Obituary: William Edwin Tuttle, 93

William Edwin Tuttle of Wilton died Sept. 30. He was born in Allentown, Pa., on June 1, 1923, the only child of Edwin Tuttle and F. Aline Balliet, and a ninth-generation American.

He attended Culver Military Academy and later joined ROTC at Cornell University. In 1945 he accepted a commission as lieutenant in the Army when the United States entered the Second World War. He rose to captain in the 707th battalion of the Army’s 2nd Armored Division “Hell on Wheels,” commanding a tank in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, among other fronts in the European theater. He returned to Cornell and graduated in 1948. He never spoke of the war, as if it was his duty to protect those he loved from the pain of his experience.

Soon after, he took a summer job as the front desk manager at the Colonial Hotel in Cape May, N.J., where he met his future wife, Lillian “Lil” Kastuck. They married in 1949 and eventually settled in Connecticut to raise their four children, Carol (Lyons), Robin (Young), Stephanie (Zafiris) and Richard, a rotating cast of clipped-ear boxer dogs, and his prized orchids.

He had a long career at St. Regis Paper Company and after retirement worked at a small local bookstore where he shared his love of reading with many.

“We lost him slowly to dementia,” his family said. “The man who took up stoic silence as part of the masculine ideal was eventually unable to escape it. But that’s not the man we’ll remember. We’ll remember the family man, who loved his children and their spouses, his nine grandchildren and five and one-half great-grandchildren, sometimes from a distance, but always enough to know he meant it.

“We’ll remember his face sticking out of the surf in Cape May in his signature body-surfing position: arms at his sides, head up, eyes open. We’ll remember the lilting way he said, ‘sure,’ drawing it out to draw you out. We’ll remember the precision with which he wore his tuxedos. We’ll remember his ease on the beach with a book in his hand, his joy handing out Christmas gifts, and reliably colorful things he said to many an undeserving Thanksgiving turkey. We’ll remember that spirit most of all and we’ll look for it in ourselves. We’ll miss him,” they said.

Services will be private.