A Life Lived: Robert Luttrell was a special person to friends, family

Published 8:02 am Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Robert Luttrell was one of those people who probably never made the headlines, not even when he died. He never ran for office or held an office. He was just an ordinary fellow, who went to work every day, was a good husband, father, and friend, and experienced the wonder and marvel of an ordinary life.

Robert died June 13 at the age of 64 after a bout with lung cancer.

Robert was  a “Blackbottom” boy, having grown up on Roan Street, and after his marriage to Margaret Hicks lived there another eight or nine years. “It was one of our favorite places to live,” said Margaret.

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Robert worked at Snap-on Tools and later in shipping and receiving at A.Y. McDonald. “He had a lot of good friends at both places.

“He was a daddy’s boy growing up. His father, Gene “Popeye” Luttrell, was for many years janitor at East Side School and Robert often talked about helping him after school,” Margaret shared.

“Some might think Robert lived a real boring life, but he was just happy staying at home, going to work and church, eating out, and meeting up with friends. He enjoyed yard work and hanging out with the neighbors,” said Margaret. “He was one of those people who didn’t have to be entertained or doing something all the time. He was just happy being who he was.”

Robert enjoyed home cooking, especially gravy and homemade biscuits. “He was the biscuit maker at our house. He made good biscuits. He learned from the best — his moma,” said Margaret.

“He liked spaghetti with homemade sauce. Like everything else, Robert enjoyed just a simple meal, nothing elaborate,” said Margaret.

“Robert was a good man, kind and accommodating. He often told me, ‘Margaret, if the Lord puts it on your heart to do something or give something, go do it. That’s between you and Him and keep it that way.’ He never believed in tooting your own horn,” his wife shared.

Friends and neighbors remember him with fondness and anything but ordinary. “He was kind and always there if you needed him. He was a very giving person and we are going to miss him,” a neighbor shared.

Robert’s hobby, if he had one, was working on old cars and NASCAR. “He never went to any of the races, but he enjoyed watching NASCAR races on television, and talking NASCAR with his friends. He also enjoyed watching my nephew, Norman, and brother-in-law, Chris, drag race. Robert had an old Monte Carlo. He had dreams for it, but never did anything with it,” Margaret shared with a chuckle.

In addition to NASCAR and cars, Robert enjoyed watching old westerns on television.

“Robert was one of the toughest people I’ve known. When he was having chemo treatments, and they made him so sick and weak, he kept going and never gave up,” said Margaret.

Robert was a member of First Baptist Church of Elizabethton, but lately attended Hampton First Baptist Church, where Margaret’s nephew, Norman Markland, is pastor.

Robert was a collector of hats. “He must have had 50 hats, many of them given to him by truck drivers at his place of work. He never wore a hat, he just collected them,” said Margaret.

In summing up Robert Luttrell’s life, you could say he was an ordinary person who was blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences, which made life good. And, he was anything but ordinary to his family and friends.