Ivan R. Lutz, 88, worked at Hartman Wholesale, Inner City Food Ministry founder, historian

By on May 24, 2017

Ivan R. Lutz, 88, of Lititz, entered into the presence of his Saviour and our Lord early in the morning on Monday, May 22, 2017. His heavenly homecoming came unexpectedly after a brief stay at Lancaster General Hospital.

Ivan was born March 17, 1929 in Lititz, son of the late Edward K. and Nora (Forney) Lutz. He graduated in 1946 from Warwick Township High School in Rothsville, and he married his beloved wife Lois (Hess) on June 25, 1955. They enjoyed almost 62 years together.

He was employed for many years at Miller and Hartman Wholesale Groceries in Lancaster. In addition to his full-time employment, Ivan was making the most of each day with various activities. During his earlier years, he sang in several quartets, the Middle Creek Chorus, and he taught Sunday school. In 1965, he was elected to ministry and served as part of the ministerial team at Middle Creek Church of the Brethren for many years. He also spoke at revivals and evangelistic services held at other Church of the Brethren churches.

After retiring, Ivan did not slow down, but started an Inner City Food Ministry that supported numerous shelters, missions, and soup kitchens in 12 cities including Lancaster, York, Philadelphia, and New York City. This ministry, which earned Ivan the affectionate nickname of “The Apple Man,” continued up until he was hospitalized within a week of his passing.

Ivan loved being a minister, serving others, and looking for ways to help those typically forgotten by others. Much of his servant works were done without knowledge to the recipients as to who was responsible, but was always done for the glory of God. Sitting still was not something Ivan liked to do, however, encouraging strangers, meeting new people, and sharing a smile or joke, gave him much joy all of his life.

He was also an avid reader and continued to educate himself on local history throughout his life. He was particularly interested in studying the history of Millway, Rothsville, and Lititz. In recent years he enjoyed hearing all about the accomplishments of his grandchildren, offering valuable advice, and following many of the state level sports teams; even cheering for the Phillies while in the hospital.

Ivan was preceded in death by his two older brothers: Eugene and Howard; and has one surviving sister at Brethren Village: Julia Longenecker.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children: David (husband to Tina) of Lititz; Dean (husband to Jill), also of Lititz; and Daniel (husband to April) of Manheim. He also has seven grandchildren: Ben (husband to Dah), Chris (husband to Britney), John, Kari, Montana, Josiah, and Magdalena; and one beautiful great-granddaughter: Anya, who lives in Thailand with her parents.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral service at the Middle Creek Church of the Brethren at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 26. Visitation with the family is one hour prior to the funeral service and also on the evening of Thursday, May 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Middle Creek Church. Interment will take place in the Middle Creek Brethren Cemetery.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at stradlingfuneralhome.com.

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