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Wayne E. Lucht

December 13, 1925 April 6, 2020
Wayne E. Lucht
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Obituary for Wayne E. Lucht

A memorial service will be planned for a later date. Please return to this website for updates as they become available. As we are, sadly, unable to be with friends and family at this time, please feel free to share any remembrances of Wayne on his Tribute Wall. The family appreciates your love and comfort, even as we are distant.

Wayne E. Lucht, PhD., age 94, of Oak Park; beloved husband of the late Phyllis nee Gieschen; loving father of Mark, Peter, David (Stefanie Graves), Kathryn and Andrea Lucht (Ralph) DiFebo; devoted grandfather of Lela (Erik Kjell) and Jonah (Jennah) Lucht;
great-grandfather of Canyon, Huck and Liam Lucht and Livia Kjell; dear brother of the late Melvin (Ruth) and Wilbert Lucht; dear brother in law of John (the late Sue) and the late Thomas (the late Roselyn) Gieschen; fond uncle and great-uncle of many.

Dr. Lucht was Professor Emeritus of psychology at Concordia University, Chicago where he taught for over 32 years.

He was a graduate of Concordia High School and received his undergraduate degree in education from Concordia Teachers College, River Forest in 1948, where he was a star student, class president, and editor of The Spectator, the student newspaper.

Also, while there, he met a young woman from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Phyllis Gieschen.

He received his Master’s in Education in 1960 from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and his Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Iowa in 1963.

During the Second World War, Wayne was thrust into early “supply teaching” positions even before his graduation.

After fulfilling his student teaching requirement at Grace Lutheran School in River Forest under the late Carl Halter, he took a position at a small Lutheran School in Hayward, California, boarding with the pastor and his wife there. A favorite memory for him was being able to reunite with his brother Mel in San Francisco when he returned on a troop ship after the war had ended.

He went on to become the sole teacher in a small one-room rural school in Wentzville, Missouri where he taught grades 1 - 6.

In 1948, the congregation of Zion Lutheran Church in Dallas decided to found the first Lutheran elementary school in that city. Looking for a talented educator to take the position of teacher and principal and to start the school there, the church members reached out to Carl Halter, who recommended Wayne.

After having answered the call to Zion in 1948, the next year Wayne married his beloved Phyllis, who joined him in Dallas where they began their young family of five children.

Wayne and Phyllis took their family to Iowa City, Iowa in 1961 to pursue his Doctorate in Psychology. They moved into an old army barracks duplex that served as married student housing. Upon graduation Wayne received three offers; Emory University in Atlanta, the University of California at Berkeley, and his Alma Mater, Concordia. He decided to follow the call to River Forest as Associate Professor in Educational Psychology.

Wayne’s family settled in Oak Park, IL in 1963 and quickly became part of the Concordia and Grace Lutheran Church and School family. After several years, Wayne was given tenure as a full Professor. He took various leadership roles at Concordia including a stint as Dean of Men. But his focus was always on teaching. Overwhelmingly beloved by his students, Wayne's greatest joy was in the classroom with them.

After retirement from teaching, Wayne took on the duties of editor of the journal Lutheran Education for over a decade. In earlier years, he had served as church organist for the small congregation of First St. John’s in Chicago. Feeling the growing need to serve that community, he and Phyllis joined the congregation of St. Paul, Austin in Chicago and became much loved and loyal members there, where he served as organist and she led Bible study. In their final years following retirement, Wayne and Phyllis returned to their church home at Grace Lutheran, River Forest.

Wayne’s steadfastness, integrity and kindness were reflected throughout his life. His faith was his strength and he generously shared it with all. As a father and as a friend, he encouraged self-confidence to celebrate life's unique gifts in each who knew him. In so many of his instructive interactions, Wayne demonstrated how to be a non-judging observer. Both he and Phyllis provided, not only for their children, but for all who dropped by, a home that was safe, relaxed and engaging. A place where each was allowed to be the best versions of themselves.
His family and friends were blessed beyond measure to know and love him.
His was a life well lived.

Memorial gifts in Wayne’s honor may be directed to: Grace Lutheran Church or St. Paul Austin Lutheran Church

To plant a tree in memory of Wayne E. Lucht, visit the Tribute Store.

Memorial Contribution

St. Paul Austin Lutheran Church

846 Menard Ave.
Chicago, IL 60651

Grace Lutheran Church

7300 Division St.
River Forest, IL 60305

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