Firefighters Say Farewell to One of Their Own - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/25/07

Firefighters Say Farewell to One of Their Own

McCutchen's son Joseph shook hands with firefighters his dad worked with. McCutchen's son Joseph shook hands with firefighters his dad worked with.
Capt. Jack McCutchen died at the age of 56. Capt. Jack McCutchen died at the age of 56.

The mood was somber, as firefighters said goodbye to one of their own.  Capt. Jack McCutchen served with Savannah Fire for almost three decades. Wednesday, hundreds of people paid their respects to the man who touched so many people's lives.

Deputy Chief Max Nowinsky with the Montgomery Fire Department knew Capt. McCutchen as a friend, a colleague, a mentor and even a father figure.

"Jack treated everybody as though they were like his friend and a member of his family," Nowinsky said. "If I can do that in my life, I would be a better man for it."

Firefighters lined the street outside the Savannah fire house as Capt. McCutchen's funeral proceeded down Oglethorpe Avenue.

Capt. McCutchen passed away in his home Saturday afternoon, after a possible heart attack. His two sons, Joseph and Jack, are now left to carry on his memory.

"He was a great dad," said Joseph. "I don't know any other words you can use to describe him. He was just a great dad."

Friends, family, and colleagues hugged and cried as they said their last goodbyes. "I never understood the impact he had on people until this weekend," said Joseph. "Everyone has been so great and they have come out. It's not because we wanted them to, but it's was because they felt it was the right thing to do and it was the best way to honor his legacy."

"He was a standup guy," said Jack McCutchen, Jr. "He treated everyone fair. He loved everyone. He was far reaching and touched many people's lives."

"The biggest thing I can draw from Jack is his leadership skills," said Nowinsky. "Jack never looked down on anyone.  He was always there to teach somebody something they didn't know, and if they knew how to do it, he could probably find a way to teach them better."

At the service, everyone talked about Capt. McCutchen's positive outlook on life.  They said McCutchen had one phrase he would use over and over again: "That's fantastic."  His friends say, no matter the situation, good or bad, Jack would simply say that it was just fantastic.  

Capt. McCutchen was 56 years old.

Reported by: Christy Hutchings, chutchings@wtoc.com

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