Danny Lotz, son-in-law of Baptist evangelist Billy Graham, died Aug. 19, two days after he was taken to Rex Hospital in Raleigh. Lotz’s wife, popular Bible teacher Anne Graham Lotz, found him unresponsive in the swimming pool at their home on Aug. 17. Emergency responders restarted his heart at the scene before transporting him to the hospital, according to a statement by Rex.
Lotz, 78, was in intensive care under life-supportive measures, but doctors took him off life-support “after every possible attempt was made,” the hospital statement read.
He became a Christian as a young man in New York, said the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s website. In college Lotz played basketball for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where they won the 1957 National Championship. After suffering a broken leg he was forced to stop playing basketball, but Lotz went on to start the first chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in North Carolina.
Gov. Pat McCrory honored Lotz with The Order of The Long Leaf Pine in early 2015. The award recognizes outstanding North Carolinians who have a proven record of lifetime service to the state.
Lotz practiced dentistry in Raleigh for many years. He and his wife have three children, Jonathan, Morrow and Rachel-Ruth.
The Billy Graham website said Lotz was diagnosed with diabetes at age 50. His endurance of illnesses that left him without the use of one ear and one eye earned him the nickname “Gladiator.”
Graham Lotz called him “God’s Gladiator,” saying, “He was more than a man’s man. He was God’s man who triumphantly finished his race having fought the good fight, and having kept his faith firmly focused on the kingdom of God first.
“The Lotz family appreciates all the prayers and expressions of love and support that have poured in this week, which the Lord has used to sustain them during this time,” said Rex Hospital. “They respectfully ask for privacy as they mourn their loss and celebrate the life and legacy of a great husband, father and man of God.”
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 29 at Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh. The service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Aug. 30 at Providence.
Memorials to: Fellowship of Christian Athletes or AnGeL Ministries.