Ralph Lutz was born into a blended family of 11, who lived together in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath home until Ralph entered elementary school. Ralph learned responsibility at an early age, working in the family truck garden and taking odd jobs to help support his family. During childhood, his parents encouraged his love of baseball. He listened to every Yankee game on the radio and played sandlot baseball with the Ramirez family every summer. By the time he reached high school, Ralph was an accomplished player on his school team.
In 1969, Ralph joined the Navy. He was given the job of Ground School Flight Instructor and Flight Simulation Maintenance Tech. Stationed at the Naval Airbase in Corpus Christi, Ralph again began playing baseball. He was known for his "hot bat" and his quick action on the field. After games, Ralph would stop in at the local hamburger joint where he met a young waitress named Vickie Fleece. He was delighted when she took a job as a cashier at the grocery store where he was working part-time, and they began seeing each other. Vickie began taking Ralph to church every Sunday. Soon Ralph accepted Jesus as Savior, and Ralph and Vickie were wed 6 months later.
In 1979, Ralph attained the rank of Chief Petty Officer, and at the same time, he had to make a decision to continue with the Navy or to accept a civilian job. Ralph chose a career with American Airlines, and the couple moved to Fort Worth. They continued to serve in their church and became AWANA leaders. In 1983, Ralph and Vickie had twin girls, Amber and Crystal, who were born 3 months prematurely. They lost Amber at 11 days, but Crystal survived and came home after 3 months. Ralph adored his little girl and he was devastated when, at the age of 5, Crystal passed away.
In addition to their regular jobs, Ralph and Vickie began flipping houses just to keep their minds and bodies busy in response to their overwhelming grief. In time, they realized that they still yearned for the love of a child and the fellowship of family. They trained for a year to be foster parents and opened their home to 5-year-old Christopher and 3-year-old Krystal. After two years, the children became eligible for adoption and Ralph became an adoptive father. Ralph was involved in their schooling and all their extra-curricular activities. He planned vacations and weekend trips to broaden their knowledge and experiences. He told them about Jesus and led them to the Lord.
In 2010, Ralph and Vickie moved to Texas, where again they became active in the church. Within a year after moving, Ralph was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. In 2017, when he became unable to care for their property in Texas, they moved to a retirement village in Hollister, Missouri. Ralph was thrilled to be able to return to his old church. Ralph went to be with the Lord on May 12, 2021.
Ralph is preceded in death by his father, Henry Lutz; his mother, Hester Lutz; and daughters, Amber Lutz and Krystal Lutz. He is survived by his wife, Vickie Lutz; his son, Christopher Lutz; his daughter and son-in-law, Krystal and Ryan Vento; and grandson, Austin Vento; his sister, Donna Dean; his brother, Ed Larson; and many nieces, nephews, and in-laws.
Favorite Verse: John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Ralph's Verse for Vickie: Philippians 4:6-7
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
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