William “Bill” R. Cutter passed away on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. “This is a profound loss for all that knew and loved Bill as the patriarch of his family and the aviation community,” an announcement from the family said.
A life-long aviation enthusiast, he learned to fly sitting on his father’s lap and became an ATP rated pilot in fixed wing, helicopter and lighter than air aircraft, along with achieving several jet and turbo-prop type ratings. As an aviator, he accumulated thousands of hours during his life, with his most recent flying being in his treasured 1944 Beech Model 17 Staggerwing.
Continuing the Cutter family legacy started in 1928 by his father, William P. Cutter, he established Cutter Aviation’s facility at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport in Arizona, which went on to become the company’s largest facility and corporate headquarters. Bill, along with his son Will, grew the Cutter Aviation network by opening numerous loca1ons throughout the Southwest.
In his lifetime, he was honored numerous times; most notably at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the New Mexico Military Institute, the Pima Air & Space Museum (Hall of Fame, inducted with his father William P. Cutter) and was named “Man of the Year” by Beechcraft. Cutter also served as a member of the United States Army.
“Throughout his entire life, Bill could always be found walking the ramp and halls of Cutter Aviation speaking with his employees on a first name basis. He had a larger than life personality and was quick to share anecdotes with those around him. He was a gentleman’s gentleman, humbleness surrounded his daily ac1ons. He leaves us with a keen sense of loss and heartfelt gratitude – we are better people for having known him,” the announcement said.
He was preceded in death by his parents William P. and Virginia, wife Gwendolyn and brother Sidney. He is survived by his children, son Will and daughter Kathryn “Kay”; along with four beloved grandchildren, Will 4.0., Brooke, Madison and Anna.