Harry Augustus Nutter, Jr. passed away in his sleep on Thursday February 27 in Eastham MA. Harry was born on February 6, 1923 in Kempton MD the son of the late Harry A. and Mary (Jack) Nutter, Sr. and grew up in and around Thomas WV. He met his future wife, Carmela Dilettoso, in 1st grade at Thomas Elementary School in 1929. Often called Gus or Junior as a kid, he developed an early love of airplanes and aviation. He married his 1st grade sweetheart Carm on June 29, 1942 at St. Thomas Church and went to work as a model maker for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) to help the war effort. He was soon called up into the...
Harry Augustus Nutter, Jr. passed away in his sleep on Thursday February 27 in Eastham MA. Harry was born on February 6, 1923 in Kempton MD the son of the late Harry A. and Mary (Jack) Nutter, Sr. and grew up in and around Thomas WV. He met his future wife, Carmela Dilettoso, in 1st grade at Thomas Elementary School in 1929. Often called Gus or Junior as a kid, he developed an early love of airplanes and aviation. He married his 1st grade sweetheart Carm on June 29, 1942 at St. Thomas Church and went to work as a model maker for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) to help the war effort.
He was soon called up into the Army Air Corps and served in the Pacific Theater as a flight engineer on a C-47 he had named "Carmela". During the war Harry & Carm had their first child Mary Yvonne who tragically passed away in 1945, only 1 ½ years old. Once the war ended, Harry & Carm moved to Hampton VA where Harry again worked for NACA. They had four more children there until moving to Longmeadow MA in 1957 where their last child was born. Since moving to Longmeadow Harry was a communicant of St. Mary's Parrish and later a member of the Knights of Columbus. He worked at Hamilton Standard for 27 years as an engineer and chief of production and his name is on several patents for his work on creating innovative composite materials for propeller and jet engine fan blades.
He was a long time member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and as a pilot he flew his Cessna 174 as often as Carm would let him and in his 60's got his soaring pilot's license. Flying his glider was one of his greatest pleasures and it showed in the Silver, Gold and Diamond Badges he earned based on distance, duration and altitude of his flights. He retired from Hamilton Standard in 1986 and spent his retirement flying, fixing & making things and enjoying his family – the other great pleasure of his life. He was a soft spoken, devoted, gentle man and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Harry is survived by his wife of 71 years Carmela, his brother & sister-in-law Robert & Virginia Nutter of Riverside CA, daughter & son-in-law Suzanne & Jerry Morin of Eastham MA, daughter & son-in-law Mary Louise & Philip Jackson of East Longmeadow MA, son & daughter-in-law Harry, III & Ellen of Springfield MA, son & daughter-in-law Sam & Carol of Northboro MA and son Jim of Northampton MA. Harry is also survived by his grandchildren Tracy White, James Winttuck, Jeremy Morin, Jill Cherundolo, Bethany Anderson, Benjamin Nutter, James Nutter and Rousseau Nutter and great grandchildren Andrew, Ashley & Nicholas Morin, Matthew & Megan Cherundolo and Harrison Nutter.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday March 8 at 10:00 AM at St. Mary's Church in Longmeadow MA.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The Alzheimer's Association at alz.org
or EAA Young Eagles Scholarship Program at youngeagles.org
or calling 1 (800)236-1026. A memorial message may be left at www.nickersonfunerals.com.
Eulogy for Our Fallen Pilot
Harry Augustus Nutter Jr. lived a very full and finely textured life. Dad's life was full due to a successful career as an aeronautical engineer combined with a busy family life as the father of six children, eight grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Somehow Dad also managed to find time to ski, watch car races, referee youth sports, travel, and support the Knights of Columbus among his other activities. Most of all however, Dad filled whatever spare time that he could find as a private pilot, often flying solo throughout America.
Dad's life was finely textured because he was very precise and deliberate in all matters of his life. He was a veteran, craftsman, an engineer, an inventor, a planner, a draftsman, a builder, a tinkerer, and a fix anything magician. Dad did not leave anything to chance or luck. He was a problem solver who evaluated the options and developed a plan.
Harry Nutter Jr. was a gentle man and a true gentleman. He had a warm and welcoming smile that charmed everyone he met. But Dad was also as tough as nails when a situation required determination and resolve.
In the days since Dad passed away, I have been reflecting on his life and wondering how to capture 91 full and active years on a few pages or within a few minutes. I cannot. There is just too much to cover; too much to say. So, instead I have tried to capture a few snippets to illuminate Dad's character.
Harry the teacher: You may know that I am an avid gardener. Everyone thinks this is because Mom loves to garden. Well, actually it was Dad who got me started as a gardener. Dad loved fresh tomatoes and he especially loved fried green tomatoes. So, every year he would plant a little tomato patch. As a small boy, I would follow Dad everywhere and always wanted to be his helper. Among the many things Dad taught me was how to grow tomatoes. Before long he had me studying a gardening book and growing other vegetables. Dad was always very patient and answered every question. He loved to explain math, science, or engineering. Dad was the best teacher I ever had.
Harry the engineer: Dad was an engineer's engineer. He was logical, methodical, technical, and a very creative problem solver. He also kept extremely thorough notes and records, and created exquisite and finely detailed plans and drawings. Dad often told me that his definition of a good engineer was someone who could build a better project for a dime, than any darn fool could build for a dollar! (and in Dad's case when building or repairing at home, he would use recycled or reclaimed parts and do it for a nickel!!) Dad became an engineer long before there were electronic calculators or computers. Nonetheless, his calculations and designs were as accurate, and much more beautiful, as anything done on a computer. A testament to these skills were the U.S. patents that carry his name.
Harry the pilot: Flying and aviation were Dad's passion from boyhood through his senior years. Soaring, which is flying a glider, or sailplane, that has no motor or propeller, was the most amazing aspect of Dad's piloting. He did not start soaring until he was in his sixties. Yet despite this late start, he achieved the highest honors from the Soaring Society of America. Dad earned Silver, then Gold, and finally Diamond badges. These recognize achieving such feats as staying aloft for over 5 hours, climbing more than 3 miles higher than the tow plane had brought him, and traveling over 300 miles from the airport and back again in a single flight! These accomplishments demonstrate Dad's courage, determination, and his incredible skill as a pilot.
Harry Augustus Nutter Jr. was a great teacher and mentor, an outstanding engineer and patent holder, and an accomplished pilot. As impressive as that list is, it is only a fraction of his life. Dad's greatest legacy, in my humble opinion, is his family. He was deeply devoted to his beloved wife Carmela until the day he died. This past year was dominated by doctor visits, medical setbacks, and hospital stays for both Harry and Carm. Despite these challenges, Dad remained stoic and mustered the strength to carry on so that he could visit Mom almost daily at the hospital or nursing home.
February 27, 2014 was the saddest day of my life. The pilot of the Nutter squadron had fallen to Earth. Congestive heart failure was one problem that Dad could not fix. However, I believe that Dad is still with us. He lives on in the minds, and hearts, and souls of his children and their families. Dad's legacy is his impact on all of those he touched throughout his lifetime.
Dad, as you venture off on your final soaring solo flight, may you have uplifting winds and clear skies ahead as you soar with the eagles and angels.