Albert (Al) Cutruzzula was born in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh, PA on February 5,1922. He passed away in Hanford, California on April 13, 2021, at the age of 99.
Employed as a letter carrier with the Hanford USPS for 32 years, Al enjoyed his job and loved greeting his postal route households everyday. He met so many nice people during his tenure and even at 99 years of age, he never forgot the names of the streets and the folks who once lived there.
The most important highlight of Als life was when met his soon-to-be wife, Dorothy, at an USO dance in Lemoore in 1948. They tied the knot in 1949 and started their family in 1950. Al and Dorothy were very active in the Hanford community social scene, participating in the dance club “The Jolly Bunch”, bowling leagues, bingo events and other local activities. They were honored to be named Hanford King and Queen for the annual Kings County Homecoming Day in May, 2013.
Growing up, Al was the fifth of nine children whose father, a shoemaker, ran his business on the ground floor of their family's three story home in Pittsburgh. Als mother nurtured and supported her family with loving care, and he often reminisced about her delicious Italian cooking. As a young boy, he attended Help of Christian's Catholic grade school at the time of the Great Depression in the early 1930s. He graduated from Westinghouse High School in 1940, and continued his education at Kutztown State College.
In 1943, Al enlisted in the Army Air Force Corps as a pilot cadet but his pursuit was dashed when he suffered an ear injury that disqualified him from his dream of becoming a pilot. Nonetheless, he continued his service in the Army Air Force Corps where he was eventually transferred to Lemoore Air Base and worked as a clerk-typist.
Als passion for athletics began at an early age when he was in 8th grade, playing basketball for the Christian Youth Organization. His skill in athletics drew him to cross-country track, basketball and baseball. In 1948, Al was recruited to play first base with the Central Valley fast pitch softball league, the Hanford Kings. The team was very successful ultimately winning the Worlds Championship Softball title. Al was inducted into the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame in 1972 and thereafter, given the key to the City of Hanford. Al also played for the Fresno Hoak Packers which was recognized with a team award medal from the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame. His natural talent and love for athletics also drew him to many extracurricular sporting activities including developing local little league baseball and supporting the Hanford High School teams where he was affectionately called Coach Cotti. In addition, Al was an accomplished bowler, competing in local and state tournaments, and served as secretary of the Hanford Bowling Leagues for many years. Als goal for achieving the ultimate score in a game, 300, was attained not once but three times over the years.
Al was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Dorothy in 2016. He also leaves behind his adoring children, Albert Cutruzzula, Jr., Robert Cutruzzula (Donna), and Gina Cutruzzula (Joanne Melia) and grandchildren; Matthew Cutruzzula (Kristina), Alan Cutruzzula (Jacquie), Kara Cutruzzula (Colin Macdonald) and Eric Cutruzzula.
Funeral Mass was held on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 10am at St. Brigid Catholic Church, Hanford. Burial followed at Hanford Cemetery.
“It was just for the love of the game”
- Albert Cotti Cutruzzula