Carole Linn Lutes, age 79, of Chesire, CT passed away on Thursday, September 22, 2022. She was the long-term partner of Richard Minton. Carole was born on October 12, 1942 in San Luis Obispo, CA, to the late Elton Zehr and Mildred Zehr Ward.
Carole was a Reading Specialist and Division Leader at Dodd Middle School in Cheshire for many years. She was the Dodd Teacher of the Year in 1989-1990. She created a language arts curriculum centered around independent reading. “Book Bistro” inspired a love of reading in hundreds of students. She also was a key member of the Blue Ribbon School Committee which resulted in Dodd’s national recognition for excellence. After her retirement, she embraced her love of reading as a volunteer in a literacy program (Books for Babies) for new mothers at Yale New Haven Hospital. She was fervent in her desire to see her grandchildren benefit from this passion by selecting age-appropriate books for them at every opportunity.
Her love of travel, music and sports took her to wonderful places and events. World Series games, NFL games and season tickets to UCONN football were events she cherished. River cruises in Europe, summers in her beloved cottages in Maine and winter vacations in Palm Springs, California were all on her annual calendar. Broadway theatre was her passion and a Broadway Blitz (3 shows in 2 days) was not uncommon. Goodspeed, the Bushnell, Hartford Stage and the Schubert were all theaters that she loved and attended with great frequency.
Carole was tremendously proud of her children who followed her passion for living in their careers, Erica, in Performing Arts and Education and Devin, in Sports.
Carole loved to play golf and introduced Dick to the game they played together for years. She loved her summer vacations in Maine where she turned two cabins on a lake into beautiful homes. This gift to the family is part of the legacy that Carole leaves for all of us.
She had a passion for gardening and an extraordinary knowledge of plants and their placement. She used this ability in her Landscaping position at Stonegate Homes where she lived. Every plant, shrub and tree was in its proper place. It was a skill and passion we all admired.
She was a volunteer at heart and contributed her efforts at the Shubert Theater, the Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament and Yale’s Early Literacy program for new Mothers.
Carole loved her immediate and extended family. When she met Dick, her extended family grew substantially. Holiday gatherings were fun filled events. Carole hosted Thanksgiving dinner each year. This was a sit-down dinner for 60 or more where each person had a seat and a place setting where everything matched. That was Carole at her best.
Carole was a woman of enormous integrity. Honesty and truthfulness were traits she admired and looked for in her closest friends. She was a perfectionist at home and loved to entertain as it displayed her devotion to etiquette and style. Even tailgating at football games was an opportunity to display her talent in setting an elegant table. With Carole there were no shortcuts to good taste, manners and decorum.
Her grandchildren were the center of her world. She was particularly proud of Elena and Isabella as they displayed their talents on varsity teams in Simsbury. Dante was the center of her attention as she loved everything about him and could not wait to be with him wherever she could. Dick’s family added another 7 grandchildren to her world and she loved each one of them for their uniqueness and spirit. G’Ma, as she was called, will be missed by each one of them.
She leaves behind her son, Devin Richard Lutes of Lake Wylie, SC, her daughter, Erica Bontatibus and her husband, Rick of Weatogue, CT; her partner, Richard Minton and his children, Rich Minton and his wife Brittany, Chris Minton and his wife Emily, Greg Minton and his wife Kate, and Stephanie Monteith and her husband Matt. She also leaves her loving grandchildren, Dante, Isabella, Elena, Eleanor, Lindsay, Carrie, Camden, Mae, Scarlett, and Caroline; and her sister, Terry Joerger.
Family and friends are invited to pay their respects on Wednesday, September 28, 2022 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Alderson-Ford Funeral Home, 615 South Main St., Cheshire, CT. A Funeral Service will be celebrated on Thursday, September 29, 2022 at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, 111 Church Dr., Cheshire, CT. (Please meet directly at church). Memorial contributions may be made to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, 555 Long Wharf Drive, New Haven, CT 06511 or online below.
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
4:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)
Alderson-Ford Funeral Homes - Cheshire
Thursday, September 29, 2022
11:00am - 12:00pm (Eastern time)
First Congregational Church of Cheshire