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Monday, June 27, 2022
5:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Starts at 3:00pm (Eastern time)
Arthur Lee Kluttz, 98, of Mt. Pleasant, passed away peacefully just after daybreak on Friday, June 24, 2022, at Liberty Commons in Salisbury, where he had resided for 18 months.
A celebration of Arthur Lee’s life will begin at 3 pm Tuesday, June 28, at St. James Reformed Church where he was a life-long member and the congregation’s oldest member. The Rev. Anthony Pizzuti will officiate, and burial will follow in the St. James Cemetery; Cabarrus County Veterans Honor Guard will provide military honors. The Kluttz family will receive friends from 5 to 7 pm Monday at Gordon Funeral Home.
A Cabarrus County native, Arthur Lee was born on April 14, 1924, the oldest of three children of Moses Dwight Kluttz and Georgia Eldora Jane Barringer Kluttz. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife of 65 years Bertha Boger Kluttz in 2014; his brother, Carl Dwight Kluttz, Sr. (2019), and his wife, Mary Lee Yount Kluttz (2012); and his life-long friend, quail-hunting buddy and brother-in-law Marvin D. Swaringen, Jr. (2007).
Service to his country, his church and his community were hallmarks for Arthur Lee’s long and full life. Following his graduation from Mt. Pleasant High School, Class of 1941, he enrolled in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany for two years, driving supply trucks to the front lines usually at night. He did not speak of those days, other than to say that he named his truck “Bertha”. Arthur Lee was a life member of American Legion Post 301 in Mt. Pleasant and served in various leadership roles. For his military service, he was honored with a special quilt crafted by local quilters and presented on Veteran’s Day 2018.
At St. James, Arthur Lee sang in the choir, was an active member of the Men’s Brotherhood, a member of the church Consistory, and served as Sunday school secretary for more than four decades. As a younger man, he played for St. James in church softball leagues, usually first base. In the broader Mt. Pleasant community, Arthur Lee served on the Town Board of Commissioners for 48 years, often being the top vote-getter on Election Day. He was a life member of the Mt. Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department, serving as chief for 29 years. His proudest accomplishment as chief was leading the construction of the new fire station on Main Street that was completed in 1974. In 2012, the fire department recognized Arthur Lee for his service and presented him with formal dress blues—a jacket and chief’s hat—in which he will be buried. He received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, our state’s highest civilian honor for public service, in 2017.
By vocation, Arthur Lee was a lumber man and custom cabinet maker. Besides two years with Uncle Sam, his only employer was Miller Lumber Company, a family business that began in 1889. Arthur Lee worked there with his father as early as he could swing a hammer, resumed his employment upon his honorable discharge from the military, and served as president for 51 years until he retired at age 95 in 2019. He was a founding board member of the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society and shared his building and millwork talents as the society’s museum properties were restored.
In leisure time over the years, Arthur Lee and Bertha made many friends traveling by tour bus to historic sites, national parks and off-the-beaten-path places of interest across the United States and Canada. Closer home, he was a steadfast fan of UNC basketball and the Atlanta Braves, staying loyal to his teams regardless of a game’s outcome. As long as his health allowed and under the direction of Miss Bertha, he worked a vegetable garden every summer and harvested pecans every fall.
Left to cherish Arthur Lee’s memory are one son, Lee Allen Kluttz, and wife, Jannette Barnhardt Kluttz, of Mt. Pleasant; three grandchildren, Lindsey K. Love, and husband, Adam of Mt. Pleasant; Alex Kluttz of Alexandria, VA; and Kaleb Kluttz of Wendell, NC; two great-granddaughters, Ava Lee and Mattie Mae; one sister, Miriam K. Swaringen of Mt. Pleasant; and multiple generations of nieces and nephews in the Kluttz, Boger and Swaringen families.
Memorial contributions may be directed to St. James Reformed Church, PO Box 447; American Legion Post 301, 1364 N. Washington Street; or the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society, PO Box 1299, all in Mt. Pleasant, NC, 28124.