Letter: With faith and fellowship, Fred Luttrell inspired
The 112-word obituary chronicling the lineage of farmer Fred Luttrell would have satisfied Fred. Short, complete in family detail, to the point; No big deal. But his position between his parents and great-great-grandchildren doesn't begin to describe who, to many of us, was one of the kindest and most generous Christian men we've ever known.
Just yesterday I mentioned the loss to a pastor friend who hadn't heard Fred died. He immediately described a time when he rented a house to two old, broken-down fellas. He knew the old-timers had little money and lowered the rent as much as he could afford. Every month Fred came by and paid their rent until they went into fulltime care.
Fred Luttrell raised strawberries by the 1,000-acre plot all over Yankton, possibly going back before the times of Lincoln. Early mornings in June, children were getting up all over Columbia County and beyond, some 2,800 of us, to be scattered over the hills and valleys to pick some of the nicest berries ever raised in Oregon. The rows were free of weeds, the berries were large, the row bosses were strict and the cashiers always had money. By the late 1960s it was a smooth operation.
The most treasured ice cream bars ever eaten by thousands were purchased by Fred at the end of some of the hottest days at two tiny Yankton stores on our way home. The buses were quiet except for the strained sound of the old motors as we savored the quenching, cool flavor of those bars. I remember wondering at the time how in the world those tiny stores had thousands of frozen bars at the ready.
Then there was the big feast at the end of the harvest. Hamburgers, chips, salads, beans and pop; thousands of us eating around the tables Fred had set up for us. It was Columbia County's own little Italian grape harvest celebration every year.
Many have done business with, worked beside, or known Fred's children. They are a credit to his name, to his manner, to his faith. And Fred had committed faith.
His son Tim explains Fred's resolution early in life to follow the teachings of Christ with every word, every decision. Fred loved the inspiration and direction of the Bible, particularly the straightforward teachings regarding attitudes, values and purity found in Ephesians, chapter four.
We would do well ourselves to honor the life of Fred Luttrell by reconsidering the Resurrection and humble teachings of Jesus Christ. Fred's Lord. Fred's Savior. Wayne Mayo