Mary Ellen Luttenegger
November 14, 1942 – October 7, 2019
Mary Ellen Bugas Luttenegger (MEL), 76, passed away on Monday, October 7, 2019.
She was born in Lander, WY on November 14, 1942. She lived most of her life in Fort Collins, CO, graduating from Fort Collins High School in 1960. MEL was gallantly fighting some kind of mystery illness over the last 12 weeks. Although she seemed to be slowly improving, she died suddenly and unexpectedly of…we don’t know. She always loved a good mystery.
In 1964, Mary Ellen graduated from Loretto Heights College (LHC) with a major in Elementary Education. She made many life-long friends with the women from LHC. During her years there, she began dating Thomas Joseph Luttenegger (Tom) who was attending Regis College across town. She married Tom in Fort Collins, CO on December 29, 1964. He was her best friend and life partner. She worked as an elementary teacher and became a working mom as Tom completed a masters in science degree and medical school. When they moved for his residency to the Naval Hospital Oakland in California, she became a stay at home mom sustaining the family with her nurturing, cooking, and organization. She spent many hours volunteering in her daughters’ schools and with the Hospital Foundation.
MEL was THE BEST grandma to Ben, Luke, and Maya Maria from playing with them on the floor when they were infants to kayaking with them on the lake when they were children to attending their numerous musical performances, swim meets, school plays, etc. She helped them bake cookies and select the best pumpkins at the pumpkin patch. She splurged on shoes for them—sooooo many pairs of shoes over the years. She adored her grandchildren and they, in turn, adored her.
MEL loved to create—in the 70’s, she sewed ever so fashionable dresses for her daughters and enjoyed macramé. By the 90’s she was enjoying craft stamping and creating mixed media journals. During the 00’s, she focused on quilting. Most recently she has enjoyed knitting scarves, socks, and hats. She loved bright, bold, vivid colors—especially the colors of fall.
MEL’s superpowers were showing up for others in times of need and GETTING. THINGS. DONE. Mary Ellen was fiercely loyal, an adventurer, a reader, a mom extraordinaire, and so much more.
Mary Ellen was predeceased by her parents Carl and Grace Bugas. She was also predeceased by her sister, Carol Bugas Pittam. We can’t forget all of the 4-legged family members including Pepper, Sasha, Quincey, Duffy, Bogey, and Cody.
Mary Ellen is, surprisingly, survived by her husband of 55 years, Thomas Joseph Luttenegger. She is survived by daughter Christine Luttenegger Funk and husband Robert Funk along with her two grandsons, Benjamin and Lucas. She is also survived by her daughter Kathleen Luttenegger and granddaughter Maya Maria. She is survived by many other loving relatives including her niece, Lynn Pittam Rosen and family. And, she is survived by her puppy dogs Kai and Koda. All will miss her dearly.
There will be a Vigil with a Rosary on Thursday, October 10, 2019 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 11:00 am with a reception immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation can be made to the Loretto Heights School of Nursing at Regis University.
- Vigil with Rosary Thursday, October 10, 2019
- Funeral Mass Friday, October 11, 2019
- Reception Following the Service Friday, October 11, 2019
Mary Ellen Luttenegger
October 11, 2019
So very sorry, my friend. She was a vibrant light in all of the lives of people who were lucky enough to know her. I’ll miss bumping into you two at various places around town.
October 10, 2019
Dr. Luttenegger and family - I was so very saddened to learn about Mary Ellen's passing. Heaven has gained a very special angel. She was one of the most gracious, kind-hearted, caring ladies I ever met. Always had a smile and so warm and friendly! God bless all of you during this most difficult time. She will always be with you in your hearts and may she shine her everlasting light upon you in the days to come. Sending you lots of hugs and prayers!
October 9, 2019
Tom and Mary invited my wife, Joel, and I to play is a couples member guest at Fox Acres many years ago, but I can remember it as if it was yesterday. Neither of the gals played much golf, but somehow the four of us combined to almost win our flight. We were relaxing after the round and suddenly we were called to the tee for a playoff. We did not realize that we had to compete in a hole by hole elimination playoff in front of many of the members who stayed to watch. It was not a welcome experience for either Mary or Joel, but they found a way to do it gracefully and we ended up with lots of laughter.
October 8, 2019
To donate to the Loretto Heights School of Nursing at Regis University, please contact:
Bonnie J Buschy
Administrative Assistant University Advancement B-16
3333 Regis Blvd., Denver, CO 80221