September 28, 1932 – April 22, 2021
Born in Spencer, IA
Resided in Lincoln, NE
Morrie Tuttle died on April 22, 2021 in Lincoln, Nebraska, in the company of loved ones. Services will be a private family remembrance followed by interment next to Amy, his wife, in Humboldt, Nebraska, among generations of family graves. Morrie is survived by his children Mark (Margaret) Tuttle and Caroline (Brad) Carlin and by his grandchildren Matthew Tuttle, Sam (Nicole) Carlin, Josh (Christi) Carlin, and Nate Carlin. Memorials in his memory may be sent to the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries, 136 South 14th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508. Morrie was a good man, a good husband, and a good father. He will be remembered with affection and respect by his family, friends, and colleagues.
Frederick Morris (“Morrie”) Tuttle was born in Spencer, Iowa, on September 28, 1932, to Karl Rogers and Helen Hartsook Tuttle, followed five years later by his brother Robert Foresman (“Bob”) Tuttle. Iowa was a region rich with moral principle and family history that became a part of him. In high school, he worked at a camera store, and developed a passion for photography so deep that his mother included a darkroom in his bedroom when she designed the new family home.
Morrie studied business at Northwestern University. He was the third generation to attend Northwestern, and he was proud of the two generations of women who preceded him, including his remarkable mother who earned degrees in both mathematics and architecture. Upon graduation, his draft number was so high that he could not get hired, so he enlisted in the Army and served for two years near Lyons, France, managing supply chains and learning methods of data processing that would become his profession. While in France, he returned to base on Monday mornings exhausted, not from weekends of drinking, but from long rides on trains to visit all the architecture, art, music, and culture within reach that meant so much to him.
After the army, Morrie joined a small insurance company in Spencer that moved to Lincoln to merge with Lincoln Mutual. He spent the bulk of his career working at Lincoln Liberty Life where he became a senior vice president for insurance information systems specializing in tax reserve calculation, and then worked at Security Mutual Life until retirement. In the days before computers, he became an expert with mechanical accounting machines, and so impressed the IBM service technicians with the sophistication of his designs that they gave him special access to the internals of the machine to debug the complex sequence of falling mechanical relays in his designs. With the advent of computers, he became a national expert on IBM’s insurance management system. Amy described her surprise during a conference reception when she realized that the crowd of people pressing in upon her were really forming a line to talk to her husband. Morrie’s respect and admiration for his professional colleagues stayed with him. Most notable, he enjoyed his acquaintance with Senator Lloyd Bentsen, then president of Lincoln Liberty, and described watching Senator Bentsen’s joy at flying the company DC-3 down to Houston.
Morrie devoted much of his life to arts and scholarship in Lincoln and greater Nebraska, and volunteered nearly full time after retirement. Soon after arriving in Lincoln, Morrie traveled the country to help choose the Schlicker organ installed at First Plymouth-Congregational Church, and he worked for the Lincoln Friends of Chamber Music (president, treasurer, board member) and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra (treasurer, board member). With retirement, he added to his contributions the Rocky Ridge Music Center (treasurer), the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association (founding member, president), the Heritage Room for Nebraska Authors, the Nebraska Center for the Book (treasurer), the Loren Eiseley Society (founding member, treasurer, historian), the Friends of the State Museum (treasurer), and ProRail Nebraska. He received the Sower Award in the Humanities from Humanities Nebraska, the Literary Heritage Award from the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association, and the Loren Eiseley Medal from the Loren Eiseley Society. Morrie was the first recipient of the Tuttle Award from the Nebraska State Museum named in his honor.
Morrie’s life was devoted to the protection of his family. In addition to the routine heroism of husbands and fathers, Morrie turned down a prestigious promotion, one that would have required moving to Houston, so his kids could attend high school uninterrupted. Most poignant, Morrie devoted his life to the care of Amy in her final years, and life never returned to normal for him after her death. Today Morrie is reunited with the most important woman in his life.
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