Basil D. Nutter, 75; mayor's father

Posted: November 27, 2009

Basil D. Nutter Jr., 75, the father of Philadelphia Mayor Nutter, died Wednesday at a Hopewell Township assisted-living facility, New Jersey State police said yesterday.

The mayor's father was found dead at noon in his room at the Hopewell Place Senior Apartments, on Old Stage Coach Road in Bridgeton. Though the death was "unattended," there was no sign of foul play, state police said.

Police said the mayor's father likely died of natural causes, although an investigation was pending.

Mayor Nutter, in a brief telephone interview from his home last night, confirmed his father's death, but had no other comment.

Mr. Nutter, who was a salesman and plumber, spent much of his life in New Jersey. At different times, he lived in Sicklerville, Pennsville, and finally Bridgeton.

In a 2007 Inquirer article, Mayor Nutter's sister, Renee Messina, remembered that their father was a stickler with his family on some subjects.

"Dad said you must speak the king's English," Messina said. "No ghetto talk, you speak proudly. A lot of how Michael carries himself was built inside that house."

Mr. Nutter was immensely proud of his son and had a lively sense of humor, Inquirer archives show.

Interviewed in 2005, Mr. Nutter told a reporter about the mayor as a boy when he was a student at Transfiguration of Our Lord School.

"The nuns always took Michael up to the front of the class because his shirts were always starched just so," said Mr. Nutter. "I mean, if he turned his head he'd cut his neck."

There was no word on services for Mr. Nutter.

Contact staff writer Bonnie L. Cook at 215-854-2913 or

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