The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

November 2, 2013

John Kutzli

CLINTON — John Kutzli has always enjoyed working with his hands, spending his free time building little model wagons and stagecoaches, picture frames and lamps. At age 92, the Prairie Hills resident continues to shape wood into canes and walking sticks that he gladly gives away for free.

John and his wife of 71 years, Marilyn, both grew up in Miles and have lived in the Clinton County area most of their lives. He spent years working on a farm in Miles, at the Sears Roebuck in Clinton and at A.C. Nielsen. Marilyn said throughout that time, he would come home from work and pick up a piece of wood to work on.

“He’s always loved working with wood,” Marilyn said.

When the couple lived in Preston for a while, he had a little shop with his models. Marilyn said that as his crafting space and his eyesight decreased, his woodwork projects changed.

For the at least 10 to 12 years, John has been crafting canes and hiking sticks, creating 200 to 300 during that time. With his trusty pocket knife and a shaft of Aspen wood, he creates a variety of canes. One of his sons cuts planks of the wood into the sticks.

John designs his canes, drawing in pencil on the wood before he starts carving. His canes used to be more intricate, including fish, gardening items, or musical instruments he carved for a specific theme. Marilyn said his eyes are not as good as they used to be.

Still, John creates a variety of walking sticks and canes, working on two or three at a time. While he likes the freedom of designing the canes, he has made special orders. Right now he is crafting a special Hawkeyes cane for a devoted fan.

Once the canes are finished, John and Marilyn will give them to various senior centers and living facilities, as well as anyone who asks.

“Anybody can have them free. All they have to do is need a cane or walking stick and come and see me,” John said.

For John, the best part of crafting the canes is just keeping his hands busy. He even takes the extra scrap pieces of wood and carves chain links to give away as conversation starters.

“He just can’t sit and do nothing,” Marilyn said.

1
Text Only
Features
  • Women on Fire event is Wednesday at Vista Grande CLINTON -- For many years, women in business have been honored in the city of Clinton, but on Wednesday, they have a night all their own. The Women are on Fire event will begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Vista Grande in Clinton and will offer an oppo

    April 19, 2014

  • Paul Miller Scout master keeps Troop 74 going strong CLINTON -- Scout Master Paul Miller loves the outdoors, camping, fishing and scouting. For the past 13 years, Paul, of Clinton, has led this area's only Boy Scout troop for challenged individuals, Troop 74. While a typical troop allows boys ages 11

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • World Book Night A big love for books CLINTON -- Sharing a love for books is something members of the Clinton Public Library have always promoted and embraced. On Wednesday, they will join the rest of the world in spreading that love throughout communities. World Book Night, which conve

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17-14 Trees forever photo 2 Let it grow (with Video)

    CLINTON - A new generation of trees will be planted by a young generation of Irish. Wednesday during class, Lisa Golden's Prince of Peace Prep third-graders continued their year-long biology education with the help of Clinton's Trees Forever organiza

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Communities prep for hunts CLINTON -- Easter weekend is nearly here and two local organizations are calling all children for the hunting event of the year -- Easter egg hunting that is. Both Camanche and Fulton, Ill., will host Easter egg hunts Saturday, each at different time

    April 17, 2014

  • Women's Expo set for Tuesday at Wild Rose CLINTON -- It is time again to gather the girlfriends and head out to the Ultimate Spring Women's Expo at the Wild Rose Event Center in Clinton. The third annual expo from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, hosted by the Clinton Herald, offers an opportuni

    April 14, 2014

  • Fulton housing loan Program to assist Fulton resident FULTON, Ill. -- Brian Hollenback and Beth Payne delivered good news last week, traveling to seven cities, three counties and two states, ending their journey in Fulton. Hollenback, who is the Northwestern Illinois Housing Coalition president, and its

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stutting Camanche native tapped to head North Scott schools CLINTON -- A Camanche native will return to his roots this June, after being selected as the new superintendent for the North Scott Community School District. Joe Stutting, a 1987 graduate of Camanche High School, has been away from his hometown for

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • preview-1.jpg Luau raises funds to support programming

    CLINTON -- Hundreds of supporters and volunteers gathered Friday night to endorse a lifesaving organization in the Gateway area. The 10th annual Gateway Area Red Cross Luau kicked off the night at the Tuscany Event Center at Rastrelli's with a buffet

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anderson Meet Your Neighbor: Gardening serves multiple purposes

    CLINTON -- For Kathy Anderson, gardening is something she has always enjoyed. "For as long as I remember, I have been obsessed with being outside," Kathy said. "My mother never had to ask twice for me to go outside and play." At 5 and 6 years old, Ka

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Facebook