Long-time Merced resident Arthur Raymond Nutcher (Art), age 71, went to be with Jesus, his Friend and Redeemer, unexpectedly Friday, May 19, 2017. Art was born in Hilmar, California on February 1, 1946, the fifth of six children to Mary and Raymond Nutcher. At the age of ten, Art moved from Hilmar to Merced, two years after his father and partner, Sam Stevinson, opened N&S Tractor Company at its first location at 15th and O Street, near downtown in Merced. It was at that time Art began working in the family business, putting together rakes for his Dad (mainly to keep him out of his dad’s hair), and continued working there throughout his school years. He attended Sheehy Elementary, Hoover Junior High and was a graduate of Merced High School and Merced College. Art joined his father and older brother, Steve, in the family business beginning as a mechanic. He then moved to the parts department, before assuming a position as a salesman. Following the death of his father and Steve, Art, with his older brother Howard, continued to run the family business, which by this time had been moved to its present location on Highway 59. Howard passed away in 1986, and Art continued to grow and develop N&S Tractor, which now includes seven stores located in Northern California and throughout the Central Valley. Art was always proud to carry on his father’s legacy of not only good old-fashioned service, but contributing and investing in the local and surrounding communities. In 1997, Art was named Agri-Businessman of the Year. N&S Tractor and owner Art were also recognized as the 12th Senatorial District’s Small Business of the Year in 2011.
On July 9, 1966, Art married Stephanie Jean Van Dusen. They established their home in Merced, where they raised their three children, Bob, Heather and Matt. Art’s personal foundation rested on his family and his faith, and these were the basis of his life’s activities. He was a long time member of Yosemite Church in Merced. The family enjoyed camping, backpacking, water skiing and travel adventures. In addition to being a willing participant in all of the family’s activities, Art was the “mechanic” behind the scenes who made it all happen. His strong love for family fueled his determination to always put their needs before his own. In 2001, Art assumed the role of “Boppa”, with the birth of his first grandchild. Some of his proudest accomplishments in his life were the loving relationships he cherished with his seven grandchildren, Emmerson, Samuel, Addison, Jack, Harrison, Wyatt and Stella.
Over the years, Art’s sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Susan and Tom McCall, along with their children Courtney and Scott, created many memories with the Nutcher family. The cousins grew up as best friends, and now the next generation is following in that tradition. Art and Tom shared a mutual work ethic, a love of the outdoors, golf and family. They were blessed with a unique brotherly bond.
In addition to his family, Art found the fullness of life in the rich and lasting relationships formed in the Valley’s farming community – a large part of his identity and “place” in this world. And, of course, the same can be said from the pleasure and meaning he received from the interactions with loyal customers, colleagues and employees at N&S Tractor.
Art was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Mary Nutcher, his brother Steve, Howard and Barbara Nutcher, and his brother-in-law Bob Tournquist. He is survived by his loving wife of fifty years, Stephanie; children Robert Nutcher, Heather (Chris) Stempson, and Matthew (Catherine) Nutcher; sisters Phyllis Tournquist, Mary (John) Wallace and Carol (Clark) Kellogg; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Susan and Tom McCall and many nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Yosemite Church, 2230 E. Yosemite Avenue, Merced. Art’s greatest legacy will be the memory of a quiet, kind and generous man, warm-hearted, humble and genuine.
Remembrances may be made to the Arthur R. Nutcher Scholarship for Merced County FFA (#46-3386411) and sent to the Merced County Farm Bureau Scholarship and Education Fund, P.O. Box 1232, Merced, California 95341.
Stratford Evans Merced Funeral Home