Lu was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota on May 8, 1927 to Adolph and Ida Clara Gratke. She died peacefully at home in Payson of natural causes on November 1, 2018.
Her first big life adventure was in 1946 when she traveled three days by train, from St. Cloud to Yellowstone Park, where she worked that summer.
She married in 1948 and had four children, Bill, Tom, Julie and Jim.
In 1960 she moved with her family to Tempe. She divorced in 1964, completed her Bachelors and Masters in Education at ASU and began teaching school at Jorgensen Elementary in Phoenix in 1968.
She met and married the love of her life, Kent Evans, in 1969. They moved to Payson in 1976 where she taught at Julia Randall Elementary until her retirement in 1989.
She loved to travel and visited most of the US including Alaska, Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands. She traveled to Mexico many times, and enjoyed three extended trips to Europe, once even traveling to Morocco. She loved taking small boat cruises.
She is survived by her husband Kent; son Bill Butler of Alamagordo, NM; and daughter Julie and husband Kevin Kenkel of Colorado Springs, Co.; grand-sons Noah Butler and wife Colleen O’Brien of Los Angeles, CA, and Sam Kenkel and his wife Kara of Tucson; granddaughter Dr. Carly Kenkel and her husband David Stump, of Los Angeles, CA; great-granddaughters Roz O’Brien and Phoebe Stump of Los Angeles and great-grandson Soren Kenkel of Tucson. She is also survived by her sister Mary Tracy of Huntington Beach, CA; and 3 nephews and nieces.
She was preceded in death by sons Tom and Jim Butler.
Per Lu’s request, no services will be held.
Lu’s family wishes to thank the entire staff of Hospice Compassus of Payson for the loving care they provided her at the end of her life. Lu, especially, wanted to express her deep appreciation to all who cared for her.