O’Connell’s John Gutter dies

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John J. Gutter, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel who worked at Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington for 28 years, was remembered Aug. 4 as a man devoted to his family, his faith and his country.

Gutter died July 29 at the age of 71.

A funeral Mass was offered Aug. 4 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Arlington by Father Robert E. Avella, pastor. Father Phillip M. Cozzi, O'Connell's chaplain and vice principal, concelebrated. Deacon Paul Ochenkowski, a former history teacher at O'Connell, assisted at the liturgy.

Father Avella and Gutter worked together at O'Connell in the early 1980s.

Born Aug. 25, 1940, in Jersey City, N.J., Gutter attended the University of Rhode Island on a football scholarship. After graduation he joined the Marine Corps and served two tours of duty in Vietnam.

He was wounded in combat in September 1965 while coming to the aid of a fallen comrade. He spent eight months in the hospital recuperating. Gutter retired from the Marine Corps as a lieutenant colonel in 1983, at which time he joined the O'Connell faculty where he was involved in student development, facilities management and coaching.

He retired from O'Connell in 2011 after serving as assistant principal of student life.

"He made important contributions to the personal development of thousands of students while also lending his project management experience to all major building projects that have been undertaken over the past three decades," said Principal Joseph Vorbach.

Gutter is survived by his wife, "Ginny," and their four children: John Jr. (wife Danielle), Graham (wife Meghan), Amie (husband Troy), and James, in addition to four grandchildren: Peyton, Cassidy, Mckenzie and Gabriel.

Donations can be made in memory of John J. Gutter to Boys Town New York, 444 Park Av. S, Suite 801, New York, NY 10016.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2012