James R. Lutz, 80, of Litchfield, passed away Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 6:40 p.m. at Heritage Health Therapy and Senior Care of Litchfield.
Funeral service will be held Wednesday, October 14 at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of Christ in Mulberry Grove, IL with burial in the Mulberry Grove Cemetery. The Pastor Dallas Nickel, retired pastor of the church will officiate. Visitation will be held Tuesday from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the Plummer Funeral Home in Litchfield, additional visitation will be held Wednesday in the church from 10:00 a.m. until service time. Masonic services will be exemplified at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday.
He was born March 6, 1935 in Mulberry Grove, Illinois a son of Donald Richard and Edna Grace (Martin) Lutz. A graduate of Mulberry Grove High School with the class of 1952 and was senior class president. Mr. Lutz was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served during peace time. He graduated from Greenville College and Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey with a degree in banking and finance. He worked at the Bank of Coffeen and served on the Coffeen City Council. He then worked at the First National Bank of Mt. Olive where he was Vice President for several years. In semi-retirement Mr. Lutz worked for the Illinois Economic Development office in Gillespie and various other public sector organizations. He was a 50 year member of Gilham Lodge #809 A.F. & A.M. of Mulberry Grove, IL, and of Ansar Shrine of Springfield for several years.
Mr. Lutz’s first love was music, especially playing his piano and keyboard. He was a well known musician in the area. Playing music for over 50 years in bands all over the country, Jim was recognized by the Blue Ridge Institute of Humanities in Arlington, VA for his contributions to the Rockabilly art form. He was able to play with a variety of music notables in his career. The Lee Mace Ozark Opry, Jimmy Huffington and the Hot Shots, The Platters, The Drifters, Billy “Crash” Craddock, The Kingston Trio and the Montovani Orchestra. His Band, Jim Lutz and the Regulars, were a favorite at the Gardens in Litchfield. He never learned to read music very well and played strictly by ear.
Mr. Lutz married the former Iris D. Lyons June 27, 1958 in Norfolk, VA. She passed away February 5, 1974. He then married Barbara J. (Beasley) Cerantano at Zion Lutheran Church in Litchfield and she survives. Additional survivors include;
Tammy (Brad) Lurkins of Greenville, IL
Kim Lutz of Webster Groves, MO
Jill (Mark) Tompkins of Smithboro, IL
3 step daughters
Julie (Howard) Mason of Collinsville, IL
Brenda White of Chatsworth, GA
Terri (Andy) Smith of Litchfield, IL
A step son
Michael (companion Cindy) Cerantano of Litchfield
Charles (Phyllis) Lutz of El Paso, IL
Tyler Lurkins, Kelli Scott, Scott Lurkins, Brett (Kathleen) Lurkins, Benjamin Lutz, Chelsea (Dustin) Lindahl, and Jacob Tomkins
6 step grandchildren
Jason Marit, Jennifer Marit, Derek (Emily) Cerantano, Michael (Megan) Cerantano, Ryan Cerantano, and Jesse (Tiffany) Cerantano
14 great grandchildren
Proceeded in death by parents, first wife Iris, Aunt Lee Newby who raised him.
The family suggests memorials to the Litchfield Food Pantry or to Shriners Hospitals for Children.