Nationally televised tribute honored alumna Barbara Blank Lueck ’64 before her death

Ripon College recently was notified of the death of Barbara Blank Lueck ’64 of Fort Collins, Colorado, on March 12, 2019.

In October 2018, while she was fighting cancer, a group of her former music students arranged for an interview and tribute performance that aired on the national television program “Good Morning, America” from New York.

The tribute choir sang “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical “Rent,” and they were joined by surprise guests Anthony Rapp and Tracie Thoms, stars of the musical. Lueck’s husband, John Lueck ’64, was in the audience and commented on his reaction to the tribute.

The touching tribute is special and can be viewed here.

At Ripon, Lueck majored in music and for 39 years taught in locations including the Virgin Islands; Monona Grove, Wisconsin; Fredonia, New York; Wooster, Ohio; Fullerton, California; and Fort Collins, Colorado. She shared her love of music with individuals, school choirs and church choirs, directed musical theater productions and led student performance trips around the world. She was known affectionately by her students as “Mama Lu.” She retired from teaching in 2004.

“Barbara loved to plant roses and vegetables, watching them grow and flourish as did her students,” John Lueck writes. “The beautiful flowers remain by her home. Her life’s work was to plant seeds of inspiration within people. …

“Barbara’s son, Bill, daughter, Libby, three grandchildren and I live daily with memories of a beautiful, devoted woman and teacher who sang her way through life.”


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