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Posted on Mar 20, 2015

Former Councilman George Nutter passes away

Flags were lowered to half-staff at Quincy City Hall last week to mark the recent death of George Nutter, former city councilman and Quincy police officer and a longtime community leader.

Nutter, 67, passed away on March 11 following a lengthy battle with chronic obstructive lung disease. His memorial services on Monday drew some 300 people to St. Paul Lutheran Church.

Pam Nutter, George’s wife of nearly 40 years, said her husband, who was raised in Bremerton, grew to love the Quincy community, which he called home since 1978.

“George is one of those people who always felt it was important to give back to the community,” she said.

At Tuesday’s Quincy City Council meeting, Mayor Jim Hemberry asked for a moment of silence to commemorate George. George served eight years on the city council, six years as a commissioner for the city cemetery district and three years as a commissioner for the Grant County Civil Service Commission.

George was a man who truly knew what it meant to serve his community, Hemberry said.

“He is somebody who will be missed by the community,” the mayor said.

Greg Meinzer, who served twice as interim chief for the Quincy Police Department, was George’s longtime friend. The two met 37 years ago while working for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

As a law enforcement officer, George worked about 33 years at a variety of agencies, retiring in 2007 from the Washington State Patrol. He was also a decorated U.S. Army veteran, having served in Vietnam.

George put his “heart and soul” into his career, Meinzer said. As a law enforcement officer, he was always able to look at the big picture, Meinzer said of his friend. Not much got by George, and he had a nice way with people, Meinzer added.

George also was an avid reader who kept up on the news, Meinzer said. And he was always willing to share his opinion, Meinzer said. Still, he was positive and upbeat, too, Meinzer added.

“He is leaving a pretty big void in the lives of many people,” Meinzer said.

Paul Van Buskirk of Quincy spent many years boating on Lake Roosevelt with the Nutter family. He and George did most of their boating together. In their later years, they met for coffee up to four times a week, Van Buskirk said.

George was an intelligent man who wrote two books on his experience in Vietnam, Van Buskirk said. And his community was especially important to him, Van Buskirk said.

“He devoted a lot of his life to Quincy,” said Van Buskirk. “This is where he set his roots down.”

Many people in the community knew Nutter as a passionate man who wasn’t afraid to share his opinion. From time to time, he wrote letters to the editor or guest columns in the Quincy Valley Post-Register.

If George was passionate about something, he would fight hard for what he believed in, Pam said. He was never one to walk away from a conflict or adversity, she said.

Often times, community members thanked him for writing a letter to the newspaper, expressing an opinion they too shared, she said.

“I think I was just proud that he was willing to be out there and be the face of the community,” Pam said.

And above all, George was a wonderful husband and father, Pam said.

“He left a great legacy to his kids and his grandkids,” she said.

 

— By Jill FitzSimmons, editor@qvpr.com

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