H. Jeffrey “Jeff” Cutler spent Friday morning playing tennis with his buddies.
Cutler — a longtime lawyer, former Pinecrest councilman and chairman of the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust — died doing what he loved. He collapsed Friday morning on the court at age 62.
“Those with him said he had won nine games in a row just before he went,” his longtime law partner and friend Luis de la Cruz posted on Facebook. “He was always a winner. There are very few people, if any, like Jeff.”
Cutler, who was born and raised in South Miami-Dade, wrestled at Miami Palmetto Senior High and went on to graduate from the University of Florida School of Business Administration with honors. In 1982, he received his law degree from UF. He also wrestled for the Gators and was a team captain and four-year letterman.
After graduation, he moved back to Miami to practice law. Cutler specialized in civil, corporate, and commercial law and litigation.
“One of the most generous, thoughtful, caring, loving and kind people I ever knew,” said lawyer Roger Kobert. “Proud to have been his friend and onetime colleague. The world is much lesser without this marvelous man.”
In 2006, he was elected as a council member for the Village of Pinecrest. He was reelected in 2010 and served until 2014, when he could no longer serve because of term limits. While on the council, he served as vice mayor from 2008 to 2009, and 2012 to 2013.
“Jeff was a true public servant who was born and raised in our Pinecrest community,” Pinecrest Mayor Joseph M. Corradino said in a statement. “Jeff was always engaged in our community.”
In September 2015, he was appointed as a commissioner on the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust. In 2017, he was elected by the commission as its chairman.
De la Cruz, his law partner, described Cutler “as a larger-than-life-type person” who loved to give back and loved his friends and family.
Mayor Corradino described Cutler similarly: “He always had a smile, kind words and a great attitude that lifted all of us.”
Cutler’s survivors include his wife Kathy, son Kenny, daughter Katelyn, mother Iris and sister Betsy.
Services are pending.