Thomas Ace Cutler

26 août 194530 juin 2021

Thomas Ace Cutler, beloved husband, father and grandfather, friend, educator and coach, passed away June 30, 2021. He was 75.

Tom was born August 26, 1945 in Muskegon, Michigan, to Webster “Ace” and Thomasine (Rose) Cutler. A proud “Big Red,” he attended Muskegon Public Schools, graduating in 1963. He attended Michigan State University and Central Michigan University, where he earned multiple degrees in education.

Tom was a committed and compassionate teacher, principal, and superintendent during a nearly four-decade career in education. He began as a teacher and coach at Muskegon Oakridge and Hesperia high schools and later became assistant principal at Leslie High School and principal at Marion High School. He served as superintendent of schools at Martin and Grant before his retirement.

He was a member of the Michigan Association of School Administrators, the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

Tom truly cared about his fellow educators and students, and considered the arts and extracurricular activities an important extension of the classroom. His education career included coaching football. He was named Regional Coach of the Year eight times, State Coach of the Year, and was selected to coach in the Michigan All-Star Game. In 2002, he was honored with induction into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

He spent 20 years of his career in Marion. He’d been there six years when the varsity football coach resigned, and he said he’d take over for a year. That turned into an 11-year stretch that saw numerous conference championships, three teams make it to the state semi-finals, and one win a state championship. Thirty of his athletes received all-state recognition.

During his time at Marion, he had the opportunity to coach his two sons, Tom and Joel. One of Tom’s proudest moments was coaching the Eagles to the 1990 state championship and celebrating with the community. After the game, he left to walk his daughter, Betsy, down the aisle that evening. It was a special day.

Tom recently was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Marion Public Schools, which was presented at an event attended by many former students and players, his fellow coaching staff, and community residents who simply wanted to offer their thanks.

Tom saw the best in people and the potential in everyone. He believed in the importance of treating others the way you would want to be treated, the power of kindness, loyalty, and love. Nothing was more important to Tom than his family. His love for his wife, Lynda, was immeasurable.

When asked what he wanted to be remembered for, he said “that he loved his family very much.”

He’ll be deeply missed by his wife of 57 years, Lynda, of Byron Center; children Betsy (Cort) Musolf of Port Sheldon, Thomas (Susan) Cutler of Byron Center, and Joel (Crystal) Cutler of Eaton Rapids. He will also be missed by his grandchildren Samantha (Musolf) (Juan) Avila and Cort Musolf; Aliya, Travis, Kasey and Kellen Cutler; and Erin, Ryan and Riley Cutler. He’s also survived by his sister, Elizabeth Cutler, of Muskegon, and sister-in-law, Donna Conant, of Wauwatosa, WI. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Linda Cutler; in-laws Gordon and Eileen Conant, and Robert and Donna Caughey; and brother-in-law, Gordon Conant.

Visitation with friends and family will be from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday, July 3, 2021 at Cook Funeral Home, 2067 84th St., Byron Center, MI 49315. There will be a private family service to follow.

Memorial contributions may be made to Faith Hospice. The family welcomes memories and messages in their guest book online at www.cookcaresbyron.com.


  • Visitation

    samedi, 3 juillet , 2021


Thomas Ace Cutler


Steve Anderson

12 juillet , 2021

Just recently learned of Tom's passing and wanted to offer my prayers and condolences to his family and friends. To say Tom was a good man is an understatement.....you couldn't meet a better one. He was kind, selfless, compassionate, understanding and so much more.

Although I never worked with Tom, he became a mentor of mine, providing sound and caring professional advice. Always remember after speaking with Tom, my mind was clear and he successfully guided me on a path forward. Tom was exceptionally well respected in his profession, a man of incredible integrity and character.

May his family and friends find comfort in the memories shared throughout Tom's journey. Rest in peace Mr. Cutler, heaven got one of the best.

Paul Roberts

6 juillet , 2021

I learned of his passing today and how sad I am to hear of it, both my wife Donna and I. Tom was a tremendous man and gifted by God in so many ways. Excellent superintendent, leader, and mentor to all who knew him. I was one of those fortunate people touched by this humble man who quietly did what he felt called to do. Doing it with excellence and determination. Tom met with success in whatever he put his hand too. I have thought of him and his lovely wife often since he retired and remember the times spent with him as cherished moments. Rest In Peace and God’s loving kindness to the entire family.

Dick Root

6 juillet , 2021

Lynda and family , thinking of you ,caring about you ,wishing you strength and peace. Tom was very special ! I have many fond memories of the Cutler family.

James Stickney

3 juillet , 2021

Tom and I worked together in Grant. Me, being the “Union guy” and Tom, being the Superintendent, we met quite regularly. Inevitably, regardless of the reason for our meeting, our talk would turn to football. Always, it seemed, papers would be filled with diagrams of offensive plays or defensive schemes. Tom’s passion for the game, as well as his love of education, was always evident. I’m entering my 43rd year of coaching high school football. I hold Tom as one of my mentors. I only learned if his passing at 3:00 today, too late to attend his visitation. However, I had to send my condolences to Tom’s family and express my thanks for his making me a better coach and person.

Paul and Sharon Loughridge

3 juillet , 2021

So sorry to hear of Coach Cutler's passing. What a great coach and teacher. I had the priviledge of being coached and taught by him and he led us to an undefeated football season 1973-1974. He was never crazy about me driving to Muskegon to pick up my girlfriend/now wife before games. She is also a Muskegon Big Red. When our youngest daughter played basketball against Grant, as superintendent he was at the game and we chatted with him. The next day my daughter received this lovely message from coach, which she has saved in her memory book. I have wonderful memories and also some tough practice sessions which are so indicative of the great coach he was.

Jeff Hill

2 juillet , 2021

Lynda and family, I am so sorry to hear of Tom's passing. Though it has been many years, I am grateful to have had Tom and and all of you in my life. He was a outstanding person, leader, coach, and was able to help shape so many young lives. He sure made football fun and treated his team like family. God bless to all of you.


1 juillet , 2021

Mrs. Cutler, Betsy & family. I am so sorry for your loss. Mr. Cutler played a big part in my decision in becoming an educator and I have so many fond memories of him. He meant a great deal to me! Again, I am so sorry. Love to you and your family. 💙

Sandy (Allen) Quist

1 juillet , 2021

So Sorry for your loss! Mr Cutler was a strong, firm and caring principal. You knew when he was getting after you it was to make you a better person. He will be fondly remember.

Sally Wilson

1 juillet , 2021

Lynda and family, There are so many great memories of the Marion chapter of our lives and you and Tom are such a big part of them. Know that the fondness and respect for such a wonderful man will live on after we are no longer here and that You and Tom left a great legacy. God bless you.

Julie Aitken

1 juillet , 2021

My heart is with your family during this difficult time. There are so many great memories I have of our many visits. Tom was an amazing man. He will be missed by the Homan family.