Thomas Kibby Kutch, 89, passed away the evening of Thursday, August 18, 2016, at his Columbus, Indiana, home.
Born April 2, 1927, in Clinton, Indiana, he was the son of Joseph John Kutch and Auverne Kibby Kutch. His father (Sept. 20, 1890 – Sept. 2, 1945) was an engineer for the Indiana Highway Department. His mother (Jan. 8, 1894 – Nov. 6, 1988) was a longtime educator, serving as a teacher and principal in the Clinton and Seymour, Indiana, schools.
Tom graduated in 1945 from Shields High School in Seymour, Indiana, and continued to meet with his classmates regularly over the years. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and proudly served during World War II. He was a Lieutenant Junior Grade. He participated in the Indy Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., Sept. 4, 2015, with two Seymour classmates, Charles Francis (Fritz) Roemmel and Ervin Stuckwisch. A highlight was meeting Sen. Robert Dole at the World War II Memorial.
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He received a bachelors degree in government in 1950 and an MBA in 1967 from Indiana University. He was a member of the Indiana Beta Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity at IU. His father was a charter member of the IU chapter; his brother, sons and a nephew are also Sig Eps. Tom helped reorganize the Sig Ep chapter at IU after World War II. Other IU affiliations included membership in the Sphinx Club, Falcon Club, Chi Gamma Iota (organization for veterans), and the Jackson Club (supporting the Democratic Party).
Upon graduation from IU he joined Arvin Industries, Columbus, Indiana. After a wonderful Arvin career of 38.5 years, he retired Aug. 31, 1988, as manager of manufacturing financial analysis.
It was at Arvin Industries that he met the love of his life, the former Amy Lee Trueblood. They were married March 28, 1952, at the former Evangelical United Brethren Church, Medora, Indiana. March 28 also was the wedding anniversary of Amy’s grandparents, Virgil and Jessie Hardy Trueblood. In honor of their 50th wedding anniversary, Tom and Amy traveled to England, Scotland and Wales; the trip was a gift from their children. They celebrated 64 years of marriage and shared an enduring love from Day 1 throughout their marriage. Their commitment was an inspiration to their children and grandchildren.
In addition to being a loving, caring and supportive father, Tom was an incredible grandfather. His grandchildren brought joy to Tom’s heart. The pleasure he had from watching J.T. play high school and college basketball, to watching Tricia play soccer and run track, to watching Caitlyn and Courtney compete in high school tennis and perform POM routines in Oklahoma, to seeing Sydney and Sheridan play tennis, swim and perform cheer routines for their schools in Florida was only matched by his grandchildren’s joy at having him in the stands. Tom loved every minute of it. He was also an excellent babysitter. If one of his grandchildren needed a babysitter, “The Father” was there.
Tom was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church, Columbus.
The church was a foundation throughout his life. He and Amy taught Sunday school a number of years.
Tom was the chair of the Columbus East‐Columbus North High Schools’ After Prom committee in 1975 and served as the co‐chair in 1974. He was proud to be a part of the annual event.
A former member of the National Association of Accountants, South Central Indiana Chapter, he was chapter president (1974‐75), a national director (1978‐80) and a member of the Stuart Cameron McLeod Society. He was a former member of the Breakfast and Noon Optimist clubs, serving as a director and then as president (1991‐92) of the Noon Optimist Club.
A past vice chair of the Heart Fund, Tom had served as treasurer of the Bartholomew County Democratic Central Committee.
In retirement he worked at H&R Block and delivered meals to Turning Point. A special highlight of retirement was coaching tennis at Central Middle School through a program organized by the Columbus Tennis Association. Tom played tennis into his mid‐seventies. Tom and Jim Lahr won the CTA’s Intermediate City Championship in doubles in 1978.
Athletics were a passion stemming from his days of playing guard for Shields High School as a member of the basketball team which played in the Shields Gymnasium, a “new” gym in his era. He continued to be a fan of all Indiana University athletic teams and a follower of professional golf and tennis.
Survivors include his wife, Amy L. Kutch of Columbus, Indiana; children, Ann Barton (Kevin) of Greenwood, Indiana, Thomas Eric Kutch of Smyrna, Georgia, Matthew Kibby Kutch (Kathy) of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Jane Respess (William) of Satellite Beach, Florida; grandchildren, Mallory Caitlyn Kutch of Norman, Oklahoma, Courtney Kibby Cooper (Chase) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, James Thomas (J.T.) Barton of Greenwood, Indiana/Davie, Florida, Tricia Christine Barton of Greenwood, Indiana, Sydney Adair Respess of Orlando, Florida, and Sheridan Lee Respess of Satellite Beach, Florida; great‐granddaughter, 11‐month‐old Kibby Lee Cooper of Tulsa, Oklahoma; brother, Joseph Alexander Kutch (Lynn) of Cedar Park, Texas; brothers‐in‐law, Joe Trueblood (Judy) of Kansas City, Missouri, and Bernard (Sandy) Freeman of Medora, Indiana; sister‐in‐law, Shirley Trueblood of Seymour, Indiana; and many nieces and nephews. He also is survived by his lifelong friend, Charles Francis (“Uncle Fritz”) Roemmel (“Aunt Phyllis”) of Columbus, Indiana.
The family wishes to thank First United Methodist Church, the Rev. Howard Boles, the Rev. Lisa Cottingham and church members for their prayers and support, as well as special neighbors, Kerry and Sherri Norris.
Special thanks is expressed to Our Hospice of South Central Indiana, Columbus Regional Hospital, American Nursing Care and Silver Oaks and Dr. Philippa Shedd, Dr. Karl McAleese and Dr. Anita Conte.
The devotion of caregivers from Seniors Helping Seniors and Comfort Keepers has been tremendous, with special appreciation to Susan Bruner, Jody Brockman, Deborah Fish, Linda James, Pam Shepherd and Malinda Spicer, who have become special members of the family.
Services will be conducted by the Rev. Cottingham at noon Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Myers‐Reed Dignity Memorial Chapel, 3729 25th St., Columbus, Indiana, where friends may call from 10 a.m. until time of service. Burial will be at Riverview Cemetery, Seymour, Indiana.
The family suggests memorials to the First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir.