Harry Nutter Jr.

February 6, 1923February 27, 2014
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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 or EAA Young Eagles Scholarship Program at or calling 1 (800)236-1026. A memorial message may be left at

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.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, March 8, 2014

Harry Nutter Jr.

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Jim Nutter

March 10, 2014

Thank you to everyone who has written in this space or sent cards and to all the friends and family who were able to come to my Dad's service. It is very comforting to read and to hear what people in his life have had to say about him.

Denise Perlaky

March 9, 2014

Carmela: I have fond memories of you and your husband from the Longmeadow Adult Center and St. Mary's. Your love and enjoyment of each other was always a pleasure to see. Your husband's bright, kind smile is memorable. I am so sorry for your loss.

Dawna, Gary and Katie Sargent

March 7, 2014

I wanted to share our deepest sympathies at this time of loss. I have fond memories of our Uncle Harry and their visits to Winchester over the years...the glider parked in front of the house, Uncle Harry in the Lazy Boy quietly reading the newspaper cover to cover, board / card games late into the night and the subtle humor.

The most memorable visit being their last, when they got to meet our then 2 year old daughter, Katie, in person for the first time. Katie was initially a bit shy, but quickly warmed up to her Uncle Harry. She was soon in his arms and he with a big grin on his face.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

The Sargent's

Darin Suhs

March 7, 2014

God Bless.

Joyce Suhs

March 6, 2014

I am so saddened to learn of Harry's passing. He was a truly wonderful man. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. I loved Harry and his wife and have known them since 1963!
Joyce Suhs. Seabrook Island SC

March 6, 2014

Sue and Jerry, son,daughters, and the Nutter families
Our deepest sympathy in the loss of your father. We had the pleasure of meeting and talking to him at your family functions. Our prayers are with you at this time of sorrow
Jackie &Bob Willard (Danielson,FL.)


Rose Evans

March 5, 2014

The Evans Family extends their deepest sympathy to the Nutter family. Uncle Harry was a sweet, kind and gentle man that will be missed by us all.
With our love to each of you,
Aunt Rose and the Evans Children

March 5, 2014

Our deepest sympathy is extended to Carm and her family on the loss of our dear friend Harry. Thinking of you all fondly.
The Axler Family

Jo-Ann & Dennis Pesino

March 4, 2014

Sue, Jerry, Jeremy, Jill, Beth and Nutter family, our deepest sympathy on your loss. We had the pleasure of being in Harry's company several times and he was just a gentle and beautiful man. He will live on in your hearts and minds through the wonderful memories you have.

We send our love - Dennis and Jo-Ann Pesino

Bill & Marie St. Amour

March 4, 2014

Sue & Jerry,

Jon told us about your loss. Please accept our condolences. Judging from the comments here, he must have been quite a man.