Margaret Jane Draper Tutt
Margaret (Peggy) Jane Draper Tutt was born May 7, 1927 in Port Huron Michigan to Marshall Gideon and Hazel Howell Draper. She left us on July 21, 2020 to see her loved ones that preceded her in heaven.
She attended public schools and lived in one home in Port Huron, graduating a year early from high school. She entered Michigan State University and met her future husband, Paul Robert (Bob) Tutt, at a freshman mixer – the hostess matched them up because they were both height-challenged. Peggy earned a bachelor degree in Education. Peggy and Bob secretly eloped their senior year in college but had a formal wedding July 3, 1948. After Bob graduated, the couple moved South where Bob started working at the Texas Highway Department in Austin.
Peggy and Bob were blessed with 5 perfect babies in eight years. During the early years, Peggy substitute taught, sold Stanley products, worked Christmas retail jobs and even acted at the Civic Theater (which is now the Zachery Scott Theater) while her children were still small. Once all were in school, she took the civil service exam and made a perfect score so she could work at the brand-new Internal Revenue Service Regional Center in 1963. She retired from IRS in 1989 as a corporate investigator. For several years (‘76-‘81), Bob and Peggy moved to Tennessee where Peggy was an IRS auditor. Our family and her clients all soon recognized that she was way too nice for that job!
She made many good friends and was a member of a 70+ year-old women’s club. Peggy planned theme parties with costumes, took fun trips across the country and even a cruise. She cherished time spent with the Tuesday Nighters; their sisterhood and longtime friendships meant sharing loads of fun and games, helping each other and others in need, sharing family successes and grieving losses together. They were a family in the best sense of the word.
Peggy was Momma (or Grandma) to her family and anyone else within hearing distance. She made sure we knew how to have fun even when there was no money, that we learned how to find truthful answers to our questions so we could make good decisions, and that we learned and cared about other people as much as we did ourselves. If you looked up the word empathy in the dictionary, there would be a picture of Peggy. She was always available to family and friends when needed and never judged anyone’s choices. She rarely complained and offered heart-felt compliments, words of encouragement and especially thanks to anyone and everyone. Lifting others up came naturally to her.
Cheap fun included playing lots of games, painting walls, and winning six-packs of Coke by knowing the answers to the radio game show, Hinky-Pinky. The radio station banned us after we won so many times. One afternoon, the drive-in advertised free admission with an empty potato chip bag. We loaded up the car with a lot of neighbors and friends, bought and ate the chips on the way and we all enjoyed a great time. Momma was our biggest fan in our studies, our jobs, sports, musical endeavors, whatever. In her seventies, she saw her younger grandchildren play T-ball, basketball and soccer; in her eighties, she attended almost all of Kimberly’s basketball games. All the team members called her Grandma.
Peggy was predeceased by her parents, her husband Bob, her sister and brother-in-law Betty and Bob Miller, Bob’s sisters and husbands, Margie and Don Aten and Nancy and Don Sloan, nephew Marshall Draper and many dear friends.
She is survived by her 5 children, Paul Tutt (Barbara), Beth Guenther (Richard), Don Tutt (Shirlene), Susan Tutt (Mike Ouimet), and Marshall Tutt; 6 grandchildren, Shawn Guenther (Melissa), Rebecca Jones (Chris), Seth Guenther (Ruthann), Dustin Tutt (Fran Estrada), Cory Tutt, and Kimberly Tutt, 8 great-grandchildren, Aaron Guenther, Cameron Jones, Maggie Jones, Ashley Guenther, Ransom Guenther, London Guenther, Lucy Guenther and Holden Tutt, her brother, Marshall Draper (Joyce), and her nieces and nephews and cousins.
We cannot begin to express our appreciation for almost 30 years of care by Dr. Bali Netaji. His ability to recognize her medical issues and, even better, discover the best solution for her meant she was able to fully participate in life and spend many more years with us. She considered Bali as her “adopted” son.
We also want to thank the staff at Buckner Villas Campbell Nursing Facility. They cared for Peggy the last six months with their hearts as much as their skills.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to your favorite charity or the Capitol Area Food Bank or purchase a subscription to an age-appropriate learning magazine for a child in your life (Peggy did this for many children – they loved receiving mail, reading the stories and being challenged by the many projects).
We are planning a service for mid-August and will update this post when the plans are finalized.