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Former county sheriff remembered as ‘exceptional man’

Field W. Utter, also a former county treasurer, dies at age 93

Published: Monday, Jan. 27, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT
Field W. Utter

DeKALB – God, country, core and family.

That was Field W. Utter’s motto, his family says. Utter, a former DeKalb County sheriff and chief deputy, died Thursday at age 93 at DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center in DeKalb, a nursing home which he helped build.

His family remembers Utter, also a World War II veteran, as a loyal friend and devoted family man.

“Grandpa treated everybody fairly and equally,” said Leslie Powers, Utter’s granddaughter. “If there was anything we ever needed, a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on, he was there for all of us.”

Utter became a DeKalb County sheriff’s deputy in 1950. Four years later, he worked for the Veterans’ Administration. In 1958, he rejoined the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office as chief deputy, and in 1962, he was elected DeKalb County sheriff.

He was elected DeKalb County treasurer in 1966 and was appointed as a probation officer in 1971. In 1974, he was appointed chief adult probation officer for the 16th Judicial Circuit.

DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott remembers Utter as a man he could always count on for advice. When Utter was sheriff, he actually lived in the jail while his wife cooked for inmates, a past custom done throughout Illinois, Scott said.

Scott saw Utter last week at the nursing home.

“One of the things about him is he had a long service,” Scott said. “He really cared about people in DeKalb County, and he showed it through his service.”

Sycamore resident Karen Morris, Utter’s daughter, said her dad had a very good work ethic in which he “tried to do the best in every job he had or make it better,” she said.

“He got along with everybody,” Morris said. “You could always come to him and ask for help. He treated everyone the same.”

Utter laid a foundation for sheriffs today with his accomplishments, Scott said.

“He was an exceptional man,” Scott said.

Funeral arrangements

What: Field W. Utter funeral service 

When: 10 a.m. today

Where: Salem Lutheran Church, 1145 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore

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