Patricia Lutz, 94, passed away on Jan. 8, 2018, at Genesis in Whitefish, where she spent the last two months of her life.
Pat was born June 10, 1923, in Fairmont, Minnesota, to Leonard and Pearl Raverty. Childhood ended abruptly at the young age of 11 when she lost her mother and then her father at 13. She and her three sisters were raised by her grandparents and their beloved Aunt Orlene. Pat attended Our Lady of Good Counsel Boarding School; after graduating, she began nursing school but soon realized this was not for her. It was during these early years that Pat’s beautiful lifetime faith in and love for Jesus was formed.
Pat arrived in grand style by train in East Glacier Park during the summer of 1945 to work at the lodge then owned by the Great Northern. She instantly captured the heart of Ray “Buzz” Lutz, who saw her disembark from the train that fateful day. They were married Jan. 20, 1946.
They enjoyed a wonderful life together and East Glacier became a social hub filled with elaborate dinner parties, hiking, fishing, bridge games, and her notorious walks. All was done with a great attention to fashion and flare.
She and Buzz loved to travel, visiting family and friends, exploring much of this country and abroad.
In 1954 they bought Mike’s Place and expanded it many times creating a legacy that became the Glacier Village Restaurant and Villager Steak House. It remained in the family and touched many lives until 2008.
Pat ran the front of the house, instilling in all her great appreciation of fine desserts, food and wine (in that order). Many employees returned season after season and became well trained in the Pat Lutz school of fine etiquette, developing great skills in math and good work ethics.
In 1968 they began to spend winters on Big Mountain where Buzz was head of the food service for the next 25 years. Skiing became Pat’s new passion and she enjoyed it avidly until the ripe age of 79!
If one didn’t see Pat skiing they would most likely see her walking. She was born legally blind so walking was always her main mode of transportation and she often walked from the top of Big Mountain into the town of Whitefish, hence one of her many names, “Lady who walked on the Mountain.”
In the summer she would pick wildflowers for the tables in the restaurant and often shared special time with her grandchildren and friends evoking their help. She knew the name of every flower and she was often referred to as “The little white haired lady that picked flowers.”
She loved nature and all of God’s creations and it became her mission that this beauty not be spoiled by littering. She was not bashful about counseling others to do the same. This became her new title and the one of which she was most proud, “The Garbage Lady of East Glacier.”
In 2006 she moved to the Mountain View Manor in Whitefish, where she was very pleased to receive her final title, “The Garbage Lady of Whitefish.”
Most people will remember seeing her tooling along in her walker picking up litter, sometimes with an entourage of kids she was training for the next generation! Her family was always amazed how this legally blind women who couldn’t see to recognize people, could see a speck of garbage on the ground!
She was always so proud of her Irish heritage and celebrated it to the max year around. March was always heralded in with great fanfare — decorations, parades, Irish food, and the wearing of green all month! In fact she drew her last breaths hearing that St. Patrick himself might possibly be at the pearly gates alongside Jesus, Buzzy Baby and other loved ones to welcome her into God’s Kingdom!
Pat’s beautiful faith inspired many and it was the essence of her very being. She so loved her heavenly Father and appreciated all that he created in nature.
For many, a glorious sunset, a full moon, the stars, mountains, wild flowers or the color green will forever be a reminder of this beautiful lady and a call to be grateful for all that God created. Hopefully we will all be more aware of taking care of this beauty and never see a piece of litter and not pick it up. She would want her legacy to be: Keep it clean, green and eat ice cream!
Pat was preceded in death by her beloved “Buzzy Baby,” infant son Steven, parents Leonard and Pearl Raverty, sisters Marvis Fowler and Shiela Appel, granddaughter Shellie Little Dog, Aunt Orlene Raverty and stepmother Margaret Raverty
She is survived by her children, Maureen (Wheeler) Little Dog, Peggy Lutz, and Paul Lutz; grandchildren, Cammie Grace, Matt (Debbie) Little Dog, Lisa Little Dog, Chip Little Dog, Nathan Little Dog, Tricia Little Dog and Nick Little Dog; great-grandchildren, Alex Little Dog, Anie Larsen, Sophie, Colton and Auston Little Dog, Maddie Grace, Malakai Little Dog; great-great-grandchildren, Leo, Laki and Koda Zitnik; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.
The family will always be grateful to the wonderful staff that loved her and took such amazing care of her at Genesis.
A memorial service will be held for her on March 15 (in honor of her special month) at 11 a.m. at St. Charles Borromeo in Whitefish.
A celebration of life will be held June 8 in East Glacier Park.
In lieu of flowers, the family desires that donations be made to the Cursillo Movement in Browning, as it was very near and dear to her heart. Please send to Little Flower Parish, Cursillo Movement Attn.: Father Ed Kohler, Browning MT 59417.