Conn. town mourns unexpected death of EMS lieutenant
Montville Fire Department EMS Lt. Christine Kutz, 56, a 37-year veteran EMT, died on Dec. 1 after a brief illness
The Day, New London, Conn.
MONTVILLE, Conn. — Christine Kutz, who served the community for more than three decades as an emergency medical technician, died on Dec. 1.
Kutz, an Emergency Medical Services Lieutenant at the Montville Fire Department, was remembered in recent days as a woman with a big heart, a positive attitude and a love of family in addition to her expertise as an emergency medical technician.
The 56-year-old Kutz died in Lawrence + Memorial Hospital. According to her personal Facebook page, she checked into the hospital on Nov. 24. Her cause of death was unclear Monday.
Mohegan Fire Company Chief Corey Gaetano said she had been a member of his department for 37 years.
"A lot of people knew her, everyone liked her, she was a good person," Gaetano said. "It's rough. Especially with the circumstances — 2020 has sucked all around. I knew she was in the hospital ... All of a sudden, I got a phone call out of the blue that she had passed away. It was a shock to everyone."
An obituary for Kutz on Dignity Memorial's website said she died "unexpectedly" and "after a brief illness."
"She married her soulmate Donald A. Kutz Jr. on August 5, 2006 in New London where they shared 14 beautiful years together," the obituary reads. "Chrissy was a active member of her community. At the early age of 19, in 1983 Chrissy became a member of the Mohegan Volunteer Fire Company, following in her father Robert's footsteps. She volunteered at many football games for Montville High School and St. Bernard High School running the ambulance for the games. Chrissy also was at every youth football game with the ambulance for Montville Youth making sure any child injured was taken care of."
Neither Kutz's husband Donald Kutz nor Montville Fire Chief Ron Turner responded to requests for comment.
Mayor Ron McDaniel said he knew Kutz had been "up and down in poor health for some time" but was unaware that she was in the hospital.
Gaetano said Kutz joined Mohegan Fire Co. in 1998 and he said he became close with her while she worked there.
Gaetano said Kutz was knowledgeable and highly respected: People were glad to work alongside her.
"Her role, what she loved doing, was EMS. She served as the ambulance captain at Mohegan for many years," Gaetano said. "She knew her stuff. If you were working on the ambulance, she was the one you wanted to work with."
Montville Republican Registrar Dana McFee worked as Kutz's counterpart when she was Democratic registrar from 2016-18. McFee and McDaniel both called her a true professional in the registrar position.
"Sure we'd butt heads at times, but she's a good person, somebody with a big heart," McFee said. "She loved the firehouse, her and Don were both at the Montville Fire Department. I feel so bad for her devoted husband Don. God bless him, I hope he gets through this."
The Montville Fire Co. mourned Kutz's death on Facebook.
"It's with great sadness that the Montville Volunteer Fire Company announces the passing of EMS LT Christine Kutz. Chrissy brought a smile to the fire department that can never be forgotten," the post read. "Her passion and dedication toward the EMS field can never be replaced. Chrissy will be extremely missed! On behalf of all the ffficers and members of The Montville Fire Department, we send our deepest condolences to her family."
Kutz's obituary made clear that her family was her first priority.
"One of Chrissy's favorite things in life was her Granddaughters," the obituary read. "Teaching them how to bake different types of muffins and cookies. She was best known for throwing amazing birthday parties for the girls with amazing food for her family to enjoy."
Gaetano said he didn't just call Kutz a great person on a whim.
"She would always listen to you. She'd have some advice if you asked, 'What do you think of this? What do you think of that?' She'd have her two cents," Gaetano said. "My family knew her personally, she was actually in my mother's Girl Scout troop. When I joined the firehouse she was like, 'I know Corey!' We always had a good close, relationship. She was always on the positive side of things, always smiling. Everyone had their bad days, but hers were few and far between."
Calling hours for Kutz will be held Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Montville Funeral Home of Church and Allen. A graveside funeral service will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Comstock Cemetery in Montville. The obituary said in lieu of flowers to make donations to Church & Allen funeral home or to go to a gofundme page to help the family with funeral services and hospital expenses.
(c)2020 The Day (New London, Conn.)