Betty Ann (née Sawyer) Lutzka, formerly of Eagle River and Three Lakes, died Friday, Dec. 23, 2020, after a long journey with Alzheimer’s, at Care Partners Assisted Living Center in Spooner. She was 86.

She was born July 5, 1934, in Port Huron, Mich., to Russell and Theodosia Sawyer.

She attended Michigan State College where she met Claude Lutzka. They married her junior year and moved to Duluth, Minn., where they raised their six children.

In the early 1980s, Mrs. Lutzka moved to the North Woods with her longtime companion, Louie Gerzic. Together they opened a tavern in Eagle River called LBJ’s. They later also ran the business Backwoods Arts, which featured wood items crafted and painted by the couple. 

Mrs. Lutzka had a longtime interest in painting and was a member of the Wisconsin Regional Artists Association, Headwaters Art League, Northern Wisconsin Decorative Painters, Lakeland Art League and Manito Art League. She received numerous awards for her watercolor painting and also sold prints of her work at flea markets around Wisconsin and Minnesota for many years.

Mrs. Lutzka was preceded in death by her parents; husband and father of her children, Claude; one son, John; and one grandson, Micah Askew.

She is survived by longtime companion, Louie; four daughters, Beverly (Jeff) Kile, Denise (Steve) Hanson, Deborah (Lannie) Askew and Sandy (Greg) Sauve; one son, David (Kathy) Lutzka; 11 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

A private service will be held in the spring. Interment will be in Port Huron, Mich. 

Memorials can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter.