Donald Colgett Cutter Sr., UNM professor emeritus of history, died Friday, April 4, at the age of 92. Services are set for Sunday, June 1 at 2 p.m. at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 114 Carlisle Blvd. SE; with interment at Santa Fe National Cemetery on Monday, June 2 at 10:30 a.m. Cutter's children invite those who would like to celebrate the life and legacy of their father to attend.
"Dr. Cutter, who taught at UNM from 1962 to 1982, was a distinguished historian of the Spanish Borderlands, past president of the Western History Association, a prolific researcher and publisher, and an extraordinarily productive teacher. During Dr. Cutter's tenure, the University of New Mexico history department became a powerhouse in history of the Spanish borderlands and American West and frontier. He produced dozens of graduate students in these fields," said Melissa Bokovoy, chair of the UNM history department.
Cutter was born January 9, 1922 in Chico, Calif. He earned his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Claifornia in 1945. He spent three years in the Pacific Theater during World War II aboard the USS Pecos. He returned to California at the end of the war and earned a master's in history in 1947 and a Ph.D. in history with a minor in anthropology in 1950 from the University of California.
Upon retiring from UNM, Cutter held the O'Connor Chair for the History of Hispanic Texas and the Southwest at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. His research and teaching took him to Spain and Mexico, which became foundational to Cutter's publishing of multiple books and articles. He was best known for The Writings of Mariano Payeras, published by the Academy of American Franciscan History (1995) for which he received the Norman Neuberg Award for Distinguished Research and Writing in Early California History.
Cutter was director of the American Indian Historical Research Project, acting editor of the New Mexico Historical Review, a Del Amo Foundation Fellow, chief historical consultant for the Council of California Indians, the Social Science Research Council faculty resident fellow, a Fulbright research fellow and historical consultant for the Jicarilla Apache Tribe.
A memorial service is being planned for later in the year with interment at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.
Cutter is survived by his wife, Charlotte Lazear Cutter; their nine children, Diane Cutter of Corrales, NM; Donald Cutter Jr. of Schwabisch Gmund, Germany; Charles Cutter, West Lafayette, Ind,; Teresa Cutter Dana, Theodore Cutter, Andrea Cutter and Alex Cutter, all of Albuquerque, NM; Douglas Cutter, Normal, Ill., and Carmen Cutter, of San Diego, Calif., 15 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren, as well as his brother Ross Cutter, Spokane, Wash.
In lieu of flowers as well as to honor Cutter's life, a tax-deductible contribution may be made to support historical scholarship through the Bolton-Cutter Award, created in 2008 to honor Cutter. The Western History Association gives the award annually. Checks payable to "WHA Bolton-Cutter Endowment" may be sent to: The Bolton-Cutter Endowment, Western History Association Department of History, 605 Gruening Building, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-6460.