On Nov. 6, I lost my husband of 42 years, Richard A. Luttrell. He lived in Springfield his entire life. He was a proud member of the 101st Airborne Association, A Co 2/327 Brigade (Separate) and served in Vietnam in ’67-’68. He reconnected with many of his Vietnam comrades through the annual and biannual reunions. He was very active in the community in various veterans issues, including being one of the people responsible for the creation of the Vietnam Memorial in Oak Ridge Cemetery. His name is on the podium to the Memorial. Richard returned to Vietnam in 2000 to return a picture he had carried for 30 years of the first soldier he killed in Vietnam. This journey was featured on “Dateline.” He returned again in 2009 with four fellow comrades and again in 2010 with his former captain and rode motorcycles around Vietnam for six weeks.
For the past 17 years Richard was an avid skydiver, achieving a PRO rating and participating in many demonstration jumps throughout the area. He was a member of the Mid America Sport Parachute Club in Taylorville. Richard loved life and was always busy with his friends and family. When he wasn’t skydiving he enjoyed bowling, shooting pool, fishing and target shooting.
Richard and I traveled extensively after he retired from the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs in October 2002. We traveled to all the Caribbean Islands, South America, Panama Canal, Paris, Germany, Ireland, Canada, Alaska and many other states in the United States.
Richard is deeply missed by myself, his daughter (Christina Luttrell), granddaughters (Ashley Schwien and Brittany Schwien), great granddaughter (Mahkayla Nossem) and many other family members and friends.