Rita Laura Lutz
Rita Laura Lutz
  • September 30, 1919 - December 24, 2009
  • Blue Diamond, Nevada

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"Seeing is believing." For many, those words simply represent a motto. But for Rita Laura Lutz, it summarized in every way who she was. She was modest, quiet and observant, taking in everything around her and always thinking before acting. She was a realist, someone who was efficient and practical in everything she did. She was a friendly person who truly cared about those around her.

       She was the daughter of Walter and Minnie Heckman. Raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she was brought up to be tolerant and trustworthy. As a child, she learned to be conscientious, responsible and punctual. These were all traits that she would carry with her throughout her life.

      As a young girl, Rita was always aware of how others around her felt and this quality served her well. With a deep capacity to tolerate the feelings of others, Rita was generally able to avoid conflicts. It seemed as if Rita was the family member who was always working to keep stress at bay. Preferring a quiet environment where she could concentrate, Rita also had the ability to relate well with her family and friends. Rita was raised with two siblings. She had one younger sister, Shirley, and one younger brother, Earl (Bud). Only Shirley survives her. Rita was constantly involved in activities with her family. Rita and her siblings had the typical rivalries while growing up but they deeply cared for each other and shared many life experiences over the years.

      Love can't be defined but must be experienced. That was so true for Rita. On May 8, 1948 Rita married Francis (Frank) Joseph Lutz at St. Agnes Catholic Church of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was totally committed to Frank and maintained traditional ideals about marriage. It was as if Rita naturally sensed her spouse's needs, and accepted those feelings unconditionally. Although Rita disliked conflict, she did not take flight from discord, but rather sought to preserve harmony even during the most trying times.

      Rita was a good mother to her children. She had "old fashioned" parental values and could handle typical family conflicts in a fair and calm manner. Because she trusted emotions, Rita was reluctant to force issues and used gentle persuasion to resolve situations. In this way she seemed to radiate an aura of warmth and caring to those around her, always thinking before acting. In addition, Rita was a master planner. No matter how hectic life around her might be, she seemed to know and track everyone's schedule. Rita was blessed with four children, Mark (born 7/28/1949 ), Joy (born 8/23/1950), Kevin (born 6/9/1957), Donna (born 12/16/1961). They were also blessed with nine grandchildren, ranging in age from 26 years old to 10 years old at the time of her death, Lauren, Kristin, Gregg, Amanda, Kurt, Tyler, Byron, Allison, and Ian.

      If you gave Rita a deadline, she would meet it. Rita's only occupation was that of housewife and mother. She gave up a secretarial career in 1949 after she became pregnant with her oldest child, Mark. Rita was good at staying on track and was considerate in listening to what others had to say. In this way, Rita had at true gift for being able to come up with practical resolutions to difficult problems.

      An individual who respected and maintained traditional values, her faith was important to Rita. Her compassion, consideration and sympathy toward others was evident in her personal beliefs. She was born and raised in the Roman Catholic faith. She was active in various ministries at St. Therese Church in Alhambra during the nearly 20 years that she and Frank lived in San Gabriel, Ca. When they retired to Vista, California at the end of 1982, Rita became active in her new parish community, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. During that time, she and Frank were members of the "Young at Hearts" club. Rita also was involved in a ministry making rosaries.

      When Rita's retirement finally arrived in 1982, she was well prepared. She had taken the time to learn about her various options and chose her course wisely. Her new life involved relocating to retired to Vista, California at the end of 1982. Even in retirement, Rita continued to stay in touch with her old friends while making plenty of new acquaintances. She was active in the community and felt fulfilled with the opportunities retirement offered her.

      Rita passed away on December 24, 2009 at Rita died on Christmas Eve, December 24th, 2009 in Las Vegas at the hospice residence where she lived the final 9 months of her life. She did not have a medical diagnosis other than "failure to thrive". She suddenly became poorly responsive on December 16th, but since she was not transported to a hospital, her final days were in the care of the hospice staff where she lived. Rita is survived by her children, Mark, Joy, Kevin, and Donna. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Lauren, Kristin, Gregg, Amanda, Kurt, Tyler, Byron, Allison, and Ian. Her sister Shirley in Florida survives her as well. Services were held at Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church. Rita's final resting place will be with her husband Frank who preceded her in death. They will rest together at Riverside National Cemetery.

      It is said that some people can't see the forest for the trees. Rita was able to focus on each individual tree, tending to its needs, thus making the forest stronger as a whole. Rita was a trustworthy, pragmatic and sympathetic person, the kind of woman to whom everyone was drawn. She was thorough and practical. Rita Lutz was very literal with her words. You always knew where you stood with Rita. She will be missed.