Dr. Athey R. and Veronica S. Lutz had a lasting impact on the Mid-Ohio Valley through their involvement in charitable and service organizations in our community.
Dr. Athey R. Lutz began his medical practice as an orthopedic surgeon in 1937 and dedicated fifty years of his life to the Parkersburg area until his retirement. Throughout his lifetime, Dr. Lutz had a special concern for the advancement of crippled children. He played a key role in the creation of the Wood County Society for Crippled Children and Adults, where he participated actively on the Board of Directors for nearly 35 years. The Crippled Children's Division of the WV Department of Welfare gave him the Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Lutz also was, for many years, a member of the Board of Directors of St. Joseph's Hospital, and he served on the board of the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation from 1969-1971.
Like her husband, Veronica Lutz also was committed to helping people within the community. Mrs. Lutz's involvement in the community was extensive. She was the first West Virginian to belong to the American Association of Social Workers. She served on advisory boards of the State Department of Public Welfare, American Red Cross, Community Service Council, Wood County Youth Association, Wood County Board of Education, Parkersburg Day Nursery, and the Junior League of Parkersburg. She was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.
Their lives touched many people and continue to do so today through the Dr. Athey and Veronica Lutz Fund of the PACF. This Fund is an unrestricted fund, enabling the Foundation to use the Fund's earnings in response to the ongoing and changing charitable needs of the community.
A recent $10,000 grant from the Dr. Athey and Veronica Lutz Fund and $5,000 grant from the Dennie G. Wolfe and Marie R. Wolfe Fund of the PACF helped build the framework for another Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley Restore in our region.
"Having flexible funding made it easier for the [Habitat] board to invest in market data, do our homework, and help us narrow our search. We're better positioned now to open a second store in 2023," said Rachel Valencia, Habitat for Humanity of the MOV's Board President.
Income generated from the current Habitat for Humanity of the MOV ReStore located in Vienna, WV helps Habitat for Humanity of the MOV serve area families, including a Parkersburg family set to get a new home next year.
After qualifying to become a Habitat homeowner, the mother of the family worked with Habitat to build a home that will meet her child's needs. Her daughter was diagnosed with a degenerative disease for which there is no cure. The home the family is renting now is not conducive to the daughter's needs. The bathroom door is too narrow to fit a wheelchair, leaving her mother to physically carry her.
"We need room to move medical equipment and space to care for my daughter. This home will make it easier for my family every day," said this future Habitat home owner.
Even years after their passing, Veronica and Dr. Athey Lutz are supporting the community and causes they cared most about during their lifetimes. What a precious gift to give.