Passing of Dr. Joseph E. Kutz (1928-2020)

Posted by on Oct 13, 2020 in CMKI in the News, In the News | 0 comments

The world lost an icon when Dr. Joseph E. Kutz left us on Saturday, October 10, 2020. Dr. Kutz was born on June 11, 1928 to Joseph M & Hazel Kutz in Standish Michigan. He specialized in surgery of the hand and reconstructive microsurgery from 1964 until his retirement at the age of 87. He was a co-founder of Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center and performed the nation’s first successful hand transplant in 1999. Many people all over the world benefitted from his expertise. It was not a job to Dr. Kutz, it was his passion.

Dr. Kutz was a member of numerous medical societies including the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the American College of Surgeons, and the American Medical Association. He was also instrumental in forming the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, and the International Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery. He is a past president of the Jefferson County Medical Society, and served four terms as President of the Medical Foundation of the Medical Society. He was a past president of the medical staffs of Jewish Hospital and Frazier Rehab Center.

Despite a busy medical career Dr. Kutz developed a vital interest in community affairs. He was a member of the 1983-1984 class of Leadership Louisville; Board Chair of Leadership Louisville Foundation (1991 & 1992); participant in the 1987 class of Leadership Kentucky, and was involved in The Rotary Club of Louisville as program chair and President (1991-1992). He also served on the boards of dePaul School, Greater Louisville Inc. and Spalding University.

During his career he received many awards & honors including Partners in Health as “one of the most influential health care business leaders in Greater Louisville” by Business First (2006); Roger Fox Award from Kosair Charities (2005) for recognition of his work with children; the Volunteers of America of Kentucky Award for Community Service and the Ephraim McDowell Physician of the Year Award. But what alluded him was being an owner of a Derby winner!

Dr. Kutz was a loving husband, father, Poppy, mentor, friend, brilliant surgeon and avid horseman.

Preceding him in death were his parents, sister Madge, brother Leonard and his beloved wife of 61 years – Mary Jane. Left to cherish his memory and legacy are his children Tony (Heidi), Karen (Phillip Duncan), Brad (Rebecca); grandchildren Jamie, Joey (Courtney), Whitney, Cortney, Ryan & Michael (Lauren), 4 great grandchildren; his sisters Victoria Winquest (MI) and Eileen Dobrowolski (CA) and numerous nieces and nephews, his assistant of 40 years – Ann Ratterman, as well as the patients he helped throughout his career.

Visitation will be Wednesday, October 14, 2020 from 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Arch L. Heady Resthaven, 4400 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY. Funeral service will be in the Chapel at Resthaven on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 10:00 am, with entombment to follow at Resthaven Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a contribution in honor of Dr. Kutz to Hosparus Health of Louisville, 3532 Ephraim McDowell Drive, Louisville, KY 40205; Kosair Charities, 982 Eastern Parkway, Louisville, KY 40207 or the Ronald McDonald House, 550 South First Street, Louisville, KY 40202.

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