Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Charlene Hilda Bailey Lutz died Wednesday, July 19, 2023, at her home in Galveston. She was 77.
Charlene was born Nov. 21, 1945, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Charles and Pauline Bailey. She was the fourth of five children, and the only daughter.
From an early age, Charlene developed a keen sense of compassion for others, and had plans to become a missionary. Those plans changed when she was offered a scholarship for nursing school, and it was then that she realized her true calling.
While working at Columbia Hospital, she met Doreen, who asked her to be a bridesmaid at her wedding. It was at that wedding she met the groom’s brother, Richard Lutz. Three weeks later he showed up on her doorstep in the middle of the night with leftover wedding cake and asked her out. Thus began an almost 4 decades long love affair that ended when Richard died in 2005.
Charlene and Richard married on Valentine’s Day 1969 and moved from Pittsburgh to Baytown, Texas, in early 1970. There they built a family, and provided the launchpad for many of their siblings and parents to relocate from the Steel City.
Charlene was director of nursing for San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown until she left for a job as an occupational nurse with the Exxon Baytown Refinery. She flourished in her nursing career with Exxon and retired as a certified nurse practitioner, having earned a bachelor’s and master’s of nursing from UTMB School of Nursing, all while working full-time and taking care of her household.
In 1998, Charlene and Richard moved to Galveston after falling in love with the city when their daughter, Heidi, moved there after college in 1995. In her 25 years in Galveston, Charlene was an active volunteer in many organizations, including Galveston Historical Foundation, ACCT, Jesse Tree, St. Vincent’s Health, and her church, First Presbyterian. She served on the boards of many of these organizations and was an elder at her church. Charlene also was a member of the UTMB Community Advisory Board.
A woman of faith, Charlene became a lay chaplain through the Community of Hope Lay Chaplain training program. She volunteered with the UTMB Pastoral Care team, visiting with new patients and providing comfort and prayer when requested. She also worked with patients at Moody Neuro at Tideway. Charlene loved this work, and spent countless hours offering her gentle presence with those who needed it.
Charlene lived a life dedicated to improving the lives of others. She created an endowed scholarship in nursing at UTMB in hopes of providing other young nurses-to-be with the opportunity she was given to develop a fulfilling and meaningful career taking care of others.
If you were to sum up her life, it would be as someone who cared for others. Her entire life, whether professionally as a nurse, at home as a wife and mother, or in her community as a volunteer, Charlene believed it was her duty to leave this world a little better than she found it.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband and her four brothers, James, Donald, Howard and Robert Bailey. She is survived by her only child, Heidi Lutz of Galveston; her godson, Keyton Lueb of Rockwall; numerous nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews she adored. She also is survived by a community of her daughter’s friends who often knew her as Mama Lutz, and by countless friends who she considered family.
The family will receive visitors Tuesday, July 25, 2023 from 5-7 p.m. at J. Levy & Termini Funeral Home, 2128 Broadway in Galveston.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 26, 2023 at First Presbyterian Church, 1903 Church Street, Galveston.
Donations may be made in her memory to:
Richard B. and Charlene Bailey Lutz Endowed Nursing Scholarship at UTMB (https://development.utmb.edu/give)
Access Care of Coastal Texas (https://www.accttexas.org)
Partners in Health (https://www.pih.org)
Her presence in this world will be missed.