1945

                  1970

                   2003

                    2012

Dealing with a good number of medical/health issues, I thought it wise to say my “goodbyes” while I can. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not terminal and may live for years! Then again… well, I’d like to make my wishes clear NOW!

At this moment (date of release), I am 70 and (except for the tragedy I caused my good friend Scott Smith and his loved ones) I have lived a very fortunate life. I’d like to exit in an atypical way, with my funeral open only to immediate family, posed with a smile on my face, with the event viewed as a celebration.

Family Photos_014

buzz dad pic

Spread my ashes over the grave of my wonderful parents, Marvin G. Luttrell (WWII veteran and Divisional boxing champ, Selfridge AAFB, MI, never cut, nor knocked down), and Claudia H. Howard-Luttrell (Class leader – but dropped-out in 8th-grade to care for siblings when her mother died) in Cheshire Center – Lindsley Cemetery (Allegan, MI). Attendees may retain a teaspoon of ashes. Please keep the time at grave-side to one (1) hour, with those in attendance informally sharing recollections about my life. No formal eulogy, please!

My objective is to minimize funeral costs, travel expense and burden, and the obligation some may feel to attend funeral ceremonies… when they’d rather be elsewhere ;). I want to be cremated in the least expensive container required by law (a pine box?).

If you are interested in “digitizing” YOUR moments, contact www.everpresentonline.com. There is so much I wanted to know about my parents and grandparents, so I hope those of you who knew me will share your thoughts and memories generously for my kids, grands, and future kin… in a sort of “living” tombstone/obituary. And please be honest… include the bad, the good, the happy, and the sad.

And, since those who know me seem to be dwindling rather quickly, don’t wait… send your thoughts now. Everybody wonders what people might have wanted to say to them AFTER they’re gone; I’d like to cheat a bit. Of course, you CAN wait until after the departure date (DoD) is added. Think about it; this may start a new trend!

Comments
  • Jeff Zonyk says:

    Buzz, you have made a tremendous difference in my life. I will never forget the long talks we had at Olivet about race relations and the struggle that black people incurred. I had and to this day still respect you and the things that you stand for. You opened my eyes to a world that, growing up in Vicksburg, I never knew existed. I want to thank you for taking the time to ‘educate” me and to let you know that you were a “difference maker’ in my life as well as many others. Thank you for being a friend!

    • buzz says:

      Thanks sooo much, Jeff. If the world was populated with many more people as open and concerned as you, it would be a much more peaceful, thus beautiful, place! Bless you, Buzz

    • Ed Retherford says:

      Buzz I feel same as Jeff. I tell my kids about the 60’s all the time and coming from a farming area and living with you, Bobby and Hayden in the house. The discussions we had and just hanging. Plus I tell the kids about a pool hustler! You have had a great life and many more to come. Plus even when you were a toddler you had that shit eating smile.

      • buzz says:

        Hey Ed,
        Yes, those were the days! You were/are a country gentleman, a very decent person and one of the most likable people I can remember. Somehow those days now seem sooo much more stable and optimistic than what our kids and grands are facing today. How the times have changed, indeed!
        But, of course, aging people have been overly worried about the younger generation for THOUSANDS of years. Got to believe they will “work it out…” somehow! Be well old friend.

  • Mardi says:

    You are an amazing father and grandfather. We love hearing all your stories and all the wisdom you share with us. Proud of all your achievements and accolades you’ve touched the lives of so many people all over the world. We love you!

    • buzz says:

      You know you’re my heart, Mardi. So proud of u as mother, wife, and early-childhood consultant! This idea has been w/me for yrs., but took shape when u said Max watched my TV “demo tape” for hrs. at 2/3 yrs – then try to figure out, if I walked in, how I could be “there” and on the screen at the same time. Precious!

  • Vicky Smith Pritchett says:

    when I was a small child I spent a many of day at your parents home and have many a fond memory, I remember me and my brother Blake being at the school yard behind your home and some older kids picking on us , and you came out of the back door and chased them off, you have been my hero ever since, love you with all my heart you and your family have meant a lot to me. Love you.

  • Good Lord do you have a great voice! The site looks great & I love the photos thru the years and there is a lot of material up there. Very very nicely done – thank you for sharing all this.

    • Good lord!!! Just realized I hadn’t responded! Special thanks to you , Scott… for your help with sooo many things from AHA! to editing and “shaping” my Black history booklet on AMAZON, and co-producing the “Song for a New World” project. You are among the brightest, good-hearted, and most interesting people I have ever known! Always, Buzz

  • Tom Curlin says:

    Buzz: You have done so well with your life and left a wonderful legacy for your family and friends. I know you won’t remember this but you almost lost your life when we both went hunting after school. My shot gun had a hair trigger it went off very close to your head. I was horrified and never picked up a gun again. Imagine your life ending that day. As you recall I was at Olivet when your car accident happened with Scott Smith. I remember that Keith Parker (Bullet) was with you that night. I pray that you have a speedy recovery and that you live to be 100. Tom Curlin

    • buzz says:

      Do I remember? Think u bumped a bush w/gun about 3″ fr/my right ear…thought I was deaf! Now, thanks for the good wishes. BTW, wife is from Belmar, NJ, near Asbury Park, where your band,”The Camel Drivers” jammed in summers; they still remember u out East & beyond.and that u once opened for “Three Dog Night,” so close to the “big time!!!” But u took the rt. turn… beautiful family, firm roots, and a lasting fan base… For fans seeking a trip down “memory lane:” http://peachfuzzforest.blogspot.com/2007/09/camel-drivers-you-made-believer-of-me.html Be well, my friend. Very appreciatively, Buzz

  • Barry Harris says:

    It was nice talking to you at 52nd reuion. We did have some good times together in school, after school you left for bigger things in your life, i stayed in Allegan and i just turned 71. I mispelled reunion, not very good on computer. Good luck, see you next year at Hartmans for #53. Barry

  • Dave R. Thompson says:

    The 9th grade at the old Allegan Junior High was a daunting experience for me- to say the least. I am still suffering from PJHT (Post Junior High Trauma). I will never forget ending up with a locker close to yours. You seemed to be the “Most Popular” kid in the school. I was greatly surprised when you greeted me, and you were always very friendly towards me. I am sure you do not remember me asking you how to select and purchase the best baseball glove. You took the time to show me what to look for in a good glove and sent me to Western Auto to buy one. You also encouraged me to try out for the baseball team. While I made the team, I turned out to be a terrible baseball player. But, I had a great ball glove.

    In addition to baseball I will always remember the “Friday Night Lights” we spent on the varsity football team and getting so beat up from Coach Peter’s “Two a day” drills.

    I watched you excel in all sports (including golf) and witnessed you setting a new track record. I was really thrilled when you were recently elected into the Allegan Sports Hall of Fame. Even as a young kid going through high school, you reflected a real sense of class.

    I remember your father as the best automobile mechanic in the area, and all the guys (including me) stopping him to get advise on how to “Tune up” a carburetor.

    I truly hope to see you at the 2015 Class Reunion where we can talk about the old days at Allegan High School.

    The very best regards…..Dave Thompson

    • buzz says:

      WOW! PJHT? Never would have guessed it! And what a memory; brings tears and great memories. Think u were the biggest, strongest on FtBall team, and as qtrbk, I found reliable “refuge fr/the storm” – behind you!!! Again, best to u & Bette with your Polynesian Islands development, and I do hope to see you n ’15! (Also, pls tell Tom Hunter he still owes me for all the baseball gloves I sold for him 😉 .

  • Dinah (Thompson) Howrigon says:

    I remember were in kindergarten together. I moved away to Saugatuck from the 2nd grade through the middle of my 9th grade. Although I missed a lot of years with most of my classmates I remember lots of good things when I came back to Allegan. I always remember you Buzz as a very friendly person, you talked to everyone. I remember how good you were in sports. You were very blessed by God in all sports that you participated in. Jerry has talked about you a lot of times, remembering the things you and he were in together. I am looking forward to seeing you again next at our reunion (by the grace of God). Dinah

    • buzz says:

      It always brings a smile to my face to be reminded that two especially nice people found each other in this crazy world… and made a wonderful life together. From all I know, you and Jerry are a great example of that rather rare collision 😉 All the best to TWO of the best!!! Buzz

  • Michael Silver says:

    Hello Buzz, I enjoyed shared times in HS classes, playing golf a few times at the Orchard Hills course in Shelbyville, MI and playing baseball. I was fortunate to have wonderful male mentors thru my Dad Joe, Uncles Harold, Ray, Marv etc. Dad was always positive about your family and especially your Dad whom he knew pretty well thru the car business. I too have had wonderful life experiences thru my wife’s family and two sons and work. I think it is a good thing to document for your family, your thoughts about various aspects of life including politics and spiritual philosophy. Hope to see you sometime in the future. Take Care! Mike Silver

    • buzz says:

      Thanks, Mike… so glad you like concept of a “Living Obituary.” Memories from family & friends are heartwarming, but most important to me is the “Work Samples” section; with examples of public service projects I feel are of timeless value. Hope, i.e., you take time to watch “The Possible Dream?” As SOME politicians and media hate-mongers increasingly use race to divide our country, consider the value of EVERYONE watching the amazing change those students experienced in just 4 hrs. – boiled down to a 1-hr TV special??? Love to have your feedback. Be well, Buzz

  • Jerry Allocco says:

    Buzz,

    The highlight of the Olivet College re-union for me (2 years ago already) was re-connecting with you, my friend, my teammate, my brother. I have admired you from the day we met! You always had a certain grace and dignity about you, carried out in the midst of the tumultuous 60′! You had an air about you that seemed to say “this too shall pass”. It is obvious from this chronicle of your life that these precious traits have held you in good stead throughout your life and have transformed into gifts to everyone you have touched. You taught me so much more than the “jump hook” Buzz, and, you have proven to me that we are all in this together.

    Jerry Allocco

    • buzz says:

      Jerry, Jerry, Jerry… can’t tell u how much the reunion talk & later call in NJ lifted my spirits! The OC memories give me chills, as do Mike’s stories. But my greatest hope is that u share and comment on the “public service” projects in “Work Samples” w/young folks – “The Possible Dream?” and “Best of the Class” (I believe) are models that sh/be replicated across the country. B-Ball was great… now let’s help improve race relations & promote academic achievement in our schools. Please stay in touch!

  • edward scribner says:

    Hi Buzz,
    I sometimes wonder why people’s journey in life has them meeting or re-meeting in certain ways. I know that over the years we have known each other as business associates and now as friends whose sons share their love for music. Who would believe in a jazz club in Shanghai China would Greg and I come together and get a chance to talk and share times together. I am now, as Greg probably has mentioned, swinging for the fences with my new venture that Greg and Mark may be able to help.
    I have enjoyed this evening going thru your life especially reminding me about your involvement in Black/Afro-American History. I feel blessed in a way that my daughter has been able to have a wonderful husband/son-in-law from the roots of a share-cropper family from all places Arkansas. I am grateful for knowing you and wonderful African Americans but really just people like myself such as Dorethea Jones and her family. Marvin Senior and I had the same dream once that we were both kneeling before a crucifix, kind of dead and looking up at God,and then turning to each other and saying we were always good people and the only difference was the color of our skin.
    I look at what Bob Royster’s son, Scott has accomplished and how he has given back so much in reminding the world that Mr. Latimer was truly a gifted individual and his desires for Black Education and History will be carried on thru the Latimer Education, Inc.Foundation.
    The playing of the bell is not lost on me, the line I remember is For Whom the Bell Tolls, It tolls for me(Hemingway).
    I am happy to have known you all my adult life and will continue to know you and about you thru Greg as we go forward in this life with Music as our soul to gather strength and peace! Ed

    • buzz says:

      Beautiful, Ed! So glad you and Greg got together in China. Amazing!?!? Good/Great luck on your new venture; hear the wine market is booming in China 😉 Great that our musician sons might be valuable assets in this gambit!!!

  • camillia says:

    Hey buzz….I see that you want a song to represent your self. We are not huge artists yet but my sister and I believe in positive music. We would love to do this for you. please respond with your info if you would want this. thank you!

    • camillia says:

      My email address is Madamefirm@gmail.com

      • buzz says:

        Hello Camillia, sorry 4 slo respon. (med. issues). Just to be clear, the goal is NOT to create a song to “….represent your self….” but to serve as a “global theme song.” LOVE TO HAVE YOUR SUPPORT! Pls go to [Reflections] at site and read the info there, then review the entire Kickstarter campaign & u w/understand the project objectives AND why the campaign failed. Pls, pls. share your reactions in the COMMENTS section under REFLECTIONS or WORK SAMPLES… we want to generate broad conversation about individual projects VERSUS responses under the intro, “HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED.” We want visitors to respond to and interact around specific ideas/projects that they might resurrect or take to a higher level… just as YOU r proposing. Just imagine, down the road, YOUR version of the song along with others’ (professional and amateur) listed on YouTube and shared ’round the world to support the proposed “Global Sing Along.” The basic plan is there; you can help make it happen!!! (See the last page of the website for my contact info if u wish… but there is great value in open communication to fuel broad conversation about and participation in this project/concept.

  • Coach Chuck Armitage says:

    Buzz:

    Not sure just where to begin since we have shared so many great stories and events together, especially in the last few years.
    Inducting you into the AHS Hall of Fame has been a real highlight. That night was, as I said, a homecoming and a reconciliation, and it gave me an opportunity to speak of some things that had been on my mind for a long time.
    I had no idea at the time that my Allegan teaching and coaching job would mean so much to me, but I thank the Lord for leading me to a time and place that would be irreplaceable.
    As you and I look back now and see how life can leave some scars, I am so happy that we have become close friends and seem to understand one another sometimes without saying a word.
    As your coach and now friend, I am so proud to have had a small part in your development into such an accomplished, intelligent, and caring person. You always were a leader and a force for integrity in everything you did.
    We will continue to talk and share ideas, stories, and a mutual friendship for many more years and beyond!
    Mary and I wish you much love, always.

    Coach A

    • buzz says:

      Thanks, coach! Don’t know of a coach who has kept up with and done so much for his players AFTER they graduated than you have. You and Mary are wonderful – caring, thoughtful, and “hands on” supportive of the students (not just athletes) you helped over the years. So glad to see you both enjoying good health, happy families, and loyal friends as you continue to inspire even long into retirement. Keep up the great work and know you are loved and appreciated by more than you have time to count. Most appreciatively, Buzz

  • Alex Gershfeld says:

    Hey Buzz, my mom and I often talk about you. I wish we could have had a chance to spend more time together and I would loved to have an opportunity to learn so much more from you. You are an amazing person, a rare person in today’s world. It was an honor to get to know you and I really, really hope some of your incredible decency will rub off on me.

    • buzz says:

      Well, well, Alex… I’ve spent considerable thinking and worrying about you! Thanks for the kind words. Three for you… intelligent, interesting, y un poco loco =(;-o) – the first two preceded by “muy” and you wouldn’t believe me if I didn’t include the third. What’s happening there; looks good on the news. My tank is running kind of low, but would love to reconnect. I still have the eM you opened for me at TG__. Be well and hug Sophie for me!!!

  • Janet zajac says:

    Buzz I met you in grade school at westward school. I think it was second grade we had a teacher that had a parrot. She had us put bird seed in our mouths so the bird could eat out of our mouths. Then in third or fourth grade we had a pet alligator that each kid got to take home for the weekend. The week end before it was my turn Jean Royal took the alligator home and kept it warm by putting it in the oven. I never got a turn because alligator died. I do remember playing softball at recess and lunch time. I wasn’t very good but loved to play. Everyone wanted on your team because you were the best. I remember your parents as being hard workers. As we went to high school you were the best in all sports. You were president of student council. Very smart and sweet man so happy to see you excell in all you did. So happy to be one of your friends.

    • buzz says:

      Hi Janet… OMG, I don’t monitor this site regularly anymore… so sorry for my tardy reply. You mention so much that I remember well, especially the Jean Royal/alligator story; I felt sooo bad for Jean, some kids made fun of him about that. Thanks for your kind words and “snippets” of our early school years. I will always remember you as one of the kindest, most pleasant, and loveliest of classmates. Many memories, even your sister’s marriage to the famous baseball pitcher (;-o) Good to see that life has treated you well, old friend!

  • Mike says:

    Hey Mr. Luttrell:
    Much Respect and Fond Memories from back in the day.
    PS: this website is a bit weird, but helped me send you a message, so you’re off the hook.
    -Mike Sheehan, friend of Greg and fan of Mardi

    • buzz says:

      Hi Mike,
      Thanks for the good wishes. Ever Present put this together when I had heart bypass in (?)’12. Actually feeling pretty good right now. Hope all is well with you! As you probably know, Greg is in China; not sure where Chris and John are these days. Hope you’re all still connected. =(;-o). Best, Buzz

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