Danny Lotz, the son-in-law of the renowned evangelist Billy Graham and the husband of the Bible teacher Anne Graham Lotz, died on August 19, 2015, at the age of 78. He had been found unresponsive in his backyard pool two days earlier and was taken to a hospital, where he passed away surrounded by his family. His cause of death was not officially confirmed, but he had suffered from chronic health issues, including diabetes and heart disease, for many years.
A Star on the Court and a Leader off the Court
Danny Lotz was born in 1937 in New York City, where he grew up in a Christian family. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior when he was 12 years old, while riding over the 59th Street Bridge with his father and brothers. He developed a passion for basketball and became a standout player in high school.
He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he played for the legendary coach Frank McGuire. He was a forward on the 1957 Tar Heel basketball team that won the national championship in a thrilling triple-overtime game against Kansas. He was also a member of the 1959 team that reached the Final Four.
After graduating from UNC, he served in the Army for two years and then enrolled in dental school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He became a successful dentist and established his practice in Raleigh, North Carolina.
He also continued his involvement in sports and ministry. He founded the first chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in North Carolina and served as its state director for 12 years. He also coached high school basketball and led Bible studies for men.
A Loving Husband and a Devoted Father
Danny Lotz met Anne Graham, the daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham, at a FCA meeting in 1964. They married in 1966 and had three children: Jonathan, Morrow, and Rachel-Ruth. They also had several grandchildren.
Danny and Anne shared a deep love for each other and for the Lord. They supported each other’s ministries and served together in various capacities. Danny was a board member of AnGeL Ministries, Anne’s organization that proclaims the Gospel through books, events, and media. He also accompanied Anne on some of her speaking engagements around the world.
Danny was a faithful husband and a caring father. He was described by his family as a man of integrity, generosity, and humor. He was also a humble and gracious man who did not seek the spotlight, but rather pointed others to Christ.
A Gladiator in the Face of Trials and a Victor in the End
Danny Lotz faced many physical and emotional challenges in his later years. He was diagnosed with adult-onset type 1 diabetes when he was 50 years old and had to endure frequent insulin injections and blood tests. He also suffered from seizures, blindness in one eye, deafness in one ear, and heart problems. He had to undergo dialysis three times a week and had a heart attack in 2014.
Despite his afflictions, Danny did not lose his faith or his joy. He continued to serve the Lord and to minister to others. He was nicknamed “the Gladiator” by his friends for his courage and perseverance. He also looked forward to his heavenly home and his eternal reward.
He once said, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace (Acts 20:24).”
Danny Lotz finished his race and completed his task on August 19, 2015. He moved to his Father’s house and received the accolade of his Savior, Lord, and King, who presented him with the crown of righteousness. He left behind a legacy of love and inspiration for his family, friends, and countless others who were touched by his life and testimony. He will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him.