Though born in America, Alex Lutgendorf left Chicago in 1927 at the age of three with his parents who were returning to his parents’ native Netherlands. Much later when World War II broke out, Alex was working at a newspaper editing company, and his best efforts to leave Europe before the U.S. intervention proved futile. But there was a good outcome for he met his future wife Beppie when she got a promotion and he took her position. Just as young love began to flourish, Alex received permission to go to the United States. Soon upon his arrival in California, he enlisted in the Air Force, eventually serving twenty years plus one day. After corresponding with Beppie for a period of time, Alex took a leave and they were married in Holland in 1948 and immediately left for the United States.
Their places of service read like a travelogue: San Antonio, TX; Wiesbaden, Germany; Riverside, CA; Fairbanks, AK; Sumter, SC, and Del Rio, TX, where Alex retired from the Air Force. Beppie recalls that she loved Alaska where Alex extended his tour to four years. She reminisced about the many good friends she made there but also recalled the coldest temperature of minus 76 F during the same winter when there were ten consecutive days that the temperature did not rise above minus 50 F. It’s no wonder Alex accepted an FAA air traffic controller job offer in Tucson in 1967, which he held for sixteen years. Beppie was especially happy moving to Tucson, finding it an excellent place to ”retire” after having reared four children while following Alex to all military assignments.
Alex is the only stamp collector in the family which Beppie says is enough. He started collecting at age 6 and managed to haul his collection with him everywhere he went throughout the years. His specialties are the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria, and currently, he is trying to get rid of his accumulation.
Both Beppie and Alex have been volunteering at the PHF since 1968. She assists Lena, but in the past, she sorted stamps and worked with Alphie Kuhm on exhibits. Alex started out in publicity, but now he is in charge of cachet sales and also files Western states postmarks. Both have helped with stamp shows, both are life members of the Tucson Stamp Club (for services rendered), and both are Rangers.
We salute and say “Thank you” to this energetic, hard-working, and loyal couple.