Jessie Gregory Lutz died on Friday, December 30th, 2022, at Carol Woods Retirement Center in Chapel Hill, NC. She was 97 years old. She was born on August 6, 1925 to Ruth Shaw Gregory and Arthur Wynns Gregory, Sr., in Halifax, NC. She married Rolland Ray Lutz of Mandan, North Dakota in Halifax in April, 1948. In addition to her parents and her husband, Ray, she was predeceased by her three sister and two brothers, Jean Harrison Gregory, Ruth Gregory Proctor, Elizabeth Gregory Preston, Arthur Wynns Gregory, Jr., and Henry Shaw Gregory. She is survived by her brother Frederick Harrison Gregory and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jessie attended Weldon High School and graduated as class valedictorian in 1943. She graduated summa cum laud from UNC-Greensboro in 1947. She obtained a
Masters Degree in History from University of Chicago in 1948 and a Ph.D . from Cornell University in 1955, specializing in Modern Chinese History. She held numerous positions at prestigious American Universities, spending most of her career at Rutger’s University where she became chairman of the History Department at the Women’s College of Rutgers University for many years before retiring in 1984.
Jessie’s husband, Ray, was also a history professor, specializing in Western European History. As such, Jessie and Ray traveled extensively to China, Europe and across the globe. Jessie was a visiting professor in China in 1983 and again in 1993. She became fluent in Mandarin Chinese,
After retirement, Jessie and Ray moved to Havre de Grave, MD. They planted flowers and shrubs and enjoyed their yard and gardening. Jessie and Ray were avid nature walkers and bird watchers. They attended family camping trips and reunions in Fontana Village in western NC. They spent Christmas’s with their family in Charlotte, NC and Thanksgivings with their family in Havre de Grace.
Jessie and Ray spent the last years of their lives at Carol Woods Retirement Center in Chapel Hill where Jessie’s sister, Jean, also resided. After Ray passed away in 2004, Jessie spent most of her time with her sister and her friends and her cat, Maisie. Until recent years, Jessie took advantage of all the cultural and social events the facility had to offer, as well as musical and cultural events in the community. In later years, she read avidly and enjoyed the company of Maisie.
Jessie’s funeral service will be held at Saint Marks Episcopal church in Halifax, NC on February 8th at 2:00 with burial at the Saint Marks Cemetery following the service. Jessie’s nephew, the Reverend Greg Proctor will officiate.
The family of Jessie would like to thank the caring staff at Carol Woods for their loving attention to Jessie throughout her stay there. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Carol Woods Charitable Fund at 750 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 or to the Saint Marks Cemetery Fund at PO Box 145, Tillery, NC 27887.
Walker's Funeral Home of Chapel Hill is assisting the Lutz family.