Jean Lutz, 73, a longtime area resident, died Wednesday, Nov. 20.
She was born Emma Jean Sanders in Phoenix, Ariz. to Allen and Edith Sanders.
In the early 1940s, during World War II, her family moved to Riverbank, where she attended local schools and made lifelong friends.
She graduated from Oakdale High School in 1959. In 1960, she married her high school sweetheart, Jim Lutz, and the couple lived and raised their children on the family’s East Oakdale dairy – Claribel Livestock Co.
Mrs. Lutz was a compassionate and caring woman, devoted to her family, her friends and her animals – many of them rescued from the road near her farm home.
Though she was employed at Hunt Wesson Foods and Hershey Chocolate Corp. for a few years, she always considered that her main job in life was the care and keeping of her family, her home, her beautiful yard, and supporting her wide network of friends.
A creative cook and a wonderful baker, she provided comfort and enjoyment to many over the years. Her Christmas fudge and pumpkin breads were anticipated by many of her family and friends who were fortunate to receive the gifts of her kitchen.
She was a member of the original California Young Farmers and Young Homemakers. She volunteered with the Oak Valley Hospital Auxiliary and especially enjoyed working with the recreation program at Oak Valley Care Center. She was also a member of Xi Tau Theta chapter of Beta Sigma Phi and will be sorely missed by her sorority sisters.
In addition to caring for her lovely gardens – especially her hydrangeas – she enjoyed reading, traveling with close friends, fishing, Southwestern art, and coastal lighthouses. She and her husband followed televised NASCAR racing and shared enjoyment of the sport.
Her husband and daughter both provided sweet and loving care to her as she struggled with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Her family thanks Anita Machado who helped with her care in the past few months, and her longtime doctor, David Olsen, M.D. and his office staff.
Survivors include her husband, Jim Lutz; daughter, Pam Lutz, both of Oakdale; sisters, Beverly Hartgraves (Wayne), Michelle Woodard of Alturas; grandsons, Jacob (Gabby) Lutz, Walter and Jimmy Kuppens; great-granddaughter, Tristan Lutz, all of Oakdale; nephews, Mike, David, Paul, Mark; and many friends.
She was preceded in death by her father, Allen (Mary) Sanders; mother, Edith Sanders (Woody) Woodard; and son, James Allan Lutz, Jr.
A celebration of life will be held at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov.27 at the social hall of the Community United Methodist Church, 1480 Poplar St., Oakdale.
Remembrances may be made in her honor to the Oakdale Shelter Pet Alliance, P.O. Box 1965, Oakdale, CA 95361; or to the ALS Association, P.O. Box 565, Agoura Hills, CA 91376-0565; or to an organization of your choice.
The Riverbank (Calif.) News
Nov. 27, 2013