Cover photo for Raymond J. Luts's Obituary
Raymond J. Luts Profile Photo
1950 Raymond 2021

Raymond J. Luts

July 16, 1950 — October 17, 2021

Raymond James Luts III passed on Sunday, October 17, 2021 due to complications of cancer. Ray was born in Newark, New Jersey on July 16, 1950, the son of Raymond James Luts II and Iva Jean Luts (Miles). He was the oldest of the three children. He married his wife of 48 years, Cheryl Ann Swinford, on February 3, 1973 in Philo, Illinois. She survives. Other survivors include two sons, Daniel Ray Luts (Holly) of Tenafly, NJ, Jeffrey Luts (Katrina) of Macomb, MI, and daughter, Lindsey Butkus (Matt) of Cresskill, NJ.

Ray and Cheryl have 8 grandchildren whom Ray considered perfect. . . some of the time. Sibling survivors are Steve Miles (Karen) of Montville, NJ and Cindy Michel (Bill) of Brigantine Beach, NJ. Ray was preceded in death by his parents, step-father (Thomas Miles) and father-in-law, Albert "Dale" Swinford.

Ray served in the United States Army from 1971 to 1977 where he met Cheryl. Together, they made use of the GI bill to attend college at Ball State University. After graduation, Ray accepted a job in the accounting department of Kellogg's where he worked for 30 years.

Ray and Cheryl loved to vacation in Oahu, Hawaii, and after retirement were able to fulfill a lifetime goal of retiring their snow shovels and wintering in Sun City West, Arizona. There, in this retiree playland, they explored new interests and found a community of friends. Ray and Cheryl's family have fond memories of visits to their winter oasis to hike, swim, eat fresh grapefruit, and play pickleball.

Ray was not interested in exercise, but was a life-long athlete who dedicated his younger years to softball, tennis and racquetball leagues, later shifting to golf and pickleball. He was a conservative player who, especially in racquet sports, would wear down his opponents with firm, calculated, consistent play. Despite the outcome, Ray concluded each match with a warm smile, firm handshake, and invitation for another.

Even more than an athlete, Ray was a worker who prided himself in taking on all home maintenance, landscaping, and mechanical projects. Especially in retirement, he toiled to keep his properties safe, tidy, and enjoyable for his family and friends. You could always hear Michigan Public Radio playing in Ray's garage while he worked or cooked on the grill. . . unless the pledge drive was on.

Ray was stoic and almost never shared his pain or concerns, but shared his love and appreciation for his children, grandchildren, and family openly and freely. He was a man of integrity and is beloved for his character and kindness. Ray will be sorely missed.

Funeral services will be at First Presbyterian Church, Battle Creek, MI at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, October 25, 2021. Visitation will take place before the service from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Interment will immediately follow at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, MI. Arrangements by the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.

Service Schedule

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Visitation

Monday, October 25, 2021

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, October 25, 2021

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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