Enid Varian Cutler
1921 - 2012
Enid Varian Ellison Cutler passed away Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, at Parkhouse Providence Point, a nursing facility in Royersford, Pa. She was born Sept. 27, 1921, to Harold Cornelius Ellison and Mary Louise Fitch Ellison and was raised in Webster Groves, Mo.
Both her parents and her sisters, Mary Steppi and Barbara Fumagalli, chose art as a way of life and profession. From early on, Enid's own artistic aptitude was so apparent that in the midst of the Great Depression a portraiture client of Harold Ellison, her father, offered to pay Enid's tuition to the University of Iowa. There she received several honors and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1942, and a Master of Fine Arts in 1944.
It was also at the university that she met and married an economics major, Howard Armstrong Cutler of Webster City, Iowa, in 1943. Moving with her husband's career, she made homes in Georgia, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Alaska, raising three children.
Enid was a prolific artist all her life. Throughout her lifetime, she produced hundreds of works in a variety of mediums and on a range of subjects. Her work was displayed in venues around the country including Lincoln Center Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.
When approached to share her knowledge, enormous enthusiasm, and love for art, she accepted offers to teach at a variety of institutions, from universities to medical and retirement facilities.
Enid was highly social by temperament. Besides the arts, she was passionately concerned with politics, the natural environment and education; and she tirelessly supported the professional communities in which her husband served. Together, Enid and Howard built community wherever they went, actively seeking and creating occasions to recognize and celebrate the contributions of community members, students, faculty and staff.
At Pennsylvania State University and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, they worked as a warm and enthusiastic welcoming committee and outreach team, attending, planning and hosting social gatherings and communal events in town and on campus. While with the Institute for International Education in New York City, they traveled around the world, promoting international educational exchange.
After the passing of her beloved husband, Enid moved, in 2002, from Alaska to Pennsylvania to live with her daughter, Kristen, and son-in-law, Thomas Bissinger. With their support, she continued to produce and present her work unabated in one-woman and group shows at local galleries, such as The Chester Springs Art Studio and Phoenix Village Art Center.
Enid leaves behind a substantial artistic inventory of enormous variety.
Enid is survived by her sister, Barbara Fumagalli, of Camarillo, Calif.; three children, their spouses, their children, and their grandchildren; Cheryl Cutler, of Ashland, Ore.; Kristen Bissinger and husband Thomas Bissinger, of Pottstown, Pa.; their children, Esther Bissinger, of Tepotzlan, Mexico; and Zachary Bissinger and wife, Sunit Gill, and their children, Anand and Zareen, of Denver, Colo.; and Thor Cutler and wife, Joy, and their children, Cleopatra and Iris, of Burien, Wash.
Published by Daily News-Miner on Jan. 4, 2013.
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15 Entries
Alaska is a better place because of Howard and Enid Cutler. My sincerest condolences to the Cutler Family in the loss of Enid.

Jim and Beth Sampson, Fairbanks, Alaska
January 27, 2013
Enid what a beautiful person, every time I saw her I just knew she was going to have something wonderful and inspiring to say and she never disappointed me.I will not miss her because she is with me in her art that I have and the memories.
January 21, 2013
Words fail me after learning of Enid's passing. I have thought about her every day since we met in 1987 when we were introduced by Suzanne Summerville in Fairbanks. I thank God for our paths crossing in this lifetime. Ultimately, she painted me and then created a huge portrait of my family from a picture I took at Christmas, 1987 which included my late son, Chandler. Those two paintings hang in my living room and to say she captured the essence of my children and late Mother would simply be an underestimation. She was my teacher, my friend, my mentor. I shall miss her with every cell of my being. Barbara Deery
Barbara Deery
January 16, 2013
Enid was the rare person who truly understood the reality of this life. As a graduate student, I had the amazing opportunity of interviewing her and then writing about our conversations. I also have several hours of recorded conversations with her. Would the family like those? If so, please contact me.
Eloise Larson
January 9, 2013
I treasure the quick sketch Enid did of my son, Darin, during the brief time he was lovingly cared for by Joy Cutler. God Bless
Rusty Gesin
January 7, 2013
We will miss her. She painted our kids pictures which hang in our home. We loved her enthusiasm and kid like love of life,some of the most wonderful people we ever worked for and friends. We will miss your infectious smile. Jeff and gena Barney
January 7, 2013
Another talented lady has left us. The Cutler family can be proud of all that Howard and Enid did in all the communities they lived and served. I am pleased I knew them both and counted them among my special friends for so many years. My condolences to their family.
Ruth Jolly Knapman
January 7, 2013
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
M Allison (Isaiah 25:8)
January 5, 2013
Enid was an important mentor to me and to many others. Dick and I enjoyed many happy times with Howard and Enid. Their family can be proud of all that the Cutlers did for people in all the communities they lived and served.
-Jo Ryman Scott, Manhattan, NY
January 5, 2013
Enid was such a lovely person.... she was a huge influence on my art and I will forever be grateful for her talent and enthusiasm.
Linda Wloszczynski
January 4, 2013
Enid brought so much joy into people's lives. Ted and I treasure dearly the portraits she did of our 3 children when very young. She was a generous, warm-hearted person and lover of the arts.. She left her mark on all that knew her, young and old. Our condolences to all of her family.
Kay and Ted DeCorso
January 4, 2013
Enid will be remembered as a person of great joy and talent. A wonderful artist
and great fun to have in my life.
Anne Sherman
January 4, 2013
My Christmastide 2012 letter was about to be mailed to her today(1/4). Enid was a wonderful person. I am sad to learn of her passing.Lovellen
Ellen Brown
January 4, 2013
Enid had a wonderful eye for color and shapes. She also had a keen sense of community welfare and did her best to improve lives at every level. Our sincere condolences to her family.
January 4, 2013
Enid was a delightful person,so kind, an amazing artist and I was so privileged and humbled that she befriended me when I most needed it. So sad to lose her. The angels will be posing for her, they won't be able to help themselves. Pat Ivey, Alaska.
January 4, 2013
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