By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
August 20, 2015
RALEIGH – Danny Lotz (78), wife of Anne Graham Lotz and the daughter of Rev. Billy Graham, died on Wednesday. Lotz had been in Intensive Care for two days after being found by Anne in their swimming pool at their Raleigh home on Monday.
According to WRAL News, Rex Hospital said Lotz’s heart had stopped while in the pool and rescue personnel had tried to save him, but to no avail.
Lotz had been a member of the 1957 Tar Heel Basketball National Championship team that went undefeated with a 32-0 record. The team was one of only two teams that were undefeated in NCAA basketball history, and the first Atlantic Coast Conference team to win a title.
Danny and Anne were married for 49 years.
He was a retired dentist. Anne is an evangelist based in Raleigh.
Lotz had been suffering from poor health for more than 30 years. At the age of 50, he had developed a serious case of Adult I diabetes. Over the years, he had lost sight in one eye and hearing in one ear and had undergone dialysis for the last six years. He also suffered from heart disease.
He was remembered by friends as an individual with a servant’s heart and as a leader of men. Roger Nix, Director of Missions for the Raleigh Baptist Association, said although he was “physically imposing” and associated with a tremendous basketball “heritage at Carolina, he never sought that kind of limelight,” reports WRAL. He “led countless Bible studies, influencing generations of men and their families.”
Johnny Evans, Regional Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, also told WRAL that Lotz had been responsible for “bringing the Christian organization for young athletes to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.”
Earlier this year, Gov. Pat McCrory honored Lotz with The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. The award is one of the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina for extraordinary service to the state.
In a touching tribute, Anne Graham Lotz referred to her husband as “God’s Gladiator” for the way he bravely faced his many health issues and lived out his faith. She said he had moved to the “Father’s House…and received the accolade of his Savior, Lord, and King who presented him with the Crown of Righteousness.”
She added that her husband “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.”
Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said he first met Lotz back in the mid 1990s when he asked Lotz to share his Christian testimony for a revival service at one of his previous pastorates.
“He came and spoke so humbly,” said Dr. Creech. “His words were a clear presentation of the Gospel of God’s grace in Jesus Christ. I tried to get him to come back again for other events, but there was always a health issue that prevented it.”
Funeral arrangements for Lotz had not been announced at the writing of this story.
Dr. Creech added that there were two pieces of legislation regarding Dr. Billy Graham that still await full consideration of lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly.
H 540 – Billy Graham/National Statuary Hall is legislation that passed the House in April. The legislation would replace the current statue of N.C. educator and former Governor Charles B. Aycock in Statuary Hall, Washington, D.C., with that of Rev. Billy Graham.
Aycock’s legacy has come under fire lately because of his white supremacists views. The legislation currently resides in the Senate Rules Committee.
The other, said Dr. Creech, is H 944 – Billy Graham for Postage Stamp. The bill is a House resolution that petitions the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee of the US Postal Service to issue a commemorative stamp honoring Graham. This legislation currently resides in the House Rules Committee. “I suspect that it will come up for consideration very soon,” said Creech.