John Denis “Jack” Lutz, a philosopher, theologian, priest, artist/designer, builder, ski instructor, and general mischiefmaker, of Adell, passed from this earth Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.

Jack was born July 5, 1935 in Sheboygan, Wis. His father was John Joseph Lutz and his mother was Arildis Hildebrandt Heck. His family originally migrated from Germany in the late 1800s. Martin Avenue in Sheboygan was named after Jack’s grandfather’s brother and their home was built near the corner of Martin and 15th Street. Annie Court was named after Jack’s grandfather’s sister.

After graduating from the St. Francis Diocesan Seminary in 1961, Jack served as a Catholic priest in traditional parishes in Southeastern Wisconsin for 11 years. After taking a leave of absence, he served in non-traditional Catholic communities for 10 years.

In 1970, Jack met the love of his life, Lynn, and a new journey began.

Jack was an idea person with amazing intuition. He understood people, relationships, and life. He could make others feel comfortable, as he identified their talents and encouraged them to “go for it.” A great proponent of mischief, he called himself the curmudgeon. He always advocated it in others.

Jack had a solution to every problem and situation. For almost 20 years, with Lynn as his partner, He channeled his endless energy into designing and constructing buildings, interiors and furniture. Not hesitating to fiddle and experiment, he could make anything work. He often designed the entire project in his head, putting it down on paper only for the sake of the client. Some of his many projects include jewelry and stereo stores in Milwaukee and Boulder, Colo.; condominium interiors in Cedarburg, Milwaukee and Vail, Colo.; and home remodeling in Door County, Gays Mills and La Grande, Ore., and many other locations throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

His most ambitious project was the design and construction of his own home in the Northern Kettle Moraine. After years of research, observation and the construction of multiple models, Jack set aside his business and spent two years building his passive solar home. He would pick up materials every day at Menard’s, drive one hour to the site, and work all day with the help of a generator.

The result in December 1995 was a unique and priceless outlooking home, which was a reflection of who Jack and Lynn were as a couple.

Planning trips and traveling across the pond to Switzerland, Austria and France delighted him, as he studied maps, finding small offbeat places with few tourists and lots of potential for hiking. His priorities changed from places with great hiking, to places with great hiking and great food, to places with great food and wine and good hiking. Always up to the challenge, he did not hesitate to tell a joke in German or French, even if the audience initially looked a bit puzzled.

Jack enjoyed writing his thoughts and occasionally dashed off editorials on current touchy topics for the local paper, The Plymouth Review. He also worked part-time at The Plymouth Review and The Sheboygan Falls News for over 17 years as a layout assistant.

As a nationally certified ski instructor, Jack spent 11 years instructing skiers at Sunburst Ski Area in Kewaskum. Some of his best-loved moments were participating in instructor clinics at Cascade Ski Area every Wednesday. His skills at making his students feel comfortable as they struggled with new movements were unsurpassed.

Jack is survived by his partner of 44 years, Lynn B. Molenda; his siblings, JoAnn B. Lutz of Milwaukee, Tom J. (Paula) Lutz of Chicago and Michael J. Lutz of Madison; a niece, Anne T. (Ken) Engen of Northfield, Minn.; an aunt, Bernardine Luksis, and multiple cousins and their children.

Jack will be cremated at Phillips Funeral Home in West Bend. His life will be celebrated Saturday, Nov. 22, at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church at 670 E. Monroe Ave. in Hartford, Wis.

Visitation will be from 9-11 a.m., followed by a liturgy from 11 a.m.- noon.

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