Luanne (Ritchie) Metzger, “Grandma LuLu”, 65, of Van Wert, OH, went to join her Lord and Savior at 6:58PM, Saturday April 28,2018, to experience eternal life where she can have the sun on her face and work in her yard with her beautiful flowers. That was her love- Her happy place. She was born June 24, 1952 in Van Wert, OH to Gael R. & Mary L. (Adams) Ritchie who preceded her in death.
She is survived by daughter, Beckie (Metzger) Holdgreve and son-in-law, Tyler; granddaughters, Lilly Gael and Lyla Ray Holdgreve, and Rayana Thatcher; sister, Deb (Brett) Germann; nephew, Jason (Kendra) Allen and their children: Derek, Jenna, Brittany (Tige Rider), Nathan, Benjamin, Jacob, and Rylee; great niece Tilly Ride; great nephew, Braxton Poling; uncle Jim Ritchie as well as and many cousins.
In addition to her parents, Luanne was preceded in death by her brother Danny Ray Ritchie; her nephew Benjamin Ray Allen; as well as many of Lu’s aunts and uncles, including Lucille Knittle, who was like a second mother to Luanne.
Luanne had the amazing ability to make everyone feel cared for, like they were the most important person in the room. She would provide everyone with anything they needed before ever thinking of taking care of her own needs. She loved her family, especially her two beautiful granddaughters Lilly and Lyla, who were the light of her life. She loved her nephews Jason and Ben as if they were her own sons, and she was incredibly proud of Rayana. She loved baking, cooking, and anything she could do outdoors.
She retired after almost 30 years of dedicated service to the Eaton cooperation. During her life she also touched many lives by working as a Teachers ‘Aid at Thomas Edison, We Care day care center, a house manager for the Thomas Edison residential home, and as a medical assistant. She was a member of the woman’s auxiliaries at the American legion, a faithful donor to the St Jude mission, Susan Komen fund, and the Wounded Warrior project. She was extremely proud of the family she raised, her granddaughters, and the amazing friends that have become her extended family. Luanne was an important member of Tyler and Buckie’s village, and helped them both excel in so many ways.
Luanne’s passion was reminding people to be kind to each other, that it does matter how you treat one another. She challenged those around her to “be the change” and influence others to be a better human being. She loved all God’s creatures but most of all her beloved rescue animals Ruby and Bella.
She was humbled by the outpouring of love from her neighbors, coworkers, and friends. She was comforted knowing her family was not alone through this incredibly hard journey, but most of all, that Beckie was not alone. Luanne, even through her battle, wanted to leave this earth reminding everyone to enjoy every moment, be present, and never take for granted how much your kindness and love can change a complete stranger’s life.
She fought her battle with cancer courageously and without complaint. Her incredibly brave soul and fierce spirit never wavered. She was a warrior until the very end, and though her sickness won the battle, Luanne’s spirit won the war, and is at peace.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Special Olympics, Thomas Edison School, or Van Wert Inpatient Hospice Center.
A memorial service will be held at 3 PM on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at Kingsley United Methodist with Pastor Dan Metzger presiding. The celebration of Luanne’s life will continue after the service with a meal at the church. You are invited to share experiences and stories during this gathering.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the service from 2 to 3 pm.
Condolences can be shared at www.alspachgearhart.com.
Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements.