Dr. Lee Lyman Dewey Tuttle, Jr., a distinguished general thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon, entered the arms of his loving Savior on July 26, 2018, at the age of eighty-seven. Treasured son, husband, father, brother, uncle, friend, teacher, healer, and care-giver to many, he left an indelible impact on not only his family, but also on countless physicians, surgeons, nurses, and patients throughout the community.
A native Houstonian born to the late Dr. Lee Lyman Dewey Tuttle and Vita Daniels Tuttle, Lee attended River Oaks Elementary, Sidney Lanier Junior High, The Kinkaid School, Dartmouth College, and Baylor College of Medicine.
A humble man of great service, kindness, and compassion, Lee devoted his professional life to the practice of medicine. He began his medical training as a rotating intern at Colorado General Hospital from 1956-1957. He was a surgical resident at Baylor affiliated hospitals from 1957-1959 and 1961-1964. In the interim he was an Intern, Captain, and Chief of Surgery at the 350th United States Air Force Hospital.
Board certified in general, thoracic, and cardiovascular surgery, Lee was a Clinical Professor at Baylor College of Medicine and later served as the Deputy Chief of Surgery at The Methodist Hospital from 1994 until his retirement in July, 2001. Lee was a member of the Harris County Medical Society, the Texas State Medical Society, the Texas Surgical Society, the Southwestern Surgical Association, the Houston Surgical Society, and a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Houston Surgeon Award presented by the Houston Surgical Society in 2007. Lee was proud to be a second generation physician at The Methodist Hospital, as his father, Dr. Dewey Tuttle was also a longtime staff member who served as Chief of Surgery at The Methodist Hospital from 1945-1965.
Lee credited most of his professional success to the highly-trained nurses that supported his practice. He treated all of the nurses that worked with him as members of his own family, and made a point to visit with his nurses throughout his retirement. Indeed, many of his fondest professional memories centered around the collegial atmosphere of nurses and surgeons working together to serve patients at Methodist. The family is indebted to the many incredible physicians, nurses and staff at The Methodist Hospital and The Hallmark who treated Lee with the high degree of care that he provided to others. In addition, we thank “The Nightingales” – Shirley Thomas, Pearl Sam, Jocelyn Rojales Corazon, Rose Vargas, Silahis Loyola, and Nancy Johnson for their compassionate care.
Lee was a chronically curious lifetime student. He loved the outdoors and all things involving nature. He spent his childhood summers riding horses and hiking at what became a second home to him at Camp Cheley in Estes Park, Colorado. Whether he was skiing in the Rocky Mountains, enjoying the beauty of the Guadalupe River in Hunt, Texas, or playing golf with his life-long friends, Lee was always in his element with a quick-wit, occasional corny joke, but more than anything else, a love of life.
His faith was a foundational part of his life and he was a member of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church since his marriage to Jean sixty-four years ago. He was especially proud to load up the family station wagon with his family of seven to get to church every Sunday. His love for and dedication to his family was paramount.
No place were these characteristics more brightly displayed than in his care and devotion to the love of his life, his wife Jean. Lee never wavered in his care, support, and service of Jean throughout her battle with Alzheimer’s, even convincing his own caretakers to permit him to visit her in the last days of his life. Always by her side, Lee’s conversations, love, and presence will undoubtedly be missed by Jean.
He is survived by his childhood crush and adoring wife, Jean Griffey Tuttle; daughters Gwyn Tuttle Insani, Susan Tuttle Lummis (and her husband David Rice Lummis), Jennifer Tuttle Arnold, and Emily Tuttle Wilde (and her husband Carlton Dalbey Wilde, Jr.); grandchildren Lauren Tuttle Laurent, Christopher Andrew Insani (and his wife Brittany Ann Insani), David Rice Lummis, Jr., Helen May Lummis, Gregory Lee Tuttle, Carlton Dalbey Wilde III (and his wife Jordan Jenkins Wilde), Lee Griffey Wilde, Jeanie Arnold, David Buck Arnold, Adelaide Emily Lummis, William Tuttle Wilde, and Georgia Arnold; great-grandsons Michael Lee Bryce Laurent, Michael Lynn Callahan Laurent, Michael Eugene Cash Laurent, Christopher Jayden Insani, and Carlton Dalbey Wilde IV; sister, Yvonne Tuttle Streit (and her husband, David R. Streit); and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and their children.
He is preceded in death by his son Lee Lyman Dewey Tuttle III (“Trey”).
A celebration of Lee’s resurrection and service to humanity will be held at four o’clock in the afternoon on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, where the Rev. Dr. Clay Lein and the Rev. Reagan Cocke will officiate. A reception will follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Dr. Tuttle may be directed for Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s research to The Methodist Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 4384, Houston, Texas 77210-4384.