Leslie “Les” “Butch” Neil Jutting, 76, loving husband, father, and grandfather, of Clear Lake, SD, was called to Heaven on Saturday, April 23, 2022. This is not your typical obituary...
There was this guy by the name of Les “Butch” Jutting. During a whiteout snowstorm, Les’ father, John L. Jutting, drove his wife, Vera M. (Govers) Jutting, to the hospital in Milbank, SD. They made it there with the help of Walt Weisman sitting on the front bumper of the car to direct John where the road was and freezing his ears in the process! Les was born February 12, 1946; delivered by a Judge. Dr. Judge, that is.
Les was the youngest of three and the only boy. He grew up in the Altamont, SD area. At age 11, he started working for his dad’s commercial spraying business, working through college. He participated in 4-H and FFA, earning many awards including raising or evaluating sheep and cattle, #1 Meat Grain Cattle, 1st place Livestock, FFA State Star Farmer, and many others. He developed a love for sales at Clear Lake High School while competing to sell the most magazines to raise funds for prom. He graduated in 1964 and continued his studies for 3 years at SDSU.
Loosely following tradition, Les proposed to the love of his life, Marcie (McDaniel) Jutting, while he was driving her through an icy winter storm. She excitedly lunged over to hug him, the car was sliding on the ice, traveling over a hill to see an oncoming tractor-trailer in their view! Fortunately, he was able to quickly (and easily;) keep the car on the road and they arrived safely. If only they had had a friend on their bumper directing them. They were joined in marriage on July 27, 1968, at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Watertown, SD. They were blessed with 4 fantastic children – Susan, Michelle, Neil, and Tamra. Les dabbled in a few careers and in 1968, he started working at Haywood’s Jewelry at the photo, jewelry, and watch counters.
In 1971, Les began his career with Aid Association for Lutherans as a District Representative in the Watertown, SD area. He moved his family to Sioux Falls, SD in 1975 to assist Walt Steinhauer, and learned how to manage an agency. 1979 took the family to Roanoke, VA where he was an Assistant General Agent in the Henry Schmalenberg Agency covering a large area of the East Coast. A promotion to General Agent for Northern SD in 1982 relocated the family to Aberdeen, SD. Les’ agency expanded to include portions of MN in 1985. He was eager to welcome the new District Representatives into his agency and make them family. Les always delighted in coaching others in his selling methods and how to ensure one’s clients were served properly. To be more centralized for his agency, Les moved to Big Stone Lake (SD) in 1994 where he and Marcie built their dream home. From their living room, they took in the breathtaking views of sunsets, wildlife, and people fishing on the lake. Due to company restructuring in 1997, Les relocated to Van Wert, OH as a District Representative for the Dave Modene Agency. Marcie waited to move to OH until the summer of 1998, once their youngest daughter graduated from high school. In 2002, Les acquired a new territory enabling him and Marcie to move back to SD, making a home in Watertown. Having lived in many places, his longing to move back to his hometown had grown strong. So, he and Marcie found a lovely home in Clear Lake, SD, and Les was back home by 2007. Eventually, he decided it was time to dedicate as much time as possible to his first love... Fishing! After 38 years with the company, Les finally retired from Thrivent Financial (formerly Aid Association for Lutherans) in 2009. During his outstanding career, Les served as president or vice president of several Fraternal Organizations, both local and state levels, such as Life Underwriters and Fraternal Congress of Life Underwriters, as well as a member of national organizations. He had many achievements and earned numerous accolades, often many years in a row: qualifying for yearly Conventions/Club Trips, Cabinet, President's Cabinet (highest level at the time), Pacesetter Plus, and Million Dollar Round Table – taking Les and Marcie to various destinations in the world including Costa Rica, Jamaica, (ooh I wanna take ya), Bermuda, the Bahamas, (come on pretty mama), Hawaii, Montego, (baby, why don’t we go...), the Florida Keys. (They never did make it to Kokomo;) Two of his greatest career achievements: his agency earning the 100 Million Dollar Honor Award in 1984 (his 2nd year as a General Agent!) and being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.
Les immensely enjoyed time with his family, whether it was basketball in the backyard, family movie nights, Pictionary and other games, photography, fishing, or travel. Family vacations included yearly camping trips to the Black Hills and the SD State Fair when the children were young; Yellowstone, Glacier, and other National Parks; Expo 86-World’s Fair in Vancouver, the Northwest Territories, and other parts of Canada; Seattle; Washington D.C.; Disney World; and numerous other destinations. His wife and children will always value the experiences they had with him. They appreciated their family vacations... even if those vacations sometimes reminded them of a National Lampoons Style Adventure! It should be mentioned that Les had visited all but 4 states in the U.S. “Don’t worry, Dad, we will each visit OR, RI, VT, and NH for you! Neil is winning since he has already visited all 4 of these!”
Les was always telling jokes and stories. He had some pretty good card tricks too; one of his favorites was a story about LeRoy that sucked you in for 10 minutes! He loved wildlife and was a good hunter. Though, he eventually decided he would rather shoot wildlife with a camera only. He photographed all sorts of subjects. Some of his favorites included Pike Place Market in Seattle, the majestic landscapes of the National and State Parks, his grandkids, Bald Eagles, and all kinds of wildlife (of course!) His favorite photography destination was Haines, Alaska to photograph the 5,000 Bald Eagles that gather there. Les won photography awards at county and state fairs including Best in Show, was featured in the newspaper more than once, and had his photos on display in various galleries. For a few years, Les donated his wildlife photography for the Clear Lake Fire Department’s Fundraising Calendar. Having instilled a love for it in his children; photography, awards, galleries, and charitable work became a family affair.
Les was an avid and skilled fisherman who loved to teach people of all ages how to fish: recommending the right gear and bait or lending his rod, how to read the water and weather, and the proper way to cast a line. He wanted everyone to be successful, whether it was fishing, photography, or selling! Les traveled to many fishing locales including Vancouver Island and Puget Sound; Sheboygan, WI; and 9 straight years in the Northwest Territories in Canada. His favorite local spots were Big Stone Lake, Amsden Dam, Lake Alice, Clear Lake, and taking the kids chub fishing in the Creek. While living in Clear Lake, Les became an even greater fisherman, catching and releasing over a thousand walleye per year!
In Les’ last weeks, he asked that the following be included in his obituary: “The greatest accomplishments that you make in life are not what you’ve done or the money you’ve earned, but it is the fact that you raised 4 wonderful, hardworking children.”
Les is survived by his wife, Marcie; daughters: Susan Stucke and her children with Ben, Zak and Zoe, Michelle (Todd) Goehring, and Tamra (Stephen) Jutting-Szarnicki; son: Neil (Angie) Jutting and their son, Jet; sisters: Roxy (the late Stanley) Kukuk and their family; Sandy (Erland) Carlson and their family; Mother-in-Law: Lavern (the late "Mac") McDaniel; and many extended family members.
Memorial services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Watertown. Pastor Iver Possehl and Pastor Robert L. Anderson will officiate. Music will be provided by Sharon Falk as organist and Todd Goehring on fiddle. The service will be live-streamed on Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel's Facebook page and also on the church website.
Visitation will be at the church prior to the service starting at 10:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, friends and family are encouraged to donate to the Deuel County Lakes & Streams at POB 1032 Clear Lake, SD 57226; or the Clear Lake Volunteer Fire Department at 311 Hwy 22 Clear Lake, SD 57226.
Arrangements by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel www.crawfordosthus.com
Watertown, Hayti, De Smet, Bryant
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