In loving memory of

Luther Ulrich
October 9, 1953 - August 7, 2021

Luther "Lute" Paul Ulrich, 67, of Winona, MN, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on August 7, 2021, after a courageous and lengthy battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP).

Lute was born in La Crosse, Wisc. on October 9, 1953, to Roger and Lois (Eide). He attended Lanesboro High School and went on to Rochester Community Technical College (RCTC) and then to University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences.

At RCTC, Lute had an exceptional football career. He was the leading yard rusher in the nation and while there, was recruited to play at top football schools like Notre Dame; and even had NFL scouts looking at him. He was a lifelong Minnesota sports fan and never gave up on his Vikings and Twins, even when they barely won any games.

He was co-owner and operator of Benson Farm Service in Lewiston, Minn. for 35 years before retiring in 2011. He loved seeing every one of his customers walk through the door and knew everyone. He was, in every aspect of his job, a people person. He became a pillar of the farming and local community during his time at Benson Farm Service. One of his greatest accomplishments was participating in Lewiston's annual Fools Five Road Race, a road race benefiting cancer research. He was only 1 of 7 who participated every single year for 41 years since it started in 1979. There is no doubt Lute would be at the start line of this year's Fools Five Race, which is to be held in October.

Lute was a kind and generous man. He never had a bad word to say about anyone, and his compassion for others will be sorely missed. He loved being outdoors, especially on his 150-acre farm, where he would spend hours in the woods, often just enjoying the peacefulness that nature had to offer. He loved fishing and would annually travel to Canada where he caught many fish. He loved deer hunting and would look forward to the time he would get to spend with his friends outside. His John Deere tractors were prized possessions, where he would spend hours outside mowing and meticulously looking after his property. His 3 kids meant so much to him; he was a loving father who had every single one of their backs. He loved his 3 Welsh Corgis: Bentley, Libby and Halle, and his family is comforted that he is now reunited with all 3 of them.

Lute was the stoic trooper. He never complained once of his diagnosis, and often apologized to others for having the disease. While his journey with the disease was long, he touched every single person he met along the way, from caregivers to nurses to doctors to complete strangers. His smile lit up the room, and he loved giving firm handshakes and big hugs (especially to the ladies!) He loved thumb wrestling with everyone (he always won) and binging Netflix. Two of his children, Nick and Emily, were lucky enough to move in with him and spent the last year with Lute. While staying with him, they shared many nights together on the deck listening to Van Morrison and playing with Lute's golf putting mat. That turned into the idea of Lut Putt 2020, a mini golf open themed party they had for his 67th party, with all proceeds benefiting Cure PSP. It was the perfect celebration for a perfect man. They shared many laughs, holidays, and adventures together, for which they will be eternally grateful for.

Survived by his 3 children, Nate, Nick and Emily and their mother, Debbie Benson; grandson, Riley; special family friend, Ryan Geiger; his mother, Lois Ulrich of Rushford; his sister, Karen (Fred) Gatzlaff of Lewiston, MN; brother Paul (Lori) of Rushford, MN; brothers-in-law, Dave (Lonna) and Bryan (Gayle) Benson; sister-in-law, Sheryl Ulrich and many aunts and uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins and lifelong friends.

Preceded in death by his father, Roger and his brother, David.

The family would like to give a special thank you to his team of care workers, whom Lute loved so dearly: Jennifer Scheck, Lauren Weber, Vickie Blong and Michelle Stark. They would like to give an extra shoutout to Heather Kimmerle, dad's nurse. Dad waited every week for Heather to visit (tapping his watch) and loved giving Heather hugs.

The outpouring of support and love Lute's family have felt from everyone around them does not go unnoticed. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made in Lute's honor to Cure PSP (

A celebration of his life will be 11 a.m., Friday, August 13, 2021 at Hoff Celebration of Life Center - Goodview, led by Funeral Celebrant Jenny Hoff. Visitation will be 5:30 - 8 p.m., Thursday and one hour prior to the service. If you have a Lut Putt shirt, please wear it. The service will be livestreamed at the following link:
Hoff Celebration of Life Center - Goodview is assisting the family with arrangements.


Joyce Rusert wrote on Aug 23, 2021:

"Beautiful tribute and pictures!! Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you!!"

Scott Wiwns wrote on Aug 15, 2021:

"Just an all around nice person. He was all and more then his obit. Lute? a great role model "

Pastor Joe wrote on Aug 13, 2021:

"Lute was enjoyable to visit with. His smile and non-judgmental attitude was always a breath of fresh air. His battle with PSP did not change his attitude difficult as it was. He was humble yet confident. I have always admired the dedication of his 3 kids who were his joy. "

Richard Fischer wrote on Aug 11, 2021:

" Want to extent my heartfelt sympathy to the family. I am thankful for the opportunity for our many conversations. A great person."

Ruth Ann Stensgard wrote on Aug 11, 2021:

"I kept up with Lute\'s football career while riding to work to the Winona post office with his mother! A natural talent! Our thoughts and prayers are with the family."

Larry Schultz wrote on Aug 10, 2021:

" We are sorry to hear the passing of Luther. He was a good friend and coworker at Benson Farm Service. For 41 years we enjoyed participating in the Fools Five Race together and I will truly miss him. Our prayers are with you all... "

David Tackmann wrote on Aug 10, 2021:

"Luther was a great teammate while at RCC. I had the honor of sharing the backfield with him during those short 2 years. He was an intense runner, and yet very humble, which made it an extra joy to play with him. I wish his family well and God\'s Blessing for you in this difficult loss. I am sure he lived a full life, and you will ALL be my prayers over the next weeks. David Tackmann"

Steve Kanz wrote on Aug 10, 2021:

"Lute was a \"Class Act\". Will be missed by all... "

paul klemesrud wrote on Aug 10, 2021:

"Paul Klemesrud Here My sister Karen Sweet sent me the obituary And want to express my heartfelt condolences to the whole Family i remember Lute and his desire for justice for everybody and what a great leader he was I Knew him only a few years as I just knew him in high school and went elsewhere The Good Lord Delivered me from so many things through the Power of his unconditional Love and Counselors at a church in Owatonna Mn that helped me I am now at a prayer Ministry in Kansas City and Pray his deep compassion touch many of your hearts and you all could carry on the legacy of Godly things he taught every one of you"

Jen Scheck wrote on Aug 9, 2021:

"My favorite guy...thank you for letting me be part of your life! Lots of memories you have given me! Thumb War, binging Netflix, sitting outside and watching the beautiful sunsets from your deck! I will miss you my friend! Jen ???"

Gary and Marlys Mills wrote on Aug 9, 2021:

"So sorry to hear of the passing of Lute. He was a good man and always had a big smile. I was lucky enough to have all his children as students at Lewiston-Altura. They were all great kids and he was a loving and caring father. He never missed a Fools Five race! RIP Luther!"

Tara Mundt wrote on Aug 9, 2021:

"I am so sorry you kids lost your dad so young, so many things he will miss out on but he will definitely be watching over you from Heaven. Luther was a great man! I will always remember him. Take care, you have my deepest sympathy. "

Joan Ferrier wrote on Aug 8, 2021:

"We are sad to hear of the passing of Luther(Lute). He was a great person & a good friend. Our sympathy and prayers are with you all! Craig & Joan Ferrier"

Robert D Armentrout wrote on Aug 8, 2021:

"So very sorry for your loss. Lute was a special man who meant the world to so many people."