Special to the Register
Dr. Heino A. Luts of New Port Richey, Fla., passed away October 27, 2013, at the age of 93.
He was preceded in death two years prior by his loving wife, Marie.
Dr. Luts is survived by: his four children, Heino Jr. (Hattiesburg, Miss.), Mary Ellen Joynson (Spotsylvania, Va.), Lisa Myers (New Port Richey, Fla.), Kai Owens (Bonifay, Fla.); six grandchildren, Andrew, Mary Beth and Kai Myers, Charles, Jack and Nick Joynson.
He fled his native Estonia during WWII and made his way from Finland to Sweden where he studied at Uppsala College. Facing possible repatriation in 1946 to his then Communist controlled homeland, he and 10 of his countrymen and four children sailed a small sailboat named “Erma” from Stockholm to Norfolk, Va., and freedom.
He graduated from Uppsala College in New Jersey and became a talented research chemist. In the late 1950s, he was the first chemist to create a successful tranquilizer in the laboratory called “Milltown.” He later earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Mississippi. Dr. Luts had his own research lab “Structure Activity Research” in College Hill. He published extensively and was in Who’s Who in Chemistry.
After a heart attack at age 46, he taught for 24 years at Eastern Kentucky University where he was the school’s second Fulbright Scholar.
He was a member of the Lions Club and an avid fisherman who credited his longevity to fish soup. He once said, “The most important thing an individual can do is be of service to his community.”
May he rest in peace.