Flag Eagle

Donald Raymond Tuter

December 28, 1934 ~ October 27, 2021 (age 86)




“Good Mornin’ Lord”, he said in the early morning hours of October 27th, 2021. Don went to be with his Savior and friend in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his loving wife and children.

Don was born on December 28, 1934, in Brookline, Missouri to Edward and Hildred Tuter. After graduating high school in 1953, he went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad and joined the Kansas Army National Guard.  In 1956, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. 


While enlisted in the Air Force, Don, a tremendously talented vocalist and instrumentalist, joined a country music band and began playing the fiddle and mandolin professionally.  His performances included the Tokyo Grand Ole Opry, while on deployment.

Don and long-time friend, Joyce Jones, wed February 16, 1961. Don and Joyce welcomed son Russ in 1964, and son Paul in 1967.


In 1968, the family moved from Bashor, Kansas to John Day, Oregon, where Don worked for Hines Lumber Company in Bates, Oregon, and the U.S. Forest Service as a core driller. Don pursued his career in country music with his new band, Wild Country. It was with Wild Country that Don recorded his first professional country music album. 


Don accepted Christ as a child, and in 1975 when he became a Spirit-filled Christian, he decided to stop playing in honkey tonks to begin pursuing a career in country gospel music and ministry.


In 1973, Don and Joyce completed their family with the addition of Carrie Jo.


The family moved to Prineville in 1978, where Don worked for the Ochoco Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service and also started a Christian band; “The Average Jesus Band.” Don medically retired from the U.S. Forest Service in 1979.


In 1988, along with the evangelism, the couple opened a soup kitchen in downtown Prineville where Don would lead bible study and Joyce made soup for those in need. In the last 20 years of their traveling ministry, the couple traveled to Mexico with donated items such as building supplies, tools, rice, beans and seeds for gardening. Together, Don and Joyce spread the joy of the Lord all around the world.


In 2013, Don became a member of the Oregon Band of Brothers Prineville chapter, later joining the Honor Guard. In January 2018, Don was elected as Chaplain. It was with The Band of Brothers that Don’s heart's desire was met - he remained in ministry, spreading the love of Jesus, through his final days.  


Don never knew a stranger - he will long be remembered for his ability to make others know they were important to him, and they belonged.  His motto was, “EVERYBODY is SOMEBODY, in this place.”  He fully lived out this motto...  To know Don Tuter was to have a friend.


Don is survived by his loving wife, Joyce, of 62 years; son, Russ (Lori) Tuter, son, Paul (Shani) Tuter, daughter, Carrie (Jason) Bauer; grandchildren; Jessica (Shawn) Tuter, Dale (Sammi) Tuter, Zach (Danielle) Tuter, Kylie (Chase) Cole, Andy Tuter, Kolton Collins, Brittney Taylor, Dustin Collins, Hannah (Jason) Burgess; eight great-grandchildren, four brothers and, five sisters. 

A celebration of life will be held December 11, 2021, at 11 a.m., Eastside Foursquare Church, 3174 N.E. Main Street, Prineville, Oregon. The service can be viewed online at: https://www.facebook.com/carrie.bauer3

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that charitable donations can be made to: Christian’s At Work, PO Box 272, Prineville, Oregon, 97754.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
December 11, 2021

11:00 AM
Eastside Foursquare Church
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins

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