Labor community mourns Lutton
‘How he treated people, he was the tops’
The local labor community has lost one of its longtime key members.
Thomas D. Lutton, 70, Altoona, died Friday at his home.
Lutton retired as a carman for Norfolk Southern Railroad in 2005, where he was a member and served as president of the Transport Workers Union of America Local 2017.
In 2008, he was honored as Person of the Year by the Blair Bedford Central Labor Council.
Lutton began working for the Penn Central Railroad in 1972. In 1978, he was named a committeeman at the East Bound Shop, and in 1980, he was elected as secretary/treasurer of the local and held that office for three years.
In 1984, he ran for president and held that office until 1991. In 2004, he was re-elected as president of the TWU.
“He was a very personable guy and the union leader of union leaders. He was very knowledgeable and outgoing, he contributed to everybody and everything,” said longtime friend Kenny Kumpf, former president of Local 2273 IBEW. “If a person needed help, he was there for them.”
Robert Kutz, labor council president, said he had known Lutton for more than 30 years.
“He was so well-respected by the tradesmen. Tom has been someone who was a real godsend to organized labor at the railroad. As far as the railroad community, I would have to say he was one of the most respected people I have met,” Kutz said. “How he treated people, he was the tops.”
Lutton played a key role in helping people with their retirement plans.
“He was the man all of the tradesmen would go to when time to retire. After he retired, he still came back and counseled people on how to and when to retire on his own time,” Kutz said. “He counseled them to give them the best path to take; he worked well with the Railroad Retirement Board.”
Kutz said every time you met Lutton, he always had a positive word, something good to say.
“He just lifted your spirit, this is a loss to the labor community,” Kutz said.
At the request of the family there will be no viewing.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at New Hope Baptist Church, 276 Maple Hollow Road, Duncansville, with Pastor Matthew Smart officiating.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.