KC businessman James B. Nutter dies at age 89 - KCTV5

KC businessman James B. Nutter dies at age 89

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James B. Nutter. (KCTV/Jeff Roberts) James B. Nutter. (KCTV/Jeff Roberts)

James B. Nutter Sr., a local mortgage-lending pioneer, passed away on Friday at the age of 89.

A statement from the family released on Saturday afternoon said: 

On Friday we lost our patriarch – an extraordinary man whose big heart, wisdom and generosity touched us and so many others in profound and lasting ways.

He taught us not only how to be honorable and fair in business, but how to listen to, and learn about people from every country, culture and religion, and to have compassion for every living thing, whether on two legs or four.

He was self-made but exceedingly  unselfish. He shared what he learned and what he earned with his family, his friends, his employees and his customers, and good causes too many to mention.

He loved Kansas City and took great joy in knowing and helping its people in any way that he could.

He leaves behind a giant and benevolent shadow.

According to a biography from the family, Nutter founded the James B. Nutter & Company in 1951 to help his friends coming home from military service find and buy homes. "He was one of the first mortgage lenders in America to welcome and serve returning veterans, ethnic minorities, women and other historically underserved borrowers," it said.

Nutter was born Jan. 23, 1928, in Kansas City to Frank and Sybil Nutter. He was a child of the Great Depression and believed that home ownership reinforced a person’s dignity, which helps families and neighborhoods and, in turn, create better communities and a better country.

Five years ago, Nutter said: “Throughout our lives, we are given labels. One of mine has been, of course, ‘mortgage banker.’ It's a label I am very proud of. My family and I have been blessed with a successful hometown business that has allowed us to help tens of thousands of our friends and neighbors buy and keep their homes. We're certainly no geniuses. But by simply being honest and old-fashioned Midwestern friendly, we've been able to expand the company to serve every state in America. That's the American dream. That has been our dream.”

The family's biography added that Nutter lived humbly and gave away much of his accrued wealth to dozens of charities and causes, including Habitat for Humanity, Children’s Mercy Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, the Mayo Clinic and the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he studied in the 1940s and where the Commons and Information Center at Ellis Library now bears his name.

He and his wife pitched in a lot of time and money to help rejuvenate the South Kansas City Wayside Waifs shelter, as well.

“My father always taught me that if you do the right thing, eventually good things will happen,” Nutter once said, "and he was right.”

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