Obituary of Lorraine Anne Lutz

March 22, 2024

Lorraine Lutz, 90, passed away peacefully at home in her New York City apartment, surrounded by loving family. She had Parkinson’s in her later years.

Born in Philadelphia, her family moved to Washington, DC when she was an infant. She was the eldest of 5 children, followed by Glenn, Martha, Gerard, and Andrew, who was born when she was 17. Her father was the first cellist in the National Symphony Orchestra and gave cello lessons at home during the day, and between that and the multiple siblings practicing their instruments, Lorraine grew up in a household where the sound of classical music was frequently present.

She attended St. Ann’s Grade School, where, she later recalled, the nuns did an excellent job teaching the English language. Anyone who knew Lorraine throughout her life could attest to the fact that she loved and had an excellent command of the English language. She wrote beautiful letters and notes, could complete nearly every NY Times Crossword puzzle, and there was rarely ever a word she didn’t know the meaning of.

At an early age she had a paper route, and she wondered if she might have been the only girl doing that job in Washington, DC at the time. She started ballet at the age of 13, relatively old to start, but it immediately became one of the great passions of her life. She took classes at the Washington School for the Ballet, where she practiced 7 days a week and spent what she called some of the best hours of her life.

Lorraine attended Immaculata High School, and then received a scholarship to attend Dunbarton College in Washington, D.C. She loved her college years: she got her first car, majored in French, was valedictorian and president of the senior class, and performed in a variety of theater productions. She also started a vocal octet known as the “Mel-O-D’s” that competed in and won singing competitions in the D.C. area. When she was 17, her father became conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra.

She spent the summer after her freshman year of college studying ballet in NYC and knew right away that it was the place for her. As she described it, it was “instant love,” and her love for New York lasted the rest of her life. She felt very lucky to spend so many of her days in a place where she felt such a sense of belonging.

Lorraine met her future husband Francis “Sonny” Lutz on a blind date during her sophomore year of college. She spent the summers after sophomore and junior year at Middlebury College in Vermont in the French program where only French could be spoken, including at the local French restaurant where she worked.

Winning a Fulbright Scholarship upon graduation from Dunbarton, she sailed to France on the ship Liberté in September 1955, spending two months at the Sorbonne and the rest of the year at the University of Dijon. Upon returning from France she moved to San Antonio,Texas where she started a family and where the first of her five children, Charles, was born while her husband completed his military service in the army. Returning to the northeast from Texas, Lorraine and her young family settled in New Jersey where she raised her children. She was a devoted and loving mother.

Lorraine spent a considerable part of many summers on Thompson’s Point in Vermont, a place she and her family loved, and where her father had first taken her family on vacation in 1948 when she was 14. She brought her own family to Thompson’s Point for several weeks every summer and eventually had her own house on the Point where she spent most of every summer.

She spent several years living between New York City and San Diego, CA, where two of her children lived. She was an accomplished pianist who enjoyed playing throughout her adult life, was a devoted patron of the performing arts in NYC, including the ballet, symphony and opera, and was a lover of excellence in all things.

Lorraine also loved the Yankees, except for their bullpen. She enjoyed skiing and took a girls ski trip nearly every year to Colorado, and traveled widely, including trips to South America, southern Africa, China, and Russia. She continued to play bridge and take classes into her 80s. She was a person of faith and regularly attended mass. She had an abiding appreciation for the humor in nearly every situation in life and a keen appreciation for Murphy’s Law.

She was a generous giver to charities and a strong, kind and elegant person to the end of her life. Lorraine is survived by 3 children, Martha, Stephen and James, 14 grandchildren, Alexandra, Christopher, Andrew, Cassandra, Charles, Peter, William, Katerina, Robert, Emily, Cecelia, Sean, Skyelar, and Colin, many nieces and nephews whom she loved very much, and dear friends. She was predeceased by her brothers Andrew and Glenn and by two children, Charles and Gregory.

A memorial service will be held at Crestwood Funeral Home on Saturday, April 27 from 1 to 3 pm at 445 West 43rd Street, New York, NY. Reception to follow. Donations in Lorraine’s memory may be made to Sisters of Charity

Funeral Services

Memorial Service

April 27, 2024

1:00 PM

Crestwood Funeral Home

445 W. 43rd Street

New York, NY 10036

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I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. May my thoughts and prayers are with the family and wishing you peace during this difficult time.

Posted by: Marilyn Arent - New Brunswick, New Jersey - Friend April 5, 2024