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Luther J. Hottle

Profile in Philanthropy

A LVCF Vision in Philanthropy Award Recipient

Born in Fountain Hill, Luther Hottle graduated from Fountain Hill High School in 1948. After graduation, he worked as an office boy at The Morning Call, and he sold donuts in a local bakery. He was offered employment at Sarco Manufacturing but decided instead to work at Bethlehem Steel, where he worked as a machinist until his retirement. Luther has lived in his cozy Fountain Hill home for more than 60 years.

The Luther J. Hottle Fund at the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation was established in 1998. Grants support the assistance of the blind and visually impaired as well as the Community Foundation’s Community Partnership Fund.  The Community Foundation celebrated Mr. Hottle’s commitment to the evolving needs of the Lehigh Valley by presenting him with the Vision in Philanthropy Award in 2005.  In 2013, Mr. Hottle established the Lötter Family Fund in honor of his daughter and son-in-law, Linda & Etienne Lötter.  

Luther Hottle Vision in Philanthropy Award 2017

The Community Foundation presented the prestigious 50th Anniversary Vision in Philanthropy Award to Luther J. Hottle, Jr.  “The Community Foundation thanks Mr. Hottle for his passion and commitment, and we are honored to present him with the 50th Anniversary Vision in Philanthropy Award,” said Bernie Story, president and CEO, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation. “We are so pleased that Mr. Hottle supported the Community Foundation’s work and funded the 50th Anniversary Reflections Paper with a grant from the Lötter Family Fund.”

Mr. Hottle doesn’t think of charitable giving in terms of legacy.  Providing consistent support to local charities is what is important to him. Grants from the Hottle Fund support discretionary grantmaking at LVCF and Sights for Hope (formerly Center for Vision Loss)

Sights for Hope is dedicated to improving the lives of people with vision loss and promoting healthy vision in the community. This non-profit agency, a member of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind, serves the residents of Lehigh, Northampton and Monroe Counties in eastern Pennsylvania, who are blind or visually impaired to lead well-adjusted, rewarding and productive lives. The programs and services available include Vision Rehabilitation, Low Vision Services, Vision Help and Community Outreach.

Luther passed away on February 1, 2023, at St. Luke’s Hospice. A wonderful father, grandfather, uncle, and friend, Luther loved life to the fullest and brought a smile to the face of everyone he met. He was an avid dancer and was beloved by the dance community for his sense of humor, stories, and smooth moves. Luther was a voracious reader who wanted to understand everything about the world around him. He spent endless time clipping newspaper articles for family and friends and tinkering in his well-organized cellar. Luther was a machinist at Bethlehem Steel from 1948-1990. He served in the National Guard of Pennsylvania from 1947-1951 and the US Army from 1950-1951. Luther was also a quiet philanthropist who, unbeknownst to even those who knew him best, gave generously to many organizations and non-profits. Luther is predeceased by his wife, Claire Sterner Hottle, brothers Kenneth W. Hottle and Robert P. Hottle, and sisters Dorothy Hottle Bennik, Nola (Frank) Hottle Szakal, and Annetta Hottle Colodonato. See his full obituary at: Luther Hottle Obituary (2023) – Bethlehem, PA – Legacy.


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Maureen Wendling

Maureen Connolley Wendling
Director of Donor Initiatives
Lehigh Valley Community Foundation
840 W. Hamilton Street, Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18101
Tel: 610-351-5353 ext. 16 | Maureen@lvcfoundation.org