James "Jay" Joseph Lutey, 58, died May 31, 2011, at his home in Painesville, after a 17-month battle with a brain tumor.
Jay was born Sept. 27, 1952, in Ironwood, Mich., the son of James H. and Jacqueline (England) Lutey.
Jay attended Ironwood schools and graduated from Luther L. Wright High School with the Class of 1970 on the same day, sparks flew between him and the girl who became the love of his life.
Jay attended Gogebic Community College, and married his sweetheart, Teresa M. Vizanko, Feb. 2, 1974, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Ironwood.
Jay and Teresa have two daughters, Amanda and Sarah. Jay went on to earn a bachelor of science degree in mining engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1977.
He and his family moved to White Pine, Mich., where Jay worked as senior mine planning engineer and ground control supervisor for the White Pine Copper Company.
While in White Pine, Jay helped coach the high school girls track team and played on the Greyhounds men's basketball team and in a men's softball league.
In 1983, Jay and his family moved to Colorado, where Jay worked as a senior mining engineer at an oil shale facility in Parachute, Colo. He earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Denver in 1986.
He and his family loved exploring the mountains through four-wheeling, camping, hiking and cross-country skiing. Jay enjoyed attending his daughters' school and sport events and worked as a volunteer with the Parachute Fire Department.
The Lutey family returned to Ironwood, Mich. in 1991, while Jay worked as a senior mine planning engineer and project manager for the Copper Range Company in White Pine. He served on the board of the Wolverine Nordic Ski Club.
Jay and Teresa moved to Pardeeville, Wis., in 1996, when Jay began working for Unimin Corporation in Portage as a plant superintendent and later as a maintenance supervisor. While living in Pardeeville, Jay and Teresa belonged to St. Mary of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church.
In 2008, Jay and Teresa moved to Painesville, and Jay worked as the manager of technical services for the Morton Salt Company Fairport Mine. They attended St. Cyprian's Parish in Perry. Jay appreciated the support of Mark Mitchell general manager and his co-workers at Morton, especially during the last 17 months.
Jay credited a strong work ethic and his willingness to learn for helping him advance in his career, plus great advice and friendship from his mentors, including Brian McGunegle, Joe Maher, Bob Niemela, Gary Verbovanec and the late Jake Moll.
Jay's hobbies included photography, cross-country skiing, bicycling, reading and golf. He loved spending time with his grandson, who dubbed him "Buppa."
Jay enjoyed getting together with his family and friends. An avid Green Bay Packers fan, he treasured the memory of sneaking into Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans during the fourth quarter with his friend, Greg Loreti. Jay loved bird hunting in October with his good friend, Dave "Swede" Johnson; brother-in-law, Bruce Harma; his grandson; and his dogs. He was a member of the Finnish Heritage Museum of Fairport Harbor, Oh.
Jay said he considered himself very blessed because of the family and friends in his life.
He will be greatly missed for his intellect, his wit, his honesty and drive to succeed, but most of all for his loyalty, laughter and his love.
Survivors include his wife, Teresa (Vizanko) Lutey of Painesville; daughters, Amanda Lutey of Beaver Dam, Wis., and Sarah Lutey of Westfield, Ind.; grandson, Jace Lutey of Beaver Dam, Wis.; sister, Jackie Lutey; mother-in-law, Ethel Vizanko, all of Ironwood, Mich.; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Jeanne Olson, Tom and Chris Vizanko, John Vizanko, Mary McClure, Ann Margaret Skaarhaug, Janet and Bruce Harma, Joe and Maunia Vizanko, Ally Vizanko, Laura Vizanko and Carol Vizanko; many cousins, nieces, nephews, wonderful friends; and his Gordon Setters, Missy and Gabby.
Jay was preceded in death by his mother, Jacqueline (England) Lutey in 1982; father, James H. Lutey in 1997; his father's companion, Ileana Babich; sister, Kim Lutey in 1973; father-in-law, Tom Vizanko; sister-in-law, Kathy Brunke; several brothers-in-law; his good friend, Fran Paoli; and his beloved dog, Katie.
"We want to thank all of our family, friends and neighbors for their love and support."
When speaking of his final wishes, Jay asked that memorials be made to Gogebic Community College Foundation, E4946 Jackson Road, Ironwood, MI 49938, Wolverine Nordic Ski Club, 350 W. Midland Ave., Ironwood, MI 49938 or Hospice of the Western Reserve, 300 E. 185th St., Cleveland, OH 44119-1330.
Memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday June 25, 2011, at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Parish, 108 South Marquette St., Ironwood, Mich., where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the Mass.
Arrangements are entrusted to Brunner Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Mentor.