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Countess Mara’s Peter Jurutka Dead at 91

He died at his home in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on Jan. 29.

Services have been held for Peter J. Jurutka, 91, former chief executive officer and chairman of Countess Mara, Inc. He died at his home in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on Jan. 29.

Born in New York City on April 10, 1921, he attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Stuyvesant High School in New York City. He served as an instrument specialist, rank of sergeant, in the Army Air Force from June 1942 to February 1946, serving in Guam and Hawaii, before receiving an honorable discharge. On June 6, 1942 he married his grade-school sweetheart, Elizabeth (Betty) Bradac, who passed away in November 1958, and with whom he had six children.

Jurutka spent nearly a half-century at Countess Mara, joining the company in April 1939 as a stock and retail clerk. Rising through the ranks, he became the first president after the company’s namesake, Countess Lucilla Mara de Vescovi Whitman, and remained with the company for 48 years until he retired in 1988. He had been ceo and chairman for 14 years. The label was purchased by Randa Accessories in 1998.

He is survived by his second wife of 52 years, Catherine, and also by a brother, Henry Jurutka of California, as well as seven children, 11 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.