Inventor and pilot Richard (Dick) Chutter, a long time resident of Round Pond, died Aug. 8 after a 12-year struggle with prostate cancer. He was born in 1937 to Frank (Durrell) and Alice (Roulston) Chutter and raised in Wellesley, Mass. He graduated from Mt. Herman School for Boys and Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, with a degree in mechanical engineering. He also attended Harvard Business School and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy.
He started his technical career working for Texas Instruments, moved to General Electric, and retired from the U.S. Department of Transportation, where he focused on airplane safety issues. He was part of a group that developed mini documentaries that helped cockpit crews address their decision-making processes during emergencies.
After he retired and moved permanently to Maine, where he previously had only spent summers, Chutter began to indulge his mutual passions of flying, sailing and creating. Always a tinkerer, Chutter wondered if he could invent a faster sailboat and motor boat. After a decade of playing with different ideas, he obtained two patents from the U.S. Patent Office within this last year. His basic idea was a kind of boat with wings to create lift. He was in the process of developing a prototype for the sailboat plane when he died.
Even in the New Hampshire nursing home where he lived for the last six months of his life, Chutter couldn’t resist suggesting “improvements” to his surroundings.
Chutter leaves behind his beloved daughter, Lindsay Coats (Jody); beautiful granddaughters, Lily Hanlon, and Emma Elizabeth, who were the lights of his life; and sisters, Elaine Latham of Freeport, N.Y., and Cynthia Kahn, from Denver, Col.
He is buried in the family plot at Harrington Cemetery in Bristol.
In recognition of his deep affection for his adopted state and many passions, gifts may be made to The Carpenter’s Boat Shop, Pemaquid; Owls Head Transportation Museum in Rockland,; cancer research; or to a charity of one’s choice.