Cover photo for Ellen 'Joan' Kutzman's Obituary
Ellen 'Joan' Kutzman Profile Photo
1932 Ellen 2011

Ellen 'Joan' Kutzman

September 12, 1932 — November 19, 2011

Ellen #8220;Joan#8221; Kutzman, 79, of Bozeman, died peacefully at home on November 19, 2011. She was born September 12, 1932 in Omaha, NE to Walter and Helen (Machimer) Wolfe. Joan was raised in Logan, IA. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 1956 with a degree in elementary education. She taught first in the Denver public schools and then as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher for the City of London (United Kingdom) public schools. She returned to the Denver public schools after completing the Fulbright program. In 1963 she accepted a teaching position in England with the dependent schools for the U.S. Armed Forces. She met her future husband Nathaniel #8220;Nat#8221; Kutzman at a party at the officers#8217; club at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England. They were married on August 18, 1964 in Omaha, NE. The family moved often to follow Nat#8217;s career in the Air Force. They lived at Zaragoza AFB, Spain , where their son John was born. Then they lived at Offutt AFB, near Omaha, NE, where their daughter Lise was born. While Nat was stationed in Korea, Joan and the children lived in Papillion, NE. Then the family moved to Andrews AFB, MD; Hanscom Field, MA; and finally Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City, SD. When Nat retired from the Air Force in 1982, they moved to Bozeman. In Bozeman, Joan attended Montana State University to earn teaching credits. She worked as a library circulation clerk at Bozeman Senior High School until she retired in 1997. She was a member of Holy Rosary Parish, the Foresters, a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and a member of Valley View Golf Club. Joan loved classical music, and joked that her acceptance of Nat#8217;s marriage proposal was contingent on his agreeing to a home stereo. Nat then constructed the couple#8217;s first stereo from a kit. She frequently played her collection of symphonic music on this stereo, which influenced her son John to take up the trumpet. Later her grandson Ben followed in his uncle#8217;s footsteps and to Joan#8217;s delight also plays the trumpet. She found joy in life#8217;s simple pleasures: her grandson Luke#8217;s phone calls and visits from her grand-dogs. She enjoyed cross stitching and was an outstanding cook. John and Lise both share her love of cooking. She was a dedicated gardener and a faithful volunteer at the Bozeman Humane Society (now Heart of the Valley Humane Society). She loved every animal she ever saw. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Thomas Wolfe, Capt., USCG; and her sister Dorothy Wolfe Green. Survivors include her husband Nathaniel of Bozeman; son and daughter-in-law John Kutzman and Jean Faure of Great Falls, MT; daughter and son-in-law Lise (Kutzman) and Jeff Pinkham and two grandsons Benjamin and Lucas Pinkham, all of Idaho Falls, ID; and a sister Patricia Wolfe of Sun City, AZ. Visitation will be Sunday, November 27, 2011 from 2 to 3:30 pm, followed by a Foresters Rosary at 3:30 and Vigil Service at 4 pm, all at Dahl Funeral Chapel (300 Highland Boulevard). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, November 28, 2011, 10:00 am at the Bozeman Catholic Community Center, 210 South Grand, followed by interment at Sunset Hills Cemetery. The Society of Foresters will be providing lunch at the reception, which will be at the Bozeman Catholic Community Center following burial. Memorial may be made in her name to Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 11390, Bozeman, MT 59719 or http://www.heartofthevalleyshelter.org/support/index.html.

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