The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2024

Luanne (Ritchie) Metzger

Luanne “Grandma Lu” (Ritchie) Metzger, 65, of Van Wert, went to join her Lord and Savior at 6:58 p.m. Saturday April 28, 2018, to experience eternal life where she can have the sun on her face and work in her yard with her beautiful flowers. That was her love — Her happy place.

Luanne (Ritchie) Metzger

She was born June 24, 1952 in Van Wert, to Gael R. and Mary L. (Adams) Ritchie, who both preceded her in death.

Survivors include a daughter, Beckie (Metzger) Holdgreve and son-in-law, Tyler; three granddaughters, Lilly Gael and Lyla Ray Holdgreve, and Rayana Thatcher; one sister, Deb (Brett) Germann; a nephew, Jason (Kendra) Allen, and children: Derek, Jenna, Brittany (Tige Rider), Nathan, Benjamin, Jacob, and Rylee; one great-niece, Tilly Ride; a great-nephew, Braxton Poling; one uncle, Jim Ritchie; and many cousins.

Her brother, Danny Ray Ritchie; a nephew, Benjamin Ray Allen; and many of Lu’s aunts and uncles, including Lucille Knittle, who was like a second mother to Luanne, also preceded her in death.

Luanne had the amazing ability to make everyone feel cared for, like they were the most important person in the room. She would provide everyone with anything they needed before ever thinking of taking care of her own needs. She loved her family, especially her two beautiful granddaughters Lilly and Lyla, who were the light of her life. She loved her nephews, Jason and Ben, as if they were her own sons, and she was incredibly proud of Rayana. She loved baking, cooking, and anything she could do outdoors.

She retired after almost 30 years of dedicated service to the Eaton Corporation in Van Wert. During her life, she also touched many lives by working as a teacher’s aide at Thomas Edison Preschool and Wee Care Day Care Center, was a house manager for the Thomas Edison residential home, and was a medical assistant. She was a member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 178, a faithful donor to the St. Jude mission, Susan Komen Cancer Fund, and the Wounded Warrior project.

She was extremely proud of the family she raised, her granddaughters, and the amazing friends that have become her extended family. Luanne was an important member of Tyler and Buckie’s village, and helped them both excel in so many ways.

Luanne’s passion was reminding people to be kind to each other, that it does matter how you treat one another. She challenged those around her to “be the change” and influence others to be a better human being. She loved all God’s creatures but most of all her beloved rescue animals Ruby and Bella.

She was humbled by the outpouring of love from her neighbors, co-workers, and friends. She was comforted knowing her family was not alone through this incredibly hard journey, but most of all, that Beckie was not alone. Luanne, even through her battle, wanted to leave this earth reminding everyone to enjoy every moment, be present, and never take for granted how much your kindness and love can change a complete stranger’s life.

She fought her battle with cancer courageously and without complaint. Her incredibly brave soul and fierce spirit never wavered. She was a warrior until the very end, and though her sickness won the battle, Luanne’s spirit won the war, and is at peace.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at Kingsley United Methodist Church, with Pastor Dan Metzger officiating. The celebration of Luanne’s life will continue after the service with a meal at the church, and friends and family are invited to share experiences and stories during this gathering.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the service Sunday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Special Olympics, Thomas Edison School, or Van Wert Area Inpatient Hospice Center.

Condolences can be shared at

Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements.

POSTED: 04/30/18 at 12:56 pm. FILED UNDER: Obituaries