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May 15, 1964 – July 17, 2020
Lutz obit pic
It is with deep sorrow that we say our earthly goodbyes to Lisa Jennifer Lutz. She died at age 56, on July 17, 2020, at Memorial Medical Center, Modesto, CA, succumbing to heart failure, following a nearly ten-year battle with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Lisa was born to Florin Richard Lutz and Leta Barnwell Lutz on May 15, 1964, at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.
She came home to the “Ranch,” officially known as Claribel Livestock Company, a dairy-farm headquartered on the Oakdale-Waterford Highway, where she grew up with her older brother, Timothy. Lisa always loved living in the country, with its wide-open spaces and vistas in all directions. She saw pristine snow-capped mountains in the distance; the effect of the morning sun glinting off the dew on the pastures, which turned whole fields into sparkling diamonds; and she saw spectacular sunsets. She was especially fascinated by seasonal electrical storms that could fire up quickly and pass over the house. Seemingly unafraid, she wanted to have the best advantage to see black roiling clouds, the lightning bolts, and hear the thunderclaps. On the Ranch, Lisa quickly learned the rhythm of the seasons, and the work requirements needed for each crop to grow and be harvested.
There were other positives, too, for her in living the country life. There were horses to groom and ride; calves to pet; bicycling; swimming; exploring every nook and cranny of that property with her cousin, Pamela Lutz; and attending extended family gatherings on the Ranch with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. And, there was a long succession of dogs and cats to love. Sadly, Lisa’s childhood experiences could not be replicated today. The houses, dairy, all outbuildings and fencing have been torn down, with the exception of two homes and one small rental house, and the entire 600-plus acre property has been converted to almond trees. Gone is the view and the feeling of wide-open spaces.
Lisa began her education at Cloverland Elementary, then moved on to Oakdale Jr. High. She graduated from Oakdale High School with the class of 1982. In school, always interested in music, she learned to play the drums, the flute and the piccolo. In her early teens, she studied the piano. She was always a good student and a popular girl, with many friends. After high school, no specific area of study seemed to truly interest her, and it became apparent that she was not ready to go off to college. So, she went out to find a job. A good fit was found in working in accountancy and business offices. Along the way, she learned good office practices and good bookkeeping skills. She loved working with numbers. She was meticulous in all aspects of paperwork. During her twenties, she moved to Turlock to further stretch her independence, but continued to commute to Modesto and Oakdale to further her employment. Later in her work life, she returned to the Ranch and became a valuable employee in her father’s business office. When her illness progressed, she moved to her parents’ house and continued to provide very helpful bookkeeping skills.
Lisa engaged in several hobbies over her lifetime. Early on, she became interested in rock collecting; her interest piqued by her paternal aunt Ethyl’s collection. Any trip to scenic areas would find her with eyes on the ground, looking for rocks that were colorful, unusual in shape, sparkly, etc., and those would find their way into the trunk of the car. Once home, she would use her sources of information to identify the kind of rocks she had found. Lisa also collected old coins, some quite valuable, according to her. She kept extensive notes on the denominations in her collection, and how each coin came to be found. One hobby that received much of Lisa’s attention was her collection of vintage glass rhinestone butterfly pins. These were pins that were popular in the 1950’s. As a teenager, she first saw three of these pins, which were shown to her by her grandmother Elinor Lutz. She was fascinated by their sparkle and color. Her collection grew considerably over the last few years when she discovered that the butterfly pins could be purchased over the internet from other women, who also collected. At last count, her beautiful, cherished pins, which reminded her of her grandmother, numbered about three hundred.
Lisa is preceded in death by her father, Richard, and her brother, Timothy. She is survived by her mother, Leta, and her nephew, Kyle Lutz, of Ferndale, CA. She is also survived by aunts Barbara Pierrou and Diana Barnwell, both of Modesto, an uncle, James Lutz, and many cousins. She leaves behind her devoted, long-term companion, Anthony Padilla, whom she initially met at age 18. Tony provided an extraordinary amount of encouragement and loving care during the last years of her life.
Lisa was a beloved daughter and caring friend to many. Her presence here enriched our lives in so many ways. She was a sunny personality, always smiling, cheerful, fun to talk to and be with, kind, and generous. Her absence now leaves a gaping hole in our lives. She will be forever remembered and forever loved.
A graveside service was held July 24, 2020, at 10 a.m. at Oakdale Citizens Cemetery, with the necessary COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in effect. A gathering of family and close friends was held later at the home of Leta Lutz. A remembrance in Lisa’s memory would so please her if you considered an organization that provides help and care to feral and homeless cats. She loved cats immensely, and tried to save any who came across her path.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
The Riverbank (Calif.) News

Nov. 11, 2020