Elnora B. (Custis) Lutz, 99, of Anamosa and Solon, died on May 5, 2014, just a few months short of reaching the century mark. She had lived with her daughter in Solon who lovingly cared for her for nearly six years. She previously had been a life-long resident of Anamosa.
Funeral Services were held May 10 at the Goettsch Funeral Home, Anamosa, with interment in the Shilo Cemetery, Hiawatha. Lowell Klinefelter officiated at the services. Thoughts, memories and condolences may be left at goettschonline.com. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established.
Elnora is survived by three children, Janet (Jim) Henderson of Ely, Barbara (Rich) Pazdernik of Solon, and Richard (Charolette) Lutz of Oelwein. There are 13 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great grandchildren. Also surviving is her sister, Esther Otto of Iowa City, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Clarence in 1995, her brother Everett Custis, and her sister, Micky Parsons.
Elnora was born Sept. 24, 1914, in Olin, the daughter of William L. Custis and Garnet B. Tarbox Custis. She lived in Olin initially and then moved to Anamosa as a young child. She attended the Anamosa schools, graduating in 1932, and Iowa State Teachers College, where she earned a purple arrow for her academic achievements. She taught in a country school in Olin for a short time before she married Clarence W. Lutz of Marion on Dec. 22, 1934. They lived in rural Anamosa where Clarence built the home they lived in for 60 years on property he had purchased from his father. She remained in that home until she got cancer in 2008, and moved to Solon. During World War II, Clarence was drafted into the U.S. Army and was gone for two years. Elnora milked a cow, raised chickens, and fished in the nearby Wapsipinicon River to take care of their family while he was gone. Her father brought wild game and goat’s milk to help out. She taught several grandsons how to clean fish, squirrels and rabbits. She was an avid gardener, always having a huge garden and taking pride in preserving most of the produce. Many people came to our home to pick up asparagus, rhubarb, grapes, or to get cuttings of many of her plants. Later on, Elnora helped Clarence with the orchard he put in during the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Living so close to the land reinforced Elnora’s faith in God. Elnora taught us her skills and knowledge, not only by words, but also by example. She was a faithful minister of the Anamosa Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses for many years. She was proud and happy to proclaim her faith to anyone who would listen and left an amazing example of how to live a happy and productive life.