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Lars Christian Luther, 85, of Bethlehem (Obituary Brought to You by Heintzelman Funeral Home)

Luther obituary

Lars Christian Luther, 85, of Bethlehem, Pa., died on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Arrangements are by the Heintzelman Funeral Home Inc., Hellertown.

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Lars Christian Luther, 85, of Bethlehem, Pa., died on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Born June 18, 1936, in Reval (now Tallin), Estonia, he was the son of the late Ferdinand Paul Martin Luther and Margarethe Maria (vonGlehn) Luther.Luther obituary Lars’s family were Baltic Germans who had lived for centuries in Estonia. In 1939, the family had to flee the Bolsheviks and settled in Deutsch Eylau, then part of Germany and now part of Poland. In 1945, they fled west and settled in Glücksburg, Germany. Lars graduated from Duborg Skolen in Flensburg, Germany. In 1955, the family immigrated to Marietta, Ohio, where Lars majored in chemistry at Marietta College and received Phi Beta Kappa membership and his BA in 1959. He married Janet E. Matheson on Jan. 23, 1960. In 1964, he received his PhD from Indiana University, where he majored in physical chemistry. He received a National Science Foundation Award for a post-doctoral year in Denmark, where he worked at the H.C. Ørsted Institute of the University of Copenhagen. On returning to the United States, the family moved to Basking Ridge, N.J., and Lars worked at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J. In 1990, they moved to Bethlehem; he worked at Bell’s (later Lucent’s) Solid State Technology Center in Macungie, Pa., from which he retired in 1999. Lars was a self-taught recorder and flute player and enjoyed playing with several small groups. He was also an extremely talented artist in many media, and a creative woodworker. He enjoyed his garden, travel–both domestic and foreign–and many crafts, and took immense pleasure in his family.


In addition to his beloved wife, Janet, he is survived by his four children: Margarethe J. (James M.) Gallagher of Athol, N.Y.; Christian J. (Laurie L.) Luther of Stony Point, N.Y.; Kirsten E. (Jonathan S.) Myers of Swarthmore, Pa.; and Erik P. (Deborah J.) Luther of Los Alamos, N.M.; as well as five grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother: Holger (Nancy) Luther; nieces: Pauline F. (Robert B.) Haran of Southport, N.C., and their children, and Valerie L. DeLuca (Christopher Hughes) of New York City; and nephew: Harry J. Hyde of Bloomingdale, Ill.


Family and friends are invited to gather from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, at the Heintzelman Funeral Home Inc., 326 Main St., Hellertown (610-838-0521). The calling hour will be followed by the service at 11 a.m. A private burial will be at Union Cemetery, Slatington, Pa. Online memorial tributes may be made at


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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