It is with great sadness but hope in the promise of eternal life that we announce the death of our beloved Deacon Joe Loutzenhiser. Deacon Joe was ordained in 1994 and served here until his “retirement” in 2014. He worked tirelessly to bring others to the Lord, spending 20 years as the spiritual director to the annual Christ Renews His Parish women’s renewal teams and spreading joy throughout the Medina community and beyond through his outreach in myriad settings. We are so grateful to his wife, Georgia, daughters Kristen and Jodi, Kristen’s husband, Brian, and their daughter, Kayla, for sharing him with us all these years.
Please see below for more about his life and funeral arrangements.
Deacon Joseph Edward Loutzenhiser III
Deacon Joseph Edward Loutzenhiser III died May 14, 2021, after living a life of selfless service to his family, church, community, and nation. Those who met Joe became better versions of themselves in the light of the empathy, patience, joy, and love he radiated.
Joe’s life of service began when he was just a boy, living across the street from St. Paul Catholic Church in Salem, OH. He was often called upon to run across the street to be an altar server at daily Mass, weddings, funerals, and baptisms. His appreciation for his faith grew as he attended St. Paul Catholic School through the eighth grade before attending Salem High School, from which he graduated in 1965. He attended Kent State University, Salem Campus, before entering the US Navy. After a tour of duty in Vietnam, Joe returned to his educational pursuits, earning a degree from Youngstown State University in business administration.
Joe married Georgia Lozier on Aug. 29, 1970. They enjoyed over 50 years of marriage with mutual support, love, and respect. They raised two daughters, Jodi and Kristen, who carry on their dad’s legacy of kindness and deep faith. Joe embraced his role as “Poppy” to their granddaughter, Kayla; his sparkle in his eyes and enthusiasm for life live on in her.
Joe spent the first part of his career working in business. However, after attending a Christ Renews His Parish event, Joe followed a calling to a vocation in the Roman Catholic Church. He was ordained a deacon by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland in 1994 and began working full time at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Medina in 1995. In addition to officiating at numerous baptisms, weddings, and funerals, Deacon Joe would often MC for the bishops throughout the diocese. He was spiritual director of the Women’s Renewal teams for over 20 years. He worked closely with the church youth group and traveled twice with the teens to see Pope John Paul II. He was well-known for his performances at numerous family, parish, and diocesan events as the much beloved “Bobby.” As part of his devotion to Christ and others, Deacon Joe will be remembered for being willing to bless anything: pets, motorcycles, homes, cars, swimming pools, along with traditional religious items. Deacon Joe embraced every opportunity he had to spend time with people; he had a way about him that revealed he was truly present with others, sharing with them in their concerns and celebrating with them in their joys.
Deacon Joe was an avid golfer, playing in the St. Francis Xavier Golf League as a substitute, enjoying regular trips to Florida to golf, and finally making the coveted hole in one. He enjoyed watching and playing many different sports and coached different teams for his daughters. Deacon Joe was a lifelong Cleveland Browns, Indians, and Cavs fan, attending games whenever he could. He always cheered on Ohio State and Notre Dame in college sports. In addition to his ministry in the parish, Joe was active in the Knights of Columbus for 55 years, a member of the VFW, and served as president of the Salem High School Alumni Board.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Jr. and Helen Loutzenhiser. He is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Georgia; his daughters, Jodi Loutzenhiser and Kristen (Brian) Huston; his granddaughter, Kayla; his siblings Mary Alice Hawkins, Bill (Dawna) Loutzenhiser, Sharon (Danny) Moon; nieces, nephews, and numerous cousins.
Visitation will be held from 4pm to 8pm on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at Waite & Son Funeral Home, 765 N. Court St., Medina, OH 44256. Vespers will be held at St. Francis Xavier in Medina, with priority seating for clergy and family, at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, 2021, with visitation at St. Francis Xavier following until 8 p.m.. A funeral Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday, May 21, 2021, at St. Francis Xavier. Mass will be livestreamed at the St. Francis Xavier YouTube page. Bishop Roger W. Gries, Father Tony Sejba, and Father Russ Rauscher will officiate the Vespers service and Funeral Mass. His interment will be at a later date at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, OH. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Joe’s memory be made to St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church or Salem High School Alumni Association.