- Deceased's name: John H. Luttrell Sr.
- Age: 87
- Date: Sept. 13
John H. Luttrell Sr., 87, formerly of Natick, died Tuesday, Sept. 13, at Wayland Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Cochituate.
He was born in Woonsocket, RI, on Nov. 6, 1923, son of the late John M. and Eva (Brouillard) Luttrell, and attended local schools before becoming a newspaper copy boy for the Woonsocket Call.
A veteran of World War II, he served as an intelligence specialist with the Army Air Corps in the European Theater. Assigned to the 410th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, Luttrell received six campaign battle stars, the Belgian Fouraggere and the Bronze Star, the latter for Meritorious service in plotting successful missions against enemy targets in Germany.
After being discharged he rejoined the Woonsocket Call as areporter in late 1945, and was assigned to the newspaper's Burrillville, RI, bureau, then to the City Hall beat, where an 18-month series of stories exposing widespread municipal corruption in Woonsocket earned him the 1951 Heywood Broun Award from the American Newspaper Guild's New England Chapter.
Luttrell next joined the Boston Daily Record as a court and investigative crime reporter, and in 1957 won the Boston Press Club's Amasa Howe Award for exposing rampant illegal drug use and prostitution by inmates at the former state women's reformatory, now MCI-Framingham.
He became the first Boston print journalist to become a television news editor, and helped to establish the "Eyewitness News" concept while at WBZ-TV, Channel 4. He then accepted an interim appointment from then-Gov. Foster Furcolo to establish a public relations department in the Metropolitan District Commission.
Rejoining the journalism field, he became a columnist and feature writer for the Boston Herald-Traveler. A few years later he transferred to that newspaper's television subsidiary, the now-defunct WHDH-TV (Channel 5), where he was part of the editorial production team that established Boston's first hour-long local television news program, "The 24th Hour."
In 1968, Luttrell was named the first director of community relations and development for Leonard Morse Hospital in Natick, a post he held until his retirement in 1985.
During his tenure at Leonard Morse Hospital, he also served as executive secretary of its advisory Trustee Council and was an active member of the New England Hospitals' Public Relations Association.
He was a communicant of St. Patrick's Church in Natick, where he taught eighth-grade CCD for several years. After his retirement, Luttrell was a volunteer at the Katherine L. Kennedy Senior Center in Natick, driving the elderly to medical and banking appointments, and doing grocery shopping for the homebound. He also was a regular participant in seasonal pool tournaments at the Senior Center. He was named Senior Man of the Year in 1995 by the Natick Council on Aging.
A resident of Natick since 1958, he was the husband of the former Mary Piedmonte for 65 years. Besides his wife, he leaves seven sons: John H. Jr. of Wilbraham, Dennis F. of Marion, Martin E. of Mendon, Richard D. of Parsonsfield, ME, Michael J. of Milford, Brian D. of Billerica and Kevin S. of Southborough. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral on Friday Sept. 16 at 9 a.m. from the John Everett and Sons Funeral Home, 4 Park St., at Natick Common, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St Patrick’s Church at 10 a.m.
Calling hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Interment is at St Patrick Cemetery.
Expressions of sympathy may be made in his memory to the Natick Senior Center, 131 East Central St., Natick, MA 01760.