LAKELAND - LAKELAND - Helen Ritter Lutz, 98 years old, passed away on January 6, 2014, in Lakeland, Florida, Polk County, from natural causes.
She was born July 24, 1915, to Oscar Claude Ritter and Flora Adeline Murphy, in Pittsburgh, PA. Helen graduated from Aspinwall High School in the class of 1932. She attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh.
In 1942 Helen married the Rev. Harold Lutz of the Pittsburgh Presbytery. In the forties Helen became happily involved in women's work of the Presbyterian Church, USA. She served as Missionary Education Secretary of the Dayton, Ohio Presbyterial, followed by Translyvania Presbyterial Presidency and subsequently synodical Vice Presidency of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. During this period she was called to serve as Corridor Hostess for the annual meeting of the women of the Presbyterian Church, USA, held on the campus of Purdue University.
On October 13, 1980, she united with the First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland and was eventually elected President of the women (1986-1988). She was ordained an elder in the class of 1988 and served a two year term. Helen spent 16 years in the Chancel choir under the direction of Mac Boulware. She was recognized Outstanding Older Adult by the Tampa Bay Presbytery in 1995.
Helen liked to swim, having learned in the Allegheny River at Montrose, Pittsburgh, PA. As a preteen, she had her mother's permission to swim from Montrose across to Verona. She bragged about this feat for years until a recent visit to the famed spot revealed how her memory had widened the river.
Helen is survived by her daughter, Beverlee Lutz Urban; her step-son Richard (Patsy) Lutz; step granddaughters, Connie and Becky Searcy; a niece and two nephews, Sacramento, CA.; and nieces in Cincinnati and Japan.
A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Chapel, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL, on Friday January 10, 2014, at 2 p.m.
Published in Ledger from Jan. 9 to Jan. 10, 2014