Gerald “Jerry” Tutcher, 91, of Lewiston, passed away Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston.
He was born in Spokane on Sept. 14, 1929, to Buck Nuckols and Dean Ellis, then he moved to Lewiston at the age of 2 and was raised by Wallace and Laura Tutcher.
In his youth, he sold magazines, delivered newspapers, and worked in the mailroom and pressroom of the Lewiston Morning Tribune.
In 1941, he began his cooking career on a coal-fired stove at the Bollinger Hotel and later at the Manhattan Café where, in 1946, he met and later married Bonnie Maxfield, and they were blessed with Paul, Shay, Lynn and Jackie. He owned the Italian Gardens Restaurant in North Lewiston from 1962 until 1987, and people still ask for his recipes. He was also accomplished at carpentry and enjoyed buying old homes and buildings and remodeling them.
His hobbies have included hunting, fishing and boating and sailing most of the lakes and rivers in the Northwest and rafting on the Colorado River. He sailed the South Pacific and San Juan Islands. He also enjoyed spending time at his cabin on Lake Coeur d’Alene and gardening, reading, crosswords, cards, plays, cooking and visiting with family and friends.
Bonnie and Jerry divorced in the early 1970s and Jerry married Alana Garai and helped raise her two sons, Shawn and Jarred. After Alana passed away, he and Jill Barnard had a daughter, Loriel. He later married Marie Anderson and enjoyed a close relationship with her adult children, Odella, Neil and Allen. When Marie passed, Bonnie and Jerry got back together and were very happy until her passing in October 2020.
Dad was preceded in death by wives Bonnie Faling, Alana Garai and Marie Anderson; daughter Sharon Ann Tutcher; brothers Calvin, Ernest, Charles and Bob Buche and Glen and Clarence Tutcher; sisters Vera Martin and Arlene Lundquist and Ida Buche.
Surviving Jerry are children Paul (Judy) Tutcher, Lynette Garrison, Jackie O’Neill and Loriel Barnard; stepchildren Shawn and Jarred Garai, Odella Wolf, Neil and Allen Anderson. He also leaves behind several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and beloved friends.
Dad enjoyed good health to the very end. He was out walking on the dike enjoying the sunshine before the Lord welcomed him home. He was active in his church, liked to deliver meals to shut-ins, helped lots of people and charities and tried to serve the Lord every day.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your favorite charity.
A memorial service will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at The House of Faith, 2502 16th Ave., Lewiston. Masks are required.