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John Clagett Nuttle, a retired Rouse Co. executive who worked to build the Village of Cross Keys and Columbia, died of heart failure Dec. 31 at the Blakehurst retirement community. The former Ruxton resident was 92.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Cedarcroft, he was the son of Elbert R. Nuttle, a Fidelity & Deposit vice president, and Margretta Virginia Pyles, a homemaker. He attended Friends School and was a 1939 Polytechnic Institute graduate.

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Mr. Nuttle, who was known as "Jack," earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, where he was a member of the glee club, played varsity basketball and lacrosse, and was secretary-treasurer of the Student Activities Commission. He was also elected to the student council and was a member of the Scabbard and Blade and Omicron Delta Kappa.

He served in the Army during World War II. While at Hopkins, he was in the Reserve Officers Training Corps, and he was later assigned to a maintenance company at a tank destroyer school at Fort Hood, Texas. He served in the Southwest Pacific, including New Guinea and the Philippines, and with occupation forces in Japan. He left military service as a captain and was awarded a Bronze Star. He assisted in the release of American prisoners of war held in Japanese camps.

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Mr. Nuttle served in the Army Reserves and retired in 1970 as a colonel. He trained at the Army's Infantry School and General Staff and Command College.

"My father was sensible, intelligent and forward-thinking," said his daughter, Colegate N. Esposito of Naples, Fla. "He was polite and patient. He had an appropriate, good sense of humor that had no edge to it."

After the war, Mr. Nuttle joined the old Western Electric Co.'s Point Breeze Works in Southeast Baltimore. He performed liaison duties between design, engineering and production departments of the firm, which made telephone components.

He subsequently became general manager of the Nuttle Lumber Co., an Eastern Shore building supply business that was owned by a cousin. He was based in Denton.

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He returned to Baltimore in 1956 as production superintendent of nonmarine work for the old Maryland Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. He also was assistant to its president.

"Though he was in management, he related well to his workers at the shipyard," said another daughter, Virginia N. Beggs of Pinehurst, N.C. "People liked my father. He did not have any airs. I never saw him angry."

He joined the Rouse Co. and was construction superintendent at the Village of Cross Keys in the 1960s. After its completion, he became director of business and industry for the early planning and building of Columbia. He was administrator of the Rouse commercial development division in 1969. In 1971 he was named Rouse's development director.

"Jack was quiet, steadfast and hardworking," said Mathias J. DeVito, former Rouse Co. president and chief executive officer, who lives in Ruxton. "He did his job without fanfare, and I'm not sure he got as much credit as he should have."

He later founded his own firm, Leasing Consultants, and worked in real estate. He retired nearly 25 years ago.

Mr. Nuttle volunteered in the planning for the old Memorial Stadium site on 33rd Street. He was a board member of the Govans Ecumenical Development Corp.

"He brought his project development and problem solving experience to what became the Stadium Place project," said another daughter, Elizabeth Nuttle of Brooklandville. "He took huge pride in this. He wanted to honor the former ballpark, and he wanted to see it also become a viable project for the community."

Mr. Nuttle collected stamps. He was also a woodworker and enjoyed genealogy.

He married Colegate Woodward, who had grown up near Mr. Nuttle in North Baltimore. The childhood friends wed Jan. 29, 1949.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the chapel of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., where he had served on the vestry. He was also a delegate to Diocesan Conventions.

In addition to his wife of nearly 66 years and his three daughters, survivors include two brothers, William R. Nuttle of Chestertown and Thomas O. Nuttle of Cockeysville; and three grandchildren.

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