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Donn Kutz's 56th Birthday

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Donn Kutz's 56th Birthday - Page Text Content

S: 12/12/12 56 Years of Memoriesy

FC: Because we love him

1: I have three daughters, so I can't be as tough as I want to be. When you have kids - especially daughters - they know how to work you. They're a lot smarter than we are, that's for sure. ~ Tim McGraw

2: FAMILY | My favorite memory that has stuck with me through all the years was seeing this big, bad, tough guy being called daddy constantly and holding his girls hands. All the way from crossing the street to walking through stores when they were in high school. I saw the love between your girls and you, and I pray Leah and I will have the same relationship. Love you, Uncle Donn! Happy Birthday! ~Davey Norris

3: Another memory is when we went to Geauga Lake and rode the spider ride. Nobody would go on it with me, but you did! You could barely fit in the seat with me, and we screamed like little girls and laughed so hard we cried! Thank you for that! ~Davey Norris | ~Cathy Norris

4: "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

5: Your dad, Cathy, Caroline and my aunt Louise lived with us for a time back when we kids were kids. Your dad was 1 or 2 when he first came to live with my mom, Coral and me. I remember being in the kitchen with him-just him and me. I was probably only 8 or 9 years old and I wanted to pick him up, so I did. Like babies will do he arched his back and pulled against my hold. Being just a little kid myself I couldn't hold on to him so he went swinging down and I just had a hold of his legs. He was hanging upside down from my arms. I had to let him down as gently as I could but when his head touched the floor he began to cry and wail. I put him down as quickly as I could. Caroline heard him crying and rushed in to see what was wrong. I was scared to death I might have nearly killed him and I lied and said I didn't know what was wrong. Also at our house, in our living room, was a big, ugly coffee table that your dad would come running into the room and smack his head against. So you see you can attribute his weirdness and insanity to all the head trauma he suffered at a very tender age. He's "drain bamaged"--doiyeeeee!!! ~Bonnie McKinnon

6: CHERISH | My Girls

7: Our most pleasant memory was when Donn first visited us after we got married. The Denver families were to meet with Donn at a restaurant in Castle Rock. This occasion was for him to meet Lois for the first time. When we arrived at the restaurant, Donn was outside to greet us. Donn and I shook hands, hugged and exchanged pleasantries. He then tightly embraced Lois and whispered in her ear "I pray for you every day" and so it goes... ~ Dave Kropp

8: Who can forget our trip to New York City in November 2002?!?! It’s hard to believe that was an entire decade ago. We had so much fun, beginning with the limo ride to the airport to seeing Rent on Broadway. We had front row seats to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, where we drank hot chocolate and froze our butts off. We dined at all kinds of great restaurants and shopped until our feet could handle no more. We saw Timmy perform live and even got a souvenir photo! There are few people who can brag about having such an amazing 21st birthday and even fewer who can proudly proclaim it was because of their daddy’s thoughtfulness. ~Kate Donnelly


13: ~Cathy Norris

17: I remember his old baby blue Thunderbird and the crazy blizzard in Colorado. I would say that the most important memory was him being at my wedding. He has always been someone to look up to regardless of the distance between all of us. I guess that is the price we have paid serving our country. I enjoy giving him jabs about the Air Force and him in return. I know that he still looks over Mom and cares for everyone just the same. ~Jason Norris


19: I thought of another "Donnie" memory (and he'll always be Donnie to me). Again he was a toddler. I was in Brownies--you know, Girl Scouts and every year the troupes in the area gave a show at the school. The theme of this particular program was Girl Scouts around the world. My troupe had to give a skit on Girl Scouts in Africa--yes, Africa. Keep in mind that this was a lily white school system in the 1950's. Our skit would not be politically correct today. We dressed as African "savages". We wore black turtleneck sweaters, black tights, "wigs" of hairnets and black tissue paper tied into them, skirts of yellow crepe paper strips to look like grass skirts and, get this, necklaces of Milk Bone dog biscuits (I remember I tasted a dog biscuit--not bad, as I recall) tied with twine around our necks. And, of course, we had black shoe polish on our faces. (I'll bet you're wondering what all this has to do with your dad). Anyway, we would dance around a big cooing pot throwing in words like HONESTY, TRUTHFULNESS, HELPFULNESS (you get the idea) and up from the pot jumped a Girl Scout (a black one I presume). After the program, I got into the back seat with your dad and I was still in costume and of course he screamed like a banshee. I may have egged him on a little by trying to scare him even more--I may have I don't remember--Alzheimer's you know. Maybe that's why I DO remember getting yelled at by your grandma! You better grab onto these memories when I give them because Alzheimer is no lie--actually, these old memories are clearer than what I did yesterday and far more pleasant! ~Bonnie McKinnon

20: Dick and I spent just over 3 weeks in Europe while Donn and family was stationed in Belgium. Donn saw to it we had the vacation of our life. Not only did we have the hospitality of their home and the use of their car (I drove everywhere while Dick was the navigator), but Donn laid out the entire itinerary for our "Seeing Europe." Our travels took us to 7 countries and I got to drive on the Autoban. Sites to see and the evening reservations were all there...hour by hour - day by day. Donn left nothing out. Truly a vacation of a lifetime. ~Jean Kropp

21: After you and mommy got divorced, you would always try to think of new and fun things to do with us on our weekends with you. I remember one time mommy told us to pack jeans to go to your house, so we kept talking about what we could possibly need jeans for. We knew you had some kind of surprise in store for us, we just had no idea what. Then you told us you were going to take us horseback riding. I think I must have been about 11 years old and let me tell you, that was the best thing ever! I had so much fun! The horses were really slow on the way up the trail and on the way back they started trotting, then galloping, faster and faster. I remember being a little scared, but mostly I remember just having the time of my life! ~Jenn Candelaria

23: One of my most favorite memories includes you and Ricky. I remember our afternoon walks where we would talk about EVERYTHING. In just a short half hour walk, we could cover boys, make up stories about the neighbors, and study for the SATs. You always give the best and most helpful advice and more importantly, I know you will ALWAYS be there for me when I need you the most. ~Kate Donnelly



26: ~Betty Carman

27: You were always scaring my mom. ~Debbie Kutz

28: ~Cathy Norris

31: Families fill our lives with happiness and laughter leaving us memories to treasure today and forever after.

32: I remember when we took Aidan to the model train show in downtown Tampa for the first time. I didn't know who was more excited to be there, Aidan or his Papa! Aidan didn't leave his Papa's side. Aidan got to ride the big train, he got held when he couldn't see the many displays and pretty much got anything he asked for. And at the end of the day I think they were both pretty tired. It was certainly a great day for the family and Aidan really appreciates that time with his Papa. ~Tom Donnelly

33: ~Betty Carman

35: Pets. Did I mention his love of pets? As kids we weren't allowed to have pets. None. Nada. No way. When Buffer left "us" ... we cried together. ~Caroline Orr


40: JOY


43: Politics - go Nixon!!! How many high school-aged boys even knew who he was. His bedroom wall had posters and pins and another Republican was born. And Colin Powell, what do you mean he isn't going to run for President?!?! That was a blow and until Reagan we didn't have a whole lot to discuss. I noticed we didn't chat about the most recent election :) POTUS. What the crap is that? Cath and I were staying at his townhome and we saw this phone in the room I was staying in. OMG. That POTUS! " Whatever you do, if this phone rings, DO NOT ANSWER". Donn's voice was no nonsense, his stance defying. But Cath and I were hysterical with laughter and giddiness (please don't roll over in bed and accidently hit the button). This is probably more our memory but how many siblings can say their brother had a POTUS connection! ~Caroline Orr

44: Rich was having trouble learning the trick necessary to tie his shoe laces. He was almost there but not quite. I can still see Rich and Donn in the rec room, on the floor, and Donn is working with Richie. Seems like within minutes Rich knew that little trick to tying his laces. Donn felt good, Rich was happy and everybody was proud. ~Jean Kropp

45: When your mom and dad got married your dad and Uncle Ted enjoyed the reception by having a few too many drinks. They were dancing and acting really crazy. Everyone was laughing at how crazy they were acting. Another time when they were divorced he brought you girls up north here over your mom's birthday. We bought your mom a birthday cake and videotaped us singing happy birthday to her. ~Helen Gida

46: I remember when I told you I was going to save up and book us a tour to Alaska. You thought I was crazy then we went to the John Hall's Alaska presentation and you were sold. We took every mode of transportation during those 3 weeks. We took a bus, boat, river boat, ferry, 2 different trains (one that hugged the side of a mountain), small plane out of Denali & flew right over Mount McKinley, the most beautiful scenery we had seen yet and finally on to our cruise ship. We saw so much wildlife, reindeer, grizzly bears, moose, Dahl sheep, otters, whales, and so much more. We got to ride a sled pulled by a real dog team. Taking the boat through the glaciers was breathtaking. We ate so much wonderful food and met so many wonderful people. You even found a place to gamble. You looked so handsome in your tux at dinner on the cruise. I have so many wonderful memories of that trip with you I can't put all them down here but they will forever be in our memories. ~Debbie Kutz

50: Being a Daddy to little girls has to be tough and I know I wasn't always sure Daddy was attuned to the things that I liked or was into. So he often surprised me because even though I didn't realize it, he was always paying attention. The first memory that pops into my head has a lot to do with him being thoughtful and always surprising me. I was living in an apartment with Nan after High School and I was so sick with the flu, I was laid up on the couch feeling just awful. There was a knock at the door and Daddy was there, when we sat down he then he gave me a DVD, "Adventures of Winnie the Pooh". Thoughtful. Surprise. I don't know how he knew that I wanted that or that Winnie the Pooh was my favorite little bear in the world but he did. EVERY time I'm sick and laid up feeling something awful, I watch "Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" and I remember that very special visit from my Daddy. ~Sarah Sandlin

51: We thought we were in the lap of luxury on the 12th floor of the DaVinci apartment building. I remember you refinishing the antiques from my Mom on the patio with the blowing winds whipping the newspaper back up on the newly finished furniture. Then there was our first Thanksgiving. Caroline came over to help make pies and I made the rest of dinner. We had some single airmen that couldn't get home over. It was perfect until you carved into the turkey and out popped the bag of giblets that I had no idea was in there. I also remember you got me Buffer for Christmas that year and we had to sneak him in and out of the apartment under a blanket till our new house was completed. ~Debbie Kutz

53: I’ve always said that I have a terrible memory. I don’t have very many memories of anything and I often think that the memories I think I do have from when I was younger are actually stories that were told to me, that I believe to be my own memories. Daddy always says the same thing about his memory too; it must be something about being the baby in the family, I guess! On my 21st birthday, Daddy had multi-colored roses delivered to me at home. That was the first time that I had ever received flowers from anyone and I was on cloud nine! I remember thinking, I don’t think Kate and Sarah got flowers on their 21st birthday! Haha! I think being the baby of three girls, I always felt special anytime I got anything different from them, so the fact that I got flowers and (maybe) they didn’t, made it all that much more special! ~Jenn Candelaria

55: I remember getting there after a rough flight and seeing the house you picked for the first time. It was like an old castle to me. You had them deliver furniture from the base until our furniture arrived. I remember removing the old, falling down wall paper, which we thought was so hideous and putting up new paper. The landlords were not happy. We traveled around as much as we could to Dinant, Villers Le Gambon, Germany, Netherlands (our favorite place) and France, which was 10 minutes away. Chrissy came to visit while we were there and I remember a field mouse crawling through her bedroom. She was so upset. We had many friends and many parties where our friends could barely make it home. ~Debbie Kutz

56: Us relatives in Florida were invited to surprise your grandma Weese on one of her visits she was making to, I think, your first house in Tampa. Walked in the door, and directly in front of us was a beautiful Christmas tree and all the trimmins'. We hadn't taken two steps when your dad yelled stop (or something similar), and in front of us on the floor in front of tree, was a little "gift" the dog had left! Donn went and got paper towels, and bent over to clean it up......that's when my camera went click, and I got a great picture of his rear. That was funny enough until I got film developed, and all you could see in the picture got it...his butt! We weren't particularly close growing up; but, as life presented itself to us, we developed and have maintained, a very special relationship. Like so many, I love him, and wish him the very best birthday ever!! Cuz, Sue Scholder

57: Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories. - Cathy Allen

58: I remember walking down the aisle looking at my handsome, soon to be, husband in your uniform. We were so nervous. Then as we were standing there we both looked up and realized that the minister, who wore very thick glasses had written our vows in very large Crayola letters so he could see them. That still didn't keep him from making mistakes though. Then after the ceremony we were leaving the church and our guests pelted us with rice. It really hurt. On to the reception, we danced and drank, then you took the mic and proceeded to entertain our guests while we opened our gifts. Everyone loved it. I can still remember the castle Dave and Caroline built out of Iron City beer cans. The party was coming to an end and we were on the floor from so much drink and excitement but that didn't stop us. We still went on to another spot and danced and drank till they pushed us out. There we were dancing to "our dance" and my Mom, having a few beers herself, cut right in and started dancing with you. It was an amazing party. ~Debbie Kutz

60: I remember on my wedding day when you walked Sarah down the aisle arm in arm. You were such a proud father. You handed her over to me, pulled me in close, and told me to take care of your little girl. And ever since that day I've tried to do my best to take care of your bear. ~Justin Sandlin

61: May 2004

62: I would be remiss if I didn't point out the loving, caring side of my brother. This is truly my strongest and most vivid memory to share - regardless of his age, or where he was at, his love of family has and always will be in the forefront. At the ready to be a problem solver ... no wonder he has become the strong leader of men and women. A caring and loving spouse who would move heaven and earth to protect Deb. And, a Dad who has "always been there" for his kids and loves being a Grandpa. Happy 56th Birthday on 12 - 12 -12. Loves you, Caroline

64: ~Betty Carman

66: ~Cathy Norris

68: May 2012

70: You are one of the greatest mentors a person could ask for. I know all the talking I do in the patrol car makes you want to throw me out of the car and patrol by yourself. Since we have been riding, you have managed to change me not only as a person but also as supervisor. How in the world do you put up with me I will never know as you continue to tell me the same things over and over again. You raised your kids already and you continuously come out to ride with me and have to tell me the same thing week after week, hmmm do I not get it? Donn and I have a routine, he gets the car ready, logs us in, then sits and waits for the storm to come. (Storm would be me). Donn is such a calm person when handling calls. He handles all the teenage or any children-related events. I do not know what I handle well as I have to ask him so I do not do it the wrong way. Donn knows that I am a RV camping type person and on one of our outings we get dispatched to handle a RV parked in a lot. Well I thought I can handle this, we get to the location and I am wowed by the beauty of this RV. While I am checking this nice rig out preparing to meet the owner, I hear, “bang bang bang” on the door, “Come on out if you are in there.” Wow, I was shocked Donn was yelling at a parked RV demanding whomever to come out. Knowing Donn for a while I have not seen him raise his voice to this level before. So I just stood back and watched, “bang bang bang” on the door, “If you are in there you better come out before we have this thing towed.” The owner comes out and Donn asks him very abruptly, “Is this your RV? Yes. Well you need to move it before we have it towed.” The guy tried to talk and ask questions, but Donn wasn’t having it. Well during this I saw a different side of Donn and I just come to figure that he does not like RV’s or the RV owners, so being a RV owner myself I do not want to park anywhere in Hillsborough County as long as Donn is patrolling. Enjoy working with you bud, I hope this is a great memory for you this year and please let me know when you are going to buy that RV motor home to join us. LOL.! ~Paul Dahlke

71: If there was one within listening distance, or not (!), red lights and sirenswe were on the chase and Donn was only in middle school. To cement this truth - the weekend that I married Bill Orr in Canton, we were driving on Route 62. Donn and Cath both in the car. Suddenly sirens were coming from everywhere and Bill, a former state patrolman, couldn't help himself and Donn was egging him on. We were on the chase of the sirens with Donn telling him to drive faster. And today he still chases - except he's the one with the red lights and siren. ~Caroline Orr | I remember back in my Papa John’s days when I was working in the back of the store. My manager told me there was a cop here that wanted to talk to me. I walked up front and there you are, in your full sheriff's uniform. I had a hard time making them believe you were my girlfriend's father and not that I committed a crime. Every time there was a cop behind me at work I always thought it was you on patrol screwing with me. Those were the good old days. ~Justin Sandlin

74: I was the last of the three of us to go on a TDY with daddy and he took me to Washington D.C. in July 2009. There was so much to see and do and I did most of it while he was working. I remember one day when he was done with work, we went on a mission to find the Kutz Bridge. I think we walked over the bridge a few times before someone finally told us that the bridge we were on was the bridge we were looking for! We finally found a sign at the end of the bridge and took a few pictures there, overlooking the Tidal Basin. I think the best thing we did while in D.C. was visit Madame Tussauds. We had such a great time there! He took pictures with Tiger Woods and his buddy George Bush, while I posed with the Clinton’s and got interrogated by J. Edgar Hoover. And we got a great picture in the “Oval Office”. Then we got a ride back to the hotel in a pedicab. I remember you were afraid that he wouldn’t be able to pull both of us, but he did it and did it surprisingly fast and with ease. We were both amazed at the strength it must take him to do that every day. That trip was awesome! ~Jenn Candelaria

75: San Francisco. Enough said, right? What a great time! When Daddy chose to take us on a special Daddy/Daughter getaway, he could have taken us anywhere but he chose to take us on trips that were tailor made for us and mine was San Francisco. | I mean the whole trip was amazing, as I sit here writing this it's all flooding back to me. Castro street and all it's rainbowness!! Chinatown where I got a large Chinese paper umbrella and cheap Chinese slippers, a place where for once you expect to see "Made in China" on everything only to see that it was Made in Taiwan, lol. The Warf where I spent most of my days eating nachos and people watching. Witnessing my first protest right outside our hotel. Walking down Haight/Ashbury and having that little stoner boy ask us if we wanted a guided tour, haha!! Oh my goodness, what a great time and what a wonderful collection of memories he gave me. ~Sarah Sandlin | I really think walking those curving streets and climbing the hills with the amazing views was my favorite time... even though we had to stop so he could buy me socks to cushion my blistering feet.

76: Dick was on ACDUTRA with the Naval Reserves when he became deathly ill. He was in the New Orleans Public Hospital for more than 3 weeks. His ACDUTRA was over and I couldn't get him home. Commercial airlines would not allow him to fly because of his condition. This is where Donn comes into the picture. Dick said, "Get Donn. He'll get me home." I arranged for a flight from Denver to New Orleans for the two of us and we stayed at the La Quinta Inn. While we were getting ready to go to bed this "HUGE" Louisiana bug came "WALKING" across the floor. Next thing I know Donn is standing on the bed, jumping up and down, yelling "KILL IT--KILL IT--KILL IT." I didn't want to kill it and Donn definitely was not going to kill it so I buried it using a can of shaving cream. Poor thing never knew what hit him.

77: The doctors at the Public Hospital in New Orleans had given Dick a month to live. Donn, through his connections, was able to arrange for an ambulance and Dick was medevaced to Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Aurora. Numerous tests later at Fitzsimons and with no resolution to the problem they decided to remove his spleen to save his life. I truly believe Dick would not have lived if it had not been for Donn. Thanks Donn. ~Jean Kropp

78: You beautiful baby from the outside in Chase your dreams but always know the road that'll lead you home again Go on, take on this whole world But to me you know you'll always be, my little girl

79: Gotta hold on easy as I let you go Gonna tell you how much I love you

80: We were so proud to be building our first home in Denver, Colorado. We would take the family to see it every chance we got. It was a lot of work. I have memories of you and Dick digging post holes and carrying rock for the edging (not an easy task). Then you laid the sod. It was back breaking work. We also worked as hard on the inside to put our imprint on the house. Our kitchen was a masterpiece right down to the faux brick and the built-in liquor cabinet with the hidden safe in the bottom. YOU did an amazing job. ~Debbie Kutz | This is the home your mom and dad had in Montbello - Aurora, Colorado. They had a birthday party for Dick's 43rd birthday. All my family was invited and Dick felt very special. Russ was really impressed with the home. ~Jean Kropp

81: Recently I spent a wonderful time in San Juan for the wedding of Jenn and Jose. Much to my pleasure and happiness, there also was a small casino in the hotel. As I am sure everyone knows, I LOVE to gamble. At one point in time, Donn and I decided to play the $1.00 Quick Hits machines together. (Your money goes farther that way) Donn said,"You pick, you’re lucky." I picked out the machine and guess what??? We hit $1,000.00!!! YAHOO! The second time we hit Donn said,"The palm of my hand itches. Doesn't that mean you are going to come into money?" The very next hit on the button, we hit our second $1,000.00 jackpot. In all, we hit the jackpot three times during our stay there. UNBELIEVABLE. That is just another glorious memory of the time I spent at the beautiful wedding for Jenn and Jose. ~Jean Kropp

83: Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage. - Lao Tzu

84: It could be that all he really wanted was little boys to play football with and buy BB guns for but he didn't and luckily for us he always liked to build dollhouses, so obviously one of my favorite memories is of what I like to call "The Christmas of Barbies". I tore open present after present that year of Barbies. Barbies here, Barbies there, Barbies everywhere and I was in HEAVEN! And then the big surprise: A Barbie house! Built with his own hands. 2 stories, 2 bedrooms, 1 full bath, kitchen, living room, fully furnished. AMAZING! ~Sarah Sandlin

85: Real men cry. I remember when we lived in Belgium and before there were game nights my Dad read us the book "Cheaper By The Dozen" to us as family. I don't remember ever seeing my Dad cry until the time he read the chapter where the Dad, Frank Gilbreth dies. I love that movie and most probably because it reminds me of those nights he read to us. It was also when I realized my Dad was a real person, he was still my hero and he was still the man I thought I'd grow up and marry but he was human and that's so much more special than any man wearing a super hero cape. ~Sarah Sandlin


88: Ever since 2006, it has been with great responsibility that I be available during the Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities to be designated as the official “Giant Christmas Wreath Hanger”. I’m not sure how I got bamboozled into having to climb up a less than sturdy, but very reliable, aluminum ladder that has to be strategically maneuvered so that we don’t shatter the windows above the double doors. Oh wait, I do remember: it was one of the last items to be displayed on the brand new house and all three of us- Justin, myself, and you- were staring at each other and staring at the wreath and ladder and Justin and I decided that we would hold the ladder for you and you looked at us with this “there is no way in hell I am climbing up this ladder right now!” look. So then Justin and I looked at each other and I said “well, what’s the worst that could happen? If I fall, I won’t go past the ground”. Every year since then, I have enjoyed decorating the outside of the house with you, while the women assume their place inside decorating the tree, the patio, the living room, the upstairs, the banister, putting up the stockings, etc. etc. etc., and the best part is we can’t hear their Christmas music while we’re doing it! ~Jose Candelaria

89: You’ve always been so thoughtful and so good with surprises. As we’ve gotten older, the three of us have often talked and vented to each other about our husband’s and why they can’t be more thoughtful and caring like you. You have completely spoiled us or as the boys would say “ruined” us because it seems like no matter what they do for us, it’s never good enough. You have always set a good example for us too. Even in the worst of times, when you and mommy were divorced or when you weren’t getting along, you never said a bad word about her to any of us and we never ever heard you guys arguing. Even though you and I have never had the same type of relationship that you and Kate share, I’ve always known that I can count on you for advice, encouragement, and support in anything I do and it means the world to me to know that my daddy always has my back! ~Jenn Candelaria

90: Just the other day I was watching Justin chase Killian through the yard and it reminded me of what was probably one of my earliest memories or thoughts, which was when we lived in Illinois and Daddy was chasing us in the yard (after he had paid us to pick up trash and cigarette butts from around the neighborhood) and I remember he was gaining on me and I thought, I'm so young, he's so old and I'm fast how can he possibly catch up to me, lol. You don't realize when you are just a kid that your parents are purposefully slowing down to not catch you right away. That didn't make any sense till I had kids of my own. And now I think, I wonder if Killian thinks that... he probably does. ~Sarah Sandlin

91: I've always been told I only remember the bad stuff, but that's never been true. When you go through life it's the bad memories that give you your fears and phobias but it's the good memories that help you get through them and all memories help shape who you are, good, bad and ugly. I wouldn't change any of it. ~Sarah Sandilin | My love for camping began at the KOA on one of the many summer road trips we took to Ohio. I remember us sisters talking when my Dad stopped to get directions because he was lost, I mean what was going on? How could we be lost? We questioned the man we thought knew everything. As usual we were the suckers...he got us good and we camped for the first time, in brand new sleeping bags all side by side in one tent.

92: I remember one morning when we lived in Cherry Creek, you came and woke me up in a panic because there was a frog in your toilet! Yes, an innocent little frog. I was always the one who had to catch the lizards and things that ended up in our house, not because I liked it, but because Kate and Sarah elected me the official reptile catcher and also pooper scooper, but we won’t get into that! So I got out of bed and as I’m walking across the hall into your room, you’re telling me that you thought mommy had forgotten to flush the toilet, then the “poop” jumped! And you ran into my room like a little girl and drug me out of bed to save the day. I eventually caught the frog and put him outside, but every time I think about that story, I giggle. ~Jenn Candelaria

93: It was April of 2006 and we were all getting together for egg coloring and dinner for the first time with everyone in the family including Kate and Sarah and it was the first time I would be meeting you. So Jenn and I were hanging out upstairs and she wasn’t ready yet so I said “hey, I think your dad’s here” and she sent me downstairs and as I was coming down the stairs, making the corner, I noticed that you were sitting in the big chair at the end of the stairs with your leg propped up and I saw the gun on your ankle. I ran back upstairs and I was like “your dad has a gun!” | And she said “oh yeah, my dad’s a cop” nonchalantly, which I didn’t know at the time, I just knew you worked for the government. Then when Jenn was done getting ready she walked down with me and introduced me to you and you seemed okay at the first impression; you seemed like a normal parent meeting his little girl’s boyfriend for the first time. Until egg coloring and dinner when the conversations got a little too revealing. Little did I know that this is how the Kutz family is with one another all the time! ~Jose Candelaria

94: A family is pieced together with hope and faith. A family is quilted and bound with love and grace.

96: A memory that comes to mind for me is one that is very important in my life. It was the day that I called you to ask for your daughter's hand in marriage. I had recently left Kentucky to live for a short time with Kate in Texas while she finished her training. For obvious reasons this is a nerve-racking experience for most young men in life's journey. However I knew that at the time I did not quite live up to the expectations of the man your daughter should marry. I'll try to repaint that picture. Kate had left a fantastic job with the NSA after only a year to come to Kentucky with me which was a move that I'm sure you didn't enjoy. | After a few months of boredom in Kentucky, Kate gave up on me and pursued a training opportunity in Texas as I stayed in KY working at a hopeless startup company. After my job went away I finally made the move to Texas to be with Kate. A few weeks later Kate was evicted from her apartment because my stay was in violation of her lease agreement. So now due to me we were living in the Motel 6, I had no job, no money and was leeching off your daughter who had bent over backwards for me for several years without, what appeared to be, an inch of commitment from her boyfriend. So about that phone call, I had left a message earlier in the day and you returned my call (surprisingly). During that call I stumbled through my spiel and at one moment there was a long pause where I felt as though my heart was about to jump from my chest. I now know that as the "Kutz pause," which is the emotional moment where a member of the Kutz family collects themselves to hold back tears. Luckily for me they were happy tears and you made it so much easier for me than I honestly deserved. I thank you very much for that and hopefully today I am getting closer to meeting your high expectations! ~Tom Donnelly


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  • By: Kate D.
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  • Title: Donn Kutz's 56th Birthday
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  • Published: over 5 years ago