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Augustus Wright Tuttle

Posted 2017-10-10 by Pat R
Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ)
Sunday, June 5, 2005, p. B13

The Rev. Gus Tuttle, 72, died at his home in Scottsdale, AZ on May 18, surrounded by his wife, son, and daughter, after 5 months of RA (rheumatoid arthritis) lung disease.

He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Sterling Dennis Tuttle, and parents, Augustus Wright Tuttle, Sr. and Mary Harness Tuttle of Norfolk, VA.

At the age of 19, his parents sent him from Norfolk to Tucson to live in a healthier climate due to severe asthma and weeks spent in an oxygen tent. Gus fell in love with the desert and the University of Arizona, graduating from there with his wife-to-be, Marcia. They headed to Berkeley, CA where they married, and Gus spent 3 years at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP), graduating with a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained to the Episcopal priesthood at Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix in 1961.

He and Marcia then spent a year in intensive study at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem for an experience of a lifetime, adding immeasurably to his future ministry. It involved rigorous 12-hour days, with them living in the Medical Dormitory on hospital grounds, eating three meals a day at the hospital alongside psychiatrists and staff.

A year later, Gus was vicar of two small Arizona churches, one in Florence, one in Eloy. He was also Chaplain at both the men and women's Arizona State Prisons where he was present overnight with one of the last men put to death there--a rehabilitated prisoner of 17 years that Gus had befriended and never forgot.

He went on to serve at 3 parishes: First, as an Associate at St. Barnabas on the Desert in Paradise Valley for 7 years, then as Rector of St. Alban's in Wickenburg for 4 years, and finally, as Rector of St. Andrew's in Glendale for 17 years.

Immediately after "retirement," he helped out temporarily at Christ Church, Paradise Valley, and returned back to the church that meant so much to him, St. Barnabas. There he led "Good Grief," a community based bereavement group, and (with others) an AIDS support group. He also treasured his on call chaplaincy work for Scottsdale Healthcare hospitals. Gus was always acutely sensitive to other's suffering and sickness. Whatever pain or health problems he had, he was there for anyone in need--his family calling him the "Amazing Energizer Bunny."

"Father Gus" is survived by his wife of 46 years; his daughter, Tricia Tuttle Doss and husband, Ted Doss, with children, Conor Stephen Doss and Ronan Conor Doss; and his son, Stephen Dennis Tuttle and wife, Linda, with children, Kyle Sterling Tuttle and Alexa Colby Tuttle.

Augustus Wright Tuttle, Jr. was a beloved husband, Daddy, Pop, Papa, and Bunny and his family adored and treasured this extraordinary man. His love will forever breathe through them.

The family extends heartfelt thanks to all who called, sent notes, flowers and special treats, all of which Gus dearly cherished. Overwhelming to him was the onslaught of written thanks from people whom he had offered his consolation during his 44 years of ministry. His children wish to express their admiration and gratefulness for their mother and heroine, Marcia, for the extraordinary love, care, and constant support she gave to her soulmate. Her joyful strength and endurance of both the physical and mental demands was a valuable life lesson for her children.

A Celebration of Life Service will take place at 11:00am on Saturday, June 11 at St. Barnabas on the Desert Church, 6715 N. Mockingbird Lane, Paradise Valley. A reception will follow in Hutton Hall. All are welcome.

For those who would like to make a contribution in memory of Gus, they may do so to his beloved seminary where his ministry began and never ended: CDSP, 2451 Ridge Rd., Berkeley, CA, 94709-1217, (510) 204-0700.

Arrangements entrusted to Messinger Indian School Mortuary, Scottsdale.

See Also: Find A Grave

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