Julia Chesnutt Dutton, owner of The Bay Window in Rockport, died August 26, 2020, at her Rockport home, surrounded by her husband, Steven L. Dutton, family and friends. She was 57 years old and had fiercely fought both acute myeloid leukemia and melanoma for four years.
Born September 11, 1962, in Kenedy, to Claire Nieschwietz Chesnutt and John Wood Chesnutt, Julia was a beautiful child, utterly precocious; as an adult she was a force of nature—smart, full of personality, extremely competent, a savvy businesswoman, someone who liked to say that her motto was to work hard and play hard. She was a partner in everything to her adored Steve and a nurturing, loving mother to his two children, Ashley and Nicholas. She had an uncommon gift for friendship, starting with a neighborhood group of children in Kenedy with whom she remained close throughout her life, but also adding ever more close friends through the years.
She loved all things Texan, antiquing and junking, going to Round Top, gambling in Las Vegas. Her deep attachment to Rockport began during childhood trips. Shortly after she and Steve moved to Rockport permanently, in 2003, she opened The Bay Window, a women’s store that perfectly reflects her—vibrant, colorful, fun. Over the years, she was engaged in many aspects of Rockport civic life, serving on the board of the Rockport Center for the Arts and supporting many other community organizations as well. She considered her biggest achievement to be raising money for children to attend the carnival at Sea Fair after Hurricane Harvey. In lieu of flowers, Julia asked that donations be made to the Aransas County ISD Education Foundation in her memory; to provide scholarship benefits to a student studying fashion. If you wish to participate please contact Suzanne Ransleben, Executive Director at: email@example.com or simply mail your check payable to: ACISD Education Foundation, P.O. Box 195, Rockport, Texas 78381-0195 and write Julia Dutton on the notation line.
Her beloved mother died at the end of 2018, and her sister Mary Claire Chesnutt Luce in 2014. In addition to her husband, Steve Dutton, she is survived by her daughter, Ashley Dutton; son Nicholas Dutton (Leslie); grandchildren Kyler, Paige and Layla Dutton; sisters, Jane Chesnutt (Mallory Rintoul), Rachel Chesnutt Blasdell (Larry); brother Clark Chesnutt (Linda); and her much-loved nieces and nephews Michael Blasdell (Sarah), Sara Blasdell, Emily Blasdell, Jeff Herring (Olivia) and Richard Herring.
Julia fought hard against odds that were stacked heavily against her. Perhaps the finest tribute to who she was, not only as a patient but as a person, came from one of her primary caregivers at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, who wrote this to Julia after it became clear earlier this month that the leukemia would win: “None of us have control over what the world brings us, only how we show up in it. In the time I’ve known you, this is what I know. You are brave, kind, patient, respectful, resilient, put people first, find laughter and know what to care about in life. No matter what the timeline was going to be, the fact that you stayed true to these things means you beat this.”
The family would like to thank Ida Snow for her devotion and care to Julia and the family, the staff of Harbor Hospice and Dr. Allesandra Ferrajoli, Jamie Gibbons, Dr. Elizabeth Shpall and Dr. Hussein Tawbi at M.D. Anderson Cancer center who fought so hard for her.
A private burial will be held at the Rockport Cemetery. A celebration of Julia’s life will be held once it is safe to be together again.
Online condolences may be left at www.charliemarshallfuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements entrusted to:
Charlie Marshall Funeral Homes and Crematory
814 E. Main
Rockport, Texas 78382