER OF LOCAL LUTHERANS DIES

October 10, 1996

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Lawrence Lutherans have lost one of their leaders.

The Rev. Walter H. Lutz was remembered Wednesday as a sensitive and caring minister whose contributions to Immanuel Lutheran Church will be felt for years to come.

Lutz, 74, died of cancer Wednesday at his home. Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Immanuel, where Lutz was pastor for 20 years.

``He was just an outstanding Christian gentleman and pastor,'' said the Rev. Donald Miller, who came to Immanuel when Lutz retired in 1986.

``He was loved very much by members of his congregation,'' Miller said. ``Many of them talked about his deep caring for them in their times of need. He was just a very gentle man.''

Wil Linkugel, a Kansas University professor of communications who served as a church elder and councilman during Lutz's tenure, said Lutz provided the church with stable leadership.

It was during Lutz's ministry that Immanuel, formerly located at 17th and Vermont, merged with the University Lutheran Church to create the current Immanuel Lutheran Church and University Student Center at 15th and Iowa.

Linkugel and Miller both said Lutz was deeply influenced by growing up in India, where his parents were missionaries.

``I've always thought that it gave him commitment,'' Linkugel said. ``He saw the poverty and the need for what his father was doing.''

Linkugel described Lutz as ``an exceptional theologian'' and said his friend, with whom he played golf for many years, also was a terrific athlete.

Lutz was born Dec. 11, 1921, in Filer, Idaho, the son of Anton John and Johanna Scherer Lutz.

Lutz attended high school and junior college at St. John's College in Winfield and then received bachelor's and master's of divinity degrees from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He also earned a master's degree in Greek from Washington University in St. Louis.

Lutz was pastor at St. John's Lutheran Church in Tampa, Fla., from 1949 to 1957 and then served in Crystal City and Festus, Mo., until he accepted the call to Immanuel in 1966.

He married Josephine Anne Hermann on June 17, 1950, in St. Louis, and she survives of the home.

Other survivors include three daughters, Deborah West, Seattle, Jennifer Lutz, Lawrence, and Rosalind Courington, Wichita; two brothers, the Rev. Edward Lutz, St. Paul, Minn., and the Rev. Donald Lutz, Jeffersonville, Ind.; two sisters, Lydia Kohlmeier, Columbus, Neb., and Mathilda Weber, St. Louis; and four grandchildren.

A son, John Anthony, preceded him in death.

Miller and the Rev. Martin Steyer of Greenwood, Ark., will officiate at Saturday's services. The Rev. Norman Steffen, a former campus pastor at University Lutheran Church, will deliver the homily.

Burial will be in Stony Point Cemetery near Vinland.

The family will meet friends from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday at Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

The family suggests memorials to the scholarship fund at the Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Tamil Nadu, India, which may be sent in care of Immanuel Lutheran Church, 2104 W. 15th, Lawrence 66049.

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