With family and friends by his side, Daniel F. Luttgens passed away on October 28, 2018 at the age of 69 in Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, Virginia.
Dan was born on September 15, 1949, in Elizabeth, NJ, to Frederick and Helen Luttgens. Dan spent much of his childhood boating and sailing on the New Jersey waterways near Elizabeth. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served a distinguished tour of duty performing navigation duties on the USS Francis Marion. After his service in the military, Dan married Maria Niemczyk and they raised three children.
Dan worked hard as an electrician and mechanic. At home, he was always tinkering, fixing, building, and learning. He loved the water, and was an avid mariner - having rebuilt, maintained, and enjoyed a number of boats continuously for over 50 years. Dan also enjoyed amateur astronomy. He built and used telescopes to view and capture images of the planets and stars.
Dan's health took a hit in 2001 when he had a major heart attack. He recovered after a few years, once he decided to take charge of his health. Over the course of those years, Dan went from walking 30 feet to walking 30 miles. He loved being out on a dirt trail in the winding woods. When boat ownership became a little too much, Dan was able to enjoy several years of amazing vacations with his family, including trips to Hawaii and Italy, and cruises in Alaska, the Caribbean, Greece and Turkey.
Sadly, mother nature caught up with Dan. Remnants of the wounds he tried to heal somehow came back and in 2016 he suffered a stroke that initially left him unable to speak. Dan went to speech therapy for two months and regained much of his speech. He enjoyed nearly three more years of life, still doing walks in the park and recently loved spending time with his Grandson, until God called him home in October of 2018.
Dan is survived by his wife, Maria, and three children, son Jason, and daughters Valerie and Jennifer, and one grandson, Joshua.
A memorial service will be held at St. Elizabeth's Church in Linden, NJ, on Saturday, November 10th, at 930 AM. Interment with military honors to follow at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you please donate to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. You can donate online at https://action.nmcrs.org/page/contribute/donate2015 or call (800)-654-8364. Online, for "This contribution is", select "In Memory of" and enter Daniel F. Luttgens in the Person To Be Memorialized. You can also specify firstname.lastname@example.org for the contact e-mail address.