On Monday, January 24, 2022, Dr. Dallas Denver Lutes, loving husband and father of two, grandfather of four, and great grandfather of nine, passed away at the age of 96.
He was born on July 12, 1925, in St. Louis, Missouri to Margaret and Wilbert Lutes. He grew up in Piedmont, Missouri during the Great Depression. After high school he served in the Army during World War II in Company F of the 414 Infantry Division. Due to being wounded, he was honorably discharged with a Purple Heart. Not long after returning home from the war in 1945, Dallas married his lifelong love, Myldred Merlene Sellers. They moved to Ruston where Dallas entered Louisiana Polytechnic Institute with the goal of obtaining a degree in Biological Sciences. They then moved to Springfield, Missouri where Dallas entered the University of Missouri to obtain a doctorate in Plant Sciences. Dr. Lutes returned to Louisiana Tech University to become a professor and later promoted to Department Head of Botany and Bacteriology. He retired in 1989 but continued to drive weekly to Tech Barksdale (Air Force Base) to teach biology until he was 87 years old.
Dr. Lutes and Merlene raised a son, Charles Preston, and daughter Margaret Anne. They also raised granddaughters, Lori Elizabeth and Lindsay Kristina.
Dr. Lutes demonstrated his huge servant heart in raising his children and grandchildren. He loved to bake cakes for others, particularly his signature desert ‘Fragarian Musa Supreme’ cake. His love of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team steered him into many years of coaching in the Ruston Dixie Baseball League. Bowling and square dancing was another favorite pastime. He was a meticulous Bible scholar, teaching adult Sunday school at John Knox Presbyterian Church where he also served as the treasurer for over 40 years. His quiet, content presence supported many students, friends, and family throughout his lifetime.
Dr. Lutes was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret and Wilbert Lutes, his wife Merlene, and their infant son Edward Lynn. His surviving sister is Icle Crowe of Seattle, Washington. His surviving children are son Preston Lutes and daughter Margaret Anne Slade (Jeff). His grandchildren are Lori Seacrist (Philip), Lindsay Gouedy (Joe), Jonathan Slade (Meggan), and Sara Orth (Dustin). He also had nine great grandchildren to carry on his legacy.
A celebration of his will take place on Thursday, January 27, 2022 at First Baptist Church Ruston. The visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. followed by the service at 2:00 p.m. For those unable to attend in person the service can be viewed at http://firstruston.online.church/ . The graveside service will immediately follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Ruston, LA under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home in Ruston. In lieu of flowers a donation in Dr. Lutes name would be welcomed to Ruston Dixie Baseball Youth Scholarship Fund either by venmo at [email protected] or by mail to 207 North Service Rd E #141 Ruston, LA 71270.
Oline condolences may be extended to the family at www.kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com