There have been so many occasions where I have taken Father’s Day for granted and it felt like just another family gathering. This last one was different though. On Monday June 17th 2019, my Grandpa, Richard Leon Lutz passed away surrounded by his family. He was 93 years old. He died a day after Father’s Day.
My Grandpa was one of the hardest working men I have ever met. During much of my life he was running an orchard just outside of Chelan, WA. From a very early age I witnessed what hard work means. At his age, most people would rather travel and play golf instead of working. However, he was getting up before dawn to head out to the orchard to work and would finish as the sun began to set. This has left a huge impression on my life.
He also taught me the meaning of living a life of integrity. If he said he was going to do something he would find a way to exceed your expectations. When I was a kid my Dad would tell me a story about when my Grandpa worked for Van Doren Sales and how fruit packers would call my Grandpa if they were having a problem with their apple or cherry lines. Every time he would go into a packing facility he would have the different machines running better than before they broke initially. Now that I am older this is something that I try and achieve with every project that I am involved in.
The final thing that he taught me was the meaning of being a family man. He and my Grandma never missed one of my school band performances as a kid. I could also always count on him being at every family gathering or birthday. He was often pretty quiet at many of these events, but when he spoke his deep voice commanded the room and everyone listened.
I miss him so much. He taught me so much about what it is to be a man and live a life that impacts others.
RIP Grandpa. I love you and I hope I continue to make you proud.