East Lyme - Captain Philip C. Lutzi, (USCG) retired, 83, of East Lyme, beloved husband of Gloria (Miller) Lutzi, passed away Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, after a short illness.
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He was born May 8, 1929, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and grew up in Livingston, N.J. He graduated as an ensign from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1951. He completed advanced degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in marine engineering and naval architecture.
His first shipboard assignments upon graduation were on the cutters Tamaroa and Rockaway. He later served board the icebreaker Eastwind, which plied both the Arctic and Antarctic oceans making stops at both Greenland and Alaska in the northern hemisphere and McMurdo Sound in Antarctica.
Captain Lutzi was an engineering specialist for most of his Coast Guard career. He served as chief of the naval engineering branch of both the Second and Fourteenth Coast Guard districts as well as chief of the naval engineering branch on the staff of the commander of the Third Coast Guard District at Governors Island in New York City and later in Alaska, in which he administered an annual budget of $50 million.
Captain Lutzi was a veteran of the Vietnam Conflict, taking part in operations there during his tour as chief staff officer for Coast Guard Squadron Three in Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, from April 1967 to May 1968. Captain Lutzi was awarded the Cost Guard Commendation Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal with Star, Antarctica Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with star, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Upon retirement from the Coast Guard in 1977, Captain Lutzi returned to East Lyme, where he initially served as a safety and environmental inspector for the Exxon Company before accepting the position of East Lyme Water Department engineer in 1978. He served in the position of the Water Department engineer until 1983. During that time, he oversaw the early development of the town's public water system. He also served as the East Lyme representative of the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority Advisory Committee from 1989 to 1991.
Besides his professional career, Capt. Lutzi also gave back to the community as an active volunteer. After he retired from active duty with the Coast Guard, he continued to serve with the Coast Guard Auxiliary actively patrolling with Flotilla 14-25-03 out of Mystic. He was a lifetime member of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) serving as the local New London chapter president. He was a lifelong Boy Scout rising to the level of Eagle Scout. His affiliation continued as an adult, assisting with his son's troop and serving on the local and state committee councils.
An avid sailor, Capt. Lutzi was a member of the Shennecossett Yacht Club in Groton.
Besides his wife, Gloria, Capt. Lutzi leaves behind a sister, Elsa Fessler of Toms River, N.J.; a daughter, Sheila Joy Coxe and her husband, of Niantic; a son, Philip John Lutzi and his wife, of Ithaca N.Y.; and five grandchildren.
Funeral services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the donors' favorite charity in Capt. Lutzi's name.
Published in The Day on Nov. 11, 2012