Hamilton, MA – John R. Lutz of South Hamilton, MA died of complications related to Alzheimer’s disease on July 22, 2020, at Masconomet Healthcare Center in Topsfield. He was 79 years old. Throughout his Alzheimer’s journey John remained the truly nice, sociable guy family and friends knew and loved all his life. Thanks to his strong spirit, his loving wife Tracy, and wonderful caregivers every step of the way, John was able to live at home until the last month of his life and died peacefully just as he planned and richly deserved.
A licensed Civil Engineer and Project Manager, John enjoyed his work on a variety of construction projects throughout his career in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Michigan and Massachusetts. As a young man he was proud of his Naval ROTC Scholarship to Cornell University, and his service with Mobile Construction Battalion Six (Seabees) in Davisville and Newport, RI, Antarctica, Cuba, and Vietnam. Originally from New Jersey, John returned there early in his married life where both his children, Adam and Alison, were born. He worked full time as an industrial project manager while earning an MBA degree at night from Rutgers University.
Throughout his life, John enjoyed sailing, having taken that up while stationed in Newport; and skiing, in particular the wonderful friendships and memories that he and family members shared during his more than 50 years as a member of the Newport (RI) Ski Club at Okemo Mtn. He loved to tell the story of meeting Tracy in a chairlift at Stowe. John relished travel with family and friends to places of natural beauty and historic interest: national parks like Denali, Mount Rainier, and the Grand Canyon; the Camino de Santiago in Spain, and the Cinque Terre in Italy; and WWI and WWII battle sites in France and Belgium. Like the Eagle Scout he was, John prepared by reading history and mapping out routes in advance, which he enjoyed almost as much as the trip itself. He liked to joke that Uncle Sam and his adventurous children, whom he and Tracy happily visited wherever they roamed, chose his travel destinations for him.
In retirement, John’s membership in the National Model Railroad Association and its Boston Hub Division meant a lot to him: wonderful friendships; the operations groups who modeled and ran the routes and schedules of actual railroads; and travel to regional and national model RR conventions, which included visits to America’s working railroads and historic railways. He was also a devoted volunteer at the Wenham Museum’s model railroad program and exhibits. In his quiet way, John looked for opportunities to connect people–particularly the younger generation–to the joys and fellowship of model railroading.
An only child and grandchild, John is survived by family who will miss him sorely: his wife of 51 years, Tracy; his daughter, Alison, of Berkeley CA; his brother-in-law and wife, John and Elaine Quayle; a niece, four nephews and their children, plus an extended family of cousins and spouses on Tracy’s side. He was predeceased by his beloved son Adam, his dear parents, John and Blanche Lutz, and his sister-in-law and husband, Betsy and Malcolm Robinson Jr.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, an outdoor memorial service for John will be held at a later date. Arrangements are being handled by Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly. For those who wish to make a donation in John’s memory, the family suggests either of two local organizations that were dear to his heart: Wenham Museum, 132 Main Street, Wenham, MA 01984 or online at wenhammuseum.org; and Family Promise, 330 Rantoul St. Beverly, MA 01915, or online at familypromisensb.org. Both organizations have a tab on their online donations page where you can indicate that your gift is in memory of John Lutz. If you are donating by check, please write “Memory of John Lutz” in the memo line. Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.

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