Obituary: Joseph Thomas Kutyla (“Joe”)

Great-grandfather, devout Catholic, proud Pole

Joseph Thomas Kutyla (“Joe”) died peacefully in his sleep on January 2 in Oceanside, California. Joe was born on July 5, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan, the youngest of three children born to Polish immigrants Josef and Mary Kutyla. From 1951 to 1952, he served in the United States Army Signal Corps during the Korean War.

He and his wife Agnes were married on July 5, 1954, and moved to California the same year. They settled in Claremont, where they raised their children Barbara, Joseph, Kurt, David (deceased 1961), Sandra and Mary Margaret. He and “Aggie” spent their retirement years in San Clemente. He lost his beloved wife of 55 years in 2009. He later moved to Oceanside.

He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He was a devout Catholic who was active in his church community for many years. Prayer was also important to him, as he sought to connect with God in his daily life. He loved to laugh and make others laugh, especially through practical jokes. Having Polish heritage filled him with immense pride, and he loved sharing his homemade Polish sausage with friends at Christmastime. On birthdays, family and friends always looked forward to receiving his Polish serenade of happy birthday. He was gentle and loving and loved by all who knew him.

He had a long career as an engineer, retiring in 1990. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed bowling and tennis. He loved to work with his hands during his free time, especially on his 1956 XK 140 E-Type Jaguar convertible.

The couple were always by each other’s side. In his retirement, they enjoyed going to their grandchildren’s games and school performances, as well as spending time with family and friends.

He is survived by his five children and their spouses, Barbara and Mark Doyer; Joseph and Debbie Kutyla; Kurt and Carolyn Kutyla; Sandra and Bob Hendren; and Mary and Roger Wells. Additionally, he leaves 11 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and his sister, Leona Lisoski.

“Joe’s loving way, kindness, humor, generosity, and bright blue eyes will always be remembered,” his family shared.

A funeral service will be announced at a later date.

Donations in Joe Kutyla’s name may be made to the Braille Institute at, by clicking “Donate,” and selecting “Memorial.”


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