Joseph Lawrence Kuttel

Published on Wed, Mar 12, 2014
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Joseph Lawrence Kuttel passed away March 5, 2014 after a courageous battle with lung cancer. He was 64 years old. 

Above all else, he will be remembered by his family as a devoted husband, father, grandpa, brother and uncle. We were blessed to have been granted his generosity and loyalty, and to have seen him delight in his family.

Joe was born to Louis and Margaret Kuttel on July 24, 1949 in Raymond, WA. Joe graduated from Willapa Valley High School in 1967. As a senior, he served as class president and president of the National Honor Society. After earning his associates 
degree with honors from Grays Harbor Community College, he went on to graduate magna cum laude from Western Washington University in 1971 with a bachelor of arts in geography and a secondary teaching certificate.

Joe began his 34 year career with U.S. Customs in Blaine, WA in 1971 as an Import Specialist. He retired from Homeland Security in 2005.    

Joe married Sandra Eldridge in 1976 and they made their home in Blaine until 2004, when they moved to Birch Bay Village. Together they enjoyed raising their family, spending time at the beach, card games, gardening, traveling, attending the theater, local sports, school functions, time with family and friends and outings with their grandsons. Joe, ever the sports enthusiast, followed the Blaine Borderites closely and loved the Mariners, Sonics, Seahawks, Sounders and his childhood favorite the New York Yankees.

Joe loved the community in which he became a part of, as evident from the volunteer efforts he devoted his time to, including the Blaine Food Bank, Blaine Parks Department, Math Olympiad, and the Boy Scouts of America. Joe enjoyed nearly 25 years of coaching children, both from the community and his own, in little league baseball, softball, soccer and basketball. In retirement, Joe took great pride in five years of umpiring for the Northwest Conference, as well as running the 30-second shot clock at Borderite basketball games. Joe and Sandy were recognized with a lifetime achievement award for their long-standing contribution to extracurricular activities in the Northwest District One in 2012.   

Joe is survived by his wife Sandra of 38 years, his son Ryan Kuttel and wife Anna and their sons Elliot and Dean of Bellingham, his daughter Heidi Burke and husband John and their son Johnny Burke and granddaughter (due in May) of Burlington, sister Patricia Kuttel of Olympia, brother and sister in law Steve and Linda Jones of Custer, nieces Brenda Nymeyer (Tony) of Lynnwood, Krista Orr (Philip) of Bellingham and great-nieces Makena and Malia Nymeyer.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Margaret (Fassler) Kuttel, and father and mother in law Kenneth and Verna (Somers) Eldridge.

A celebration of Joe’s life will be held Friday, March 21st at Greenacres Memorial Park and Event Center, 5700 Northwest Drive, Ferndale, WA 98248 at 2:30 pm.

Memorials may be made in Joe’s name to the Blaine Food Bank, P.O. Box 472, Blaine, WA 98231.