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Official Obituary of

Richard "Ricky" Jay Lutzke

December 28, 1955 ~ March 8, 2024 (age 68) 68 Years Old

Richard "Ricky" Lutzke Obituary

Richard Jay Lutzke
The world is a little darker today without the bright smile, sweet giggles, gentle coos, gleeful squeals, and sometimes blood-curdling screams of Richard “Ricky” Lutzke who died at Hospice of Northwest Ohio on Friday, March 8, 2024. Ricky was born in Cleveland, OH on December 28, 1955, to his loving parents, Mary and Gerald Lutzke. In those days, Downs Syndrome was an experience that was kept hidden, so people did not recognize it just by looking at a person. As such, it took some time for folks to notice that something was different about little Ricky. But by golly, he turned out to be feisty! From the time he turned blue after locking himself in a freezer – not to be beaten at hide-and-seek, you see – to the time he played dead after getting hit by a car on Canterbury Road in North Olmstead.   He allowed the horrified driver to scoop up his lifeless, double-jointed body and carry him home, all to teach that poor man a lesson to, “Watch it!” once his mom ordered him to get up. From the first to the last, it was never a dull day with Ricky around. His school days at William Rainy Harper in Cleveland are bit foggy. But after he moved with his family to Sylvania, OH, Ricky excelled at Larc Lane School. As an adult, he moved out “on his own,” living in several group homes operated by Community Residential Services. He relished his freedom and mastered how to ride the bus to work at Lott Industries – not without incident, though. There was that time when he and an accomplice were nearly arrested for a spree of
“breaking into” [unlocked] cars at a dealership behind his bus stop. His explanation for his actions: he wanted a place to sit down while he ate his lunch. Ricky marked the passage of time not so much with birthdays, but with how long until he could return to Camp Courageous, his favorite summertime haunt. Boy did he love to swim, too! Ricky dazzled his young nieces and nephews with his incredible flexibility and his regular refrain whenever he saw them was, “Boy, you gettin’ big!” As he grew older, he learned to swindle people into getting him ham  sandwiches at family parties after getting cut off by his dad. How? By whimpering pitifully that he was hungry. Later, he learned that shivering (think: ASPCA commercial) could get him even   more goodies. Then of course there was his award-winning charm. Nicknamed “Casanova” by his younger brother, Ricky was a fan of the ladies, and they loved him back. Ricky was quite outgoing and sociable. Everywhere he went, somebody knew Ricky and he was happiest when that somebody was a woman! He loved good music, owning multiple instruments that he was  satisfied simply to look at and show visitors. Ricky lived for classic TV and movies. Our family roared when someone commented on what the other people at Hospice must have been  thinking when we sang out the theme of Gilligan’s Island for our darling Ricky in his final days. We share these stories and all their humor to capture but a glimpse of the light the Mr. Richard  Lutzke brought into this world. Even as he grew older and had more challenges, we were so proud of our sweet Ricky. He wasn’t famous or rich, but he was ours. Ricky taught us what it means to be joyful and gave us a model for how to love unconditionally. When the priest came to give him one last Anointing, we surrounded him, and prayed for him. When he left this world,  we can only imagine the joy Ricky must have felt as he ran into the arms of his mom, dad, and brother who were waiting for him. For those of us left behind, we await the day when we will see our beloved Ricky again in heaven, in his glorified body, freed from death and mourning, wailing and pain. Until the day when God wipes every tear from our eyes, we will remember the impact that this man had on the lives of everyone he met. Ricky is preceded in death by his parents, Gerald and Mary (Wynne) Lutzke, and his brother, Raymond. He is survived by his sister Marian (Jerry) Russell, brother David Lutzke, as well as seven nieces and nephews, Julianna (McNeal), Joseph, Charles, Matthew (Norris), Patrick  (Sarah), Mary (Shelby), and Sandra Russell. Ricky also had 13 grandnieces and grandnephews.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Visitation will be at 10 AM on Friday, March 15, 2024, at Regina Coeli Church, 530 Regina Parkway in Toledo, followed by a funeral Mass at 11 AM. Burial will follow at Resurrection
Cemetery. Donations may be made in Ricky’s name to Community Residential Services, 151 N Michigan St. # 217, Toledo, OH 43604.  Online condolences to

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March 15, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Regina Coeli Church (Regina Parkway, Toledo)

Funeral Mass
March 15, 2024

11:00 AM
Regina Coeli Church (Regina Parkway, Toledo)


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