John Robert (Bob) Cutter, 89, died peacefully at his home in Bloomington, IN on June 30, 2020 after a 9-month battle with cancer. He was born October 14, 1930, the son of Roland Henry Cutter and Dorothy Lebo Cutter in Fort Wayne, IN. He spent his childhood in Richmond, IN, graduating from Richmond High School in 1948.
He attended Indiana University, where he was a member of Delta Upsilon Fraternity, and graduated in 1952 with a B.S. in Business and an ROTC commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He trained at Fort Lee and served two years in Japan during the Korean War. He spent many years in the Army Reserves Quarter Master Corps, served as National Junior Vice President of the Reserve Officers’ Association of the United States, and retired with the rank of Colonel.
Bob returned to Indiana University to earn his MBA in International Business, graduating in 1960, after which he joined the staff of American International Underwriters (AIU) in San Francisco and became active in the IU Alumni Chapter.
In 1964, he returned to Indiana to join the staff of Lieutenant Governor Robert L. Rock, who was expanding the state’s international trade program. In 1965, Bob was named the first Director of Foreign Trade in the Indiana Department of Commerce, organizing three Indiana trade missions to the Far East and Europe. In 1969, in recognition of his international accomplishments, he was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash by Governor Roger Branigin.
In 1971, Bob moved to Washington, DC, to work in the Department of Commerce. During President Carter’s term he was detailed to the President’s White House Conference on Small Business. He also worked for the Department of Energy. While in Washington, Bob was active in the IU Alumni Chapter and the Indiana State Society, serving as president of both organizations.
Upon his retirement from government work, Bob returned to Bloomington to be active in Indiana University and local activities. He joined St. Thomas Lutheran Church, where he served on the church council, and was a strong supporter of Lutheran Campus Ministry, serving on their board of directors.
After serving 23 years as a docent with the Eskenazi Museum of Art, Bob was named the 2018 Docent of the Year. The Lilly Library also benefitted from his volunteer time. For over 22 years, he served as a host at the University Club at the IU Memorial Union. He also served in an advisory capacity to Delta Upsilon Fraternity and to the university at large.
He enjoyed traveling and did so extensively for work and pleasure. Bob was rarely seen without one of his numerous unique hats (he was partial to alpine-style fedoras) and bold jewelry. He loved IU, art, scotch, a good sale and his cat. He was a morning regular at The Bakehouse on the Courthouse Square where a plaque identified his table as Cutter’s Corner.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, sister Nancy Turula, and nephew Harry Turula.
Bob is survived by his brother, Roland Cutter, nieces Kim (Ted) Dickman, Jennifer (Tim) Benton, Linda (Elwood) Roeschlein, Lisa (Michael) Geesey, niece-in-law Elyse Turula, nephew Dan (Kelly) Turula, as well as five grandnieces, seven grandnephews, one great grandniece, and one great grandnephew.
A celebration of Bob’s life is being planned at St. Thomas Lutheran Church when it reopens after Covid19 restrictions ease. In the meantime a private graveside service will be held at Lutherania Cemetery in Richmond, IN.
Memorial contributions in Bob’s name may be made to Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard at mhcfoodpantry.org or St. Thomas Lutheran Church at stlconline.wordpress.com. The family would like to thank the many wonderful friends and caregivers who provided Bob with love and companionship in his later years.