Harold Dean Tuttle

Tuttle—Harold Dean Tuttle, 108, on July 18, 2018, peacefully, at home in State College, Pa. Dean was born on April 6, 1910, in Oakland, Calif, to Pearl Dean and Harold Tuttle. He lived there and in San Francisco before his family homesteaded in Central Oregon’s Barnes Valley; Forest Grove, Ore; and finally Eugene, Ore., where he studied at University of Oregon, visiting Cuba as a student. In his early 20s he followed his college professor father to New York City, worked in the banking industry, and continued with college studies. In 1938 he was drawn to Quakers pacifist testimony and eventually joined the Religious Society of Friends. He met and married the love of his life, Shirley VanWagner, in 1942, and was a conscientious objector during World War II.

After serving in two Civilian Public Service (CPS) camps, he moved with Shirley in 1945 to Dutchess County, N.Y., partnering with his brother-in-law to run the family poultry farm and hatchery for 20 years, serving as a volunteer fireman, and enjoying his love of music as a tenor in the community chorus. He later worked in appliance sales before spending three years maintaining the grounds and acting as business manager at Ramallah Friends Girls School, where Shirley was principal in 1974–77. His contributions aided the school significantly during a challenging time in that strife-filled region. He and Shirley returned to their home in Dutchess County, and in 1986 he went to a Quaker Right Sharing project workcamp in Honduras. His interest in other people and other countries took him to Canada, Turkey, Egypt, and Europe, and he attended many Friends Committee on National Legislation meetings and wrote letters to political leaders and to local newspapers.

When he and Shirley moved to Foxdale Village retirement community in State College in 1992 and transferred their membership to State College Meeting, he became active in the Peace and Social Action Committee and supported Shirley’s initiation of the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) in Centre County. With a rich spiritual and community life in State College Meeting and at Foxdale, he continued tennis, ping-pong, bowling, and cross-country skiing well into his 90s, and still enjoyed some bowling and ping-pong as a centenarian. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Centre County for initiating Foxdale’s recycling program. His concern for peace and justice in the Middle East lasted for the rest of his life; recently he was able to Skype with a young person living in Ramallah who was a former student of another Foxdale resident.

One of those people who give Quakers a good name in the wider community, he made you feel good when you were with him. His love, humility, kindness, helpfulness, and concern for others benefited countless people. Friends knew him not only for his advanced age, but for his positive attitude, active involvement in social justice, prowess at ping-pong, interest in current events, enjoyment of movies, and tender care of his beloved Shirley for many years. She died in 2013. His final days were filled with an outpouring of love from Foxdale residents and staff and from the wider Friends community, who were uplifted by his whistling and by his gentle, humor-filled affection.

Dean is survived by his children, Norman Tuttle (Rebekah), Joyce Ollman (Peter), and Alan Tuttle (Lisa Joy), three grandchildren; one grandchild; and his “State College daughter,” Lynne Heritage.

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