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Pratt Joseph Lutz


Pratt Joseph Lutz’s Life Story

Pratt was born in Canton Mississippi where he grew up.  He was tall, thin, athletic, and loved sports.  In High School he was a star Running Back and Punter.  He was also on the basketball, baseball, and track and field teams.  As a boy, he enjoyed hunting squirrel’s in the woods with his single shot 12 gauge shotgun once bagging 12 out of a single nest one morning.  He would bring his quarry home for his mother to prepare a wild game meal.  Pratt enrolled at LSU University where he joined the football team for a semester.  He left LSU and enlisted in the Air Force in September of 1950 in Columbus Ms.  After serving Stateside for about a year he was transferred to the RAF Lakenheath air force base in England which was close to the town Thetford.

While stationed in England, Pratt met the love of his life Elfi who was a beautiful, young kindergarten teacher from Alpen Germany.  They met at a café in Thetford where Elfi and one of her girlfriends were chatting.  Pratt approached their table and asked Elfi if she would go out with him.  Her girlfriend thought this was a bad idea and urged Elfi not get involved with this G.I.  Elfi did not take her friend’s advice.  Pratt and Elfi were married later on April 12, 1952.  Pratt and Elfi had four children, Michael, Helen, Robert, and Ronald.  Michael and Helen were born in England while Pratt was stationed there.  During this time, they visited Elfi’s childhood home in Germany.  Elfi’s family adored the children and their handsome athletic American father.

Pratt was transferred back to MacDill AFB in Tampa in 1954.  But not long after returning to MacDill AFB, Pratt was reassigned to the Thule AFB in Greenland where he was stationed for one year.  During this time Elfi and the children stayed in Canton, Mississippi near Pratt’s mother and his childhood home.  Pratt did not like being away from his young family and didn’t like cold Greenland very much.  After returning from Greenland, Pratt rented a Red Ball semi-trailer truck and drove it from Canton back to MacDill AFB with all the family’s belongings.  The young family lived in base housing at MacDill AFB for a time and the older children attended school at Tinker Elementary on the base.  While still at on base housing, there third child Robert was born.  Later Pratt and Elfi rented a house off base in Tampa.  Pratt and Elfi’s fourth child Ronald was born soon after Pratt returned from Greenland.

Pratt and Elfi bought a house in the new Town and Country subdivision in 1960.  Pratt and Elfi continued to live in this same house ever after.  They joined the Town and Country swimming pool club and enrolled all of their children on the swim team.  Pratt rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant in the USAF prior to retiring from the military in 1961 on a partial disability.  Pratt then began his employment with the Tampa Tribune Newspaper as a delivery driver and shipping platform worker.  He worked night shifts for many years delivering the morning newspaper all over the state.  To support his family he also held two part time jobs for a time, one at a cardboard packaging warehouse and another stocking greeting cards.  Pratt retired from the Tribune in 1991.

His personal enjoyment included playing Hearts, square dancing, flea markets, fishing with his sons, watching football games, crossword puzzles, country drives and listening to country music and taking the kids to swim meets.  He liked to talk college football with other fans whom he met regularly at a local coffee shop.  Weekend trips to Indian Rocks Beach, Clearwater Beach, Bradenton Beach, Lake Ellen, Philippe Park or Nobleton Florida with access to the Withlacoochee river happened almost every weekend for years.  He also liked to hike around the Rocky Point Golf course and collect golf balls.  Later in life he loved to take his grandchildren to beaches, bowling, and to the ice cream shop.  He was a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather who put everyone’s desires ahead of his own.  He would always offer to help anyone in need and always strived to do the right thing.

If you knew him you liked him because he was such a good man and pleasant to be around.

Obituary

Pratt Joseph Lutz ,91, of Tampa FL., passed away April 3, 2021 due to multiple complications associated with old age.  Pratt was born on Dec. 20, 1929 to Victor Pratt Lutz and Nell Walker Lutz in Canton Ms.  After graduating from Canton high school he joined the Air Force in 1950.  After serving about one year stateside he was transferred to England.  In 1951 he met Elfi Janssen and they wed the following year.  He and Elfi have four children, Michael Pratt Lutz, spouse Mary Ellen Wolf, Helen Rose Lutz Mann, spouse Doran E Mann, Robert William Lutz and Ronald Keith Lutz

Pratt was predeceased by parents Nell Walker Lutz and Victor Pratt Lutz, Sisters Mary Nell Lutz Hansen, Sr Helen Marie (Katy) Lutz and is survived by brother Robert Edward Lutz, sisters Joann Lutz Meredith, Carol Lutz Witmer, and all four of his children and grandchildren, Eric Ryan Mann, Jason Brian Mann, Brittany Lauren Mann, Ariana Wolf, Nicholas Lutz and great grandchildren Alice Hayama Mann, Adeline Grace Mann, Coraline Wolf Griffin, and Caden Wolf Griffin.  Pratt was a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather who put everyone’s desires ahead of his own.  He would always offer to help anyone in need and always strived to do the right thing.  If you knew him you liked him because he was such a good man and pleasant to be around.

 

Pratt funeral mass is at 1o:00 AM, Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at the Incarnation Catholic Church, 8220 West Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, FL 33615 with Father Mike, to officiate.  The family will receive friends at the church from 9:00 AM until service time.  His burial will be at Florida National Cemetery, 9205 SW  102nd Avenue, Bushnell, Florida  with Father Tom Dieter, to officiate on Friday, April 16, 2021 starting at 2:00 PM.

 

 

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  • Brittany Mann says:

    My Opa was always so kind to me, I remember I enjoyed watching cartoons with him as a child, as a teen and as an adult I enjoying watching documentaries with him. I love him dearly and will miss him always.

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