Welcome to the memorial page for

John M. Cutney

September 30, 1939 ~ November 2, 2017 (age 78)

John M. Cutney departed into the wild blue yonder on November 2, 2017. Leaving behind his great love, his wife of 56 years, Lorraine Kopp Cutney. John experienced many adventures and achievements, but his proudest was being a father to his daughter Susan M. Cutney, son John M. Cutney, Jr., daughter-in-law Lizz Clark Cutney, whom he always thought of as his second daughter, and granddaughter, Susan Lorraine Cutney.

Born on September 30, 1939 and raised in the Bronx, New York City, NY, the elder son of John and Anna Cutney, this second generation of immigrant grandparents graduated from Fordham Preparatory School in 1957, Fordham University with a Bachelor of Science in 1961, and Auburn University with a Masters Degree in Public Administration in 1975. Ever since John was a little boy, he had a strong desire to fly and while attending Fordham University, he joined the U.S. Air Force ROTC and was commissioned upon graduation. John earned his wings at Del Rio, TX and flew single and multiple engines aircraft, his favorite was the C-130 Hercules.

After 20 plus years of service in the USAF, John retired to the Rio Grande valley to take up the position of Airport Director at the Brownsville International Airport from 1982 to 1985. He left public service and became business partners with John Shands and engaged in providing expanded travel related and vacation services via Shands International Travel, Valley Adventures, Inc., and Surftran.
The impact of 9/11 on the travel industry and the desire to spend more time with his wife and family, John retired. But being a type A personality, flying, golf and gardening just wasn't enough. John served as Museum Curator of the CAF of the Rio Grande Valley Wing in Brownsville, TX; as President of the Board of Directors at the Harlingen Country Club in 2000; and Mayor of Palm Valley, TX from 2013 to 2015.
John lived his life as he was taught----show respect no matter what a person’s position or situation, provide a helping hand when needed, be honest and have integrity, think for yourself, and stand by your principles even it it goes against the popular opinion.

John stressed acquiring knowledge was the one thing no one could ever take from you, so in lieu of flowers, his family ask that you make a donation in his name, John Michael Cutney, to Fordham Preparatory School Annual Scholarship Fund. The fund assist students with tuition as both of his parents worked hard to put him through school. Please go to

Visitation for family and friends will be held at Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Sunday, November 5, 2017.

 Service Information

November 5, 2017

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home
710 Ed Carey Drive
Harlingen, TX

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