Earl E Shutt obituary 1936~2022


Earl E Shutt, 85, laid down his earthly burdens at home on March 10, 2022.

Earl E Shutt
Earl E Shutt

He lived in Fairfield, PA with his wife of 62 years, Joyce Musselman Shutt.

A resident of Adams County, PA since 1961, Earl was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio on August 10, 1936.

He managed I.Z. Musselman Orchards until it closed in 1989.

To a stranger, Earl appeared to be a crusty conservative white guy, but his life works belied the stereotypes that accompanied that generalization.

As a conscientious objector to war, he and his wife Joyce spent two years in Europe helping build housing for WWII refugees; they adopted two sons, among the first multi-ethnic adoptees in Adams County in the 1960s; he supported Joyce as she pushed through gender conventions to become a pastor in 1980, and welcomed a gay pastor to lead his congregational family at Fairfield Mennonite Church when Joyce retired.

He spoke with his actions rather than with words, lending his business and financial expertise to numerous fruit growers and nonprofit and charitable organizations, including Fairfield Mennonite Church, Adams County Prison Society, Bluffton University, Cornerstone Drug & Alcohol Counseling Center, and the Fairfield School Board.

He was recently honored with the Gettysburg Connection Outstanding Contribution Award for his “unwavering, humble and thoughtful contributions to Adams County organizations”.

His children remember Earl as a gruff but loving father who rarely used words to say what his actions could demonstrate. He said no to “frivolous” spending, but always found a way to fund important projects, especially educational ones, and he made it possible for all four kids to explore their potential in school settings appropriate to their skills and interests.

They often consulted Earl and Joyce for advice on everything from what car to buy to parenting quandaries, knowing they’d offer helpful suggestions without a demand that they be followed.

According to his son Tim, “My dad always knew the best thing for me to do. But when I didn’t choose that, he never came back and said, ‘I told you so’.”

When his oldest grandkids were born, he mellowed, becoming more comfortable sharing his emotions. “At first we saw his marshmallow core only when interacting with the kids, but that soft center became more and more apparent as he aged. We talked every Sunday, and every call ended with Dad saying, ‘I love you,’”, his daughter Kris reflected.

In addition to his wife, Earl is survived by his four children, Kristel and her husband, Ken of Northwood, Ohio; Gretchen of Gettysburg; John and his partner, Farrah Burt of Laurel, Montana; and Tim and his wife, Angela of Troutman, North Carolina, 10 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren. He counted his sister, Lois, sister-in-law, Irene and brother-in-law, Lew and their families as valued parts of his family.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Florence M. (Bender) Shutt and a brother, Paul Shutt.

Professional services have been entrusted to the Dugan Funeral Home, Inc., 111 S. Main Street Bendersville.

A Community Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 1 p.m., at Fairfield Mennonite Church, 201 West Main Street, Fairfield, PA.

A Private Interment will follow the memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Fairfield Mennonite Church or the Adams County Community Foundation to benefit the Knight Education Fund (25 S. 4th Street, Gettysburg, PA).

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Earl, please visit the floral store.