Jack Lutz, educator in U.S., overseas

Jack Lutz
Jack Lutz
Posted: July 04, 2014

Jack Lutz, 92, of Mount Laurel, an educator in the Philadelphia area and abroad, died Sunday, June 29, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital of a subdural hematoma.

Dr. Lutz taught in Philadelphia public schools, then joined the Plymouth Whitemarsh School District as principal of three elementary schools. When Plymouth Whitemarsh expanded to become the Colonial School District, he was named assistant superintendent for curriculum.

As the Philadelphia suburbs grew, he oversaw the design and construction of new schools, and for 10 years, recruited and hired teachers. During this period, he received a doctorate in education from Temple University, where he had been an undergraduate years earlier.

After serving as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), he began an overseas career.

He was headmaster of the American Community School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and then became a curriculum expert for the U.N. Development Program there.

He helped create the College of Education in Abraka, Nigeria, now one of Africa's largest universities, and a college of education in Bumumbu, Sierra Leone. On retiring from the U.N. in 1996, Dr. Lutz - then in his 70s - joined the Peace Corps and taught in Poland.

After returning to the United States, Dr. Lutz remained active in education. He served on Temple's alumni association board, and into his 90s participated in the New Jersey Education Department mentorship program.

He also taught at Adath Emanuel's Lifelong Learning Center in Mount Laurel. At various times, he served as president of Congregation Or Ami in Lafayette Hill, and executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Burlington County.

In his early years, Dr. Lutz was an accomplished cartoonist. His work appeared in several publications. He supplemented his income with a vaudeville act, touring the East Coast with a comedy "chalk talk" routine, and appeared on TV.

He was born in Allentown to immigrant parents. The family moved to Philadelphia, where he attended public schools and joined the Boy Scouts. At age 18, when World War II broke out, he enlisted in the Army and served with its Air Corps in the Aleutian Islands.

His family said he served in Special Services as a disc jockey and announcer on Armed Forces Radio.

Dr. Lutz was married to Paz Lutz, a Fulbright scholar from the Philippines he met in Africa when she was teaching in Nigeria, and who served with him in the Peace Corps in Poland.

He had been divorced from Mae Goldstein Lutz, a former social worker and jeweler with stores in Philadelphia, Wynnewood, and Melbourne, Australia. She died in 2011.

In addition to his second wife, he is survived by two sons, Barry and Philip; stepchildren Joy Palao, Carol Anonuevo, Tito Medel, Cherie Scillia, and Gina Pastrana; and five grandchildren.

Services were Wednesday.

Donations may be made to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties, 100 Dobbs Lane, Suite 202, Cherry Hill, N.J. 08034.

Condolences may be offered at www.plattmemorial.com.



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