GAMBIER — John K. Lutton, 59, of Gambier died unexpectedly early Sunday morning, May 10, 2009, at Knox Community Hospital.
He was born in Tokyo, Japan, on July 11, 1949, the son of John Bernard and Kazuko Lutton. John spent his early years traveling with his father, who was in the military, taking him from Germany, California, and then to Washington. It was there he met his Mom, Olive Lutton who helped shape his teen years.
He graduated magna cum laude from Pacific Lutheran University in 1971 and married his wife of 38 years, Roberta (Beck) Lutton, a few days before graduation.
From there he and Roberta traveled to Purdue where he earned his doctorate in biochemistry, and became the father of John “Michael” Lutton, born Nov. 6, 1974.
John’s first love was his family — both immediate and extended. In 2005, when his son Michael married Kristy, he became the extremely proud grandparent of his “special person” Mary Elizabeth Lutton.
John had a natural gift for teaching. John joined Kenyon College as a professor of chemistry in 1980. While there, he co-founded the college’s neuroscience program and spent a sabbatical as a research associate at MIT’s Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He was a leader in applying technology to teaching, winning an Academic Computing Award in 1991, and creating one of Kenyon’s first departmental Web pages. Long involved in preprofessional advising, John also served as a mentor to numerous Summer Science Scholars. But even outside the classroom he continued to show his vast knowledge by teaching everyone where-ever he went.
John’s love for God was constantly demonstrated in his life. He was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church where he served in numerous positions including congregational president.
In the community his love of helping others was evident in everything he did. Earlier in this life, he was a youth soccer coach, chaperoned the local high school choir, tutored students in the sciences, volunteered at Wiggin Street Elementary School, and was a local campaign volunteer for President Obama’s campaign. No task was too small or big, and he made it his lifelong goal to make everyone’s life better.
John is survived by his wife, Roberta (Bobby); son, John “Michael” Lutton (Kristy), granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth Lutton; father, John B. Lutton; brothers, Robert Bernard (Rhona) Lutton and William Arthur (Crystal) Lutton; stepbrother, John Lutton; and stepsister, Colleen (Al) Husch. John has many niece and nephews and great-nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his mother, Olive Lutton, who died Sept. 9, 2008.
Friends may call Thursday from 1 to 3 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home, 619 E. High St., Mount Vernon, OH 43050. A funeral service will be held on Friday at 10 a.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 170 Mansfield Ave., Mount Vernon, OH 43050. A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. in Oak Grove Cemetery in Gambier. Pastor Mark Wildermuth will be officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Faith Lutheran Church or to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 163549, Columbus, OH 43216. This obituary and guest registry are online at www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.
The Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of John K. Lutton.