Mother Elizabeth, née Helen Mann Lutz, age 96, fell asleep in the Lord just prior to the Liturgy on the Feast of Theophany, January 6, 2024, at the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City, PA, where she has lived and served for the past 43 years.
Born May 15, 1927 in Methuen, Massachusetts, she earned Bachelors and Masters degrees and an RN nursing license. She was a talented writer, poet and pianist. The book she wrote and illustrated for her own children many years ago, Micha Mouse, was recently published and is sold in the monastery bookstore.
At the age of 53, she discovered the ancient Orthodox Christian Faith, was baptized and soon after entered as a novice at the monastery in Ellwood City. From her first day in the sisterhood, she served faithfully as the aide and driver for the founding abbess, Mother Alexandra, until the Eldress’s repose in January 1991. Mother Elizabeth professed monastic vows on November 21, 1984, under the Mantia of Mother Alexandra, receiving the name Elizabeth after the grand duchess and new martyr of Russia.
She was a member of the monastery’s Executive Committee and Spiritual Council since 1987, assisting Mother Abbess Christophora in administrative decisions and spiritual oversight of the sisterhood. She was gifted with a keen sense of spiritual discernment, a motherly instinct, as well as clever wit.
Other obediences at the monastery included serving in the altar as ecclesiarch, tending flower gardens, caring for the cemetery, nursing sick sisters, and, her greatest pride, emptying trash baskets several times a day throughout the monastery complex. This activity kept her active and mobile to the very end. She was also a faithful correspondent, keeping in touch with her own children, grandchildren, and a number of spiritual daughters.
The monastic sisterhood will remember Mother Elizabeth for her dedication, encouragement, and way with words. Her hearing and eyesight failed greatly in later life, but she continued to faithfully attend all the divine services and always knew what each sister was up to, both day and night.
She is survived by her three children, Melinde, Roald, and Seabright, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents, Charles and Ruth Mann, and her brother and sister.
The Funeral Service will take place on Monday, January 8, at noon, followed by interment in the monastery cemetery at 2:00. She will lie in state in the monastery church until the time of her burial.
The monastery sisterhood is deeply grateful to all the ministering clergy, the medical care directed by Dr. Dn. Michael Wusylko, Dr. Anastasia Neil, and the staff of the Teolis Funeral Home for their compassionate care and kind assistance.