Obituary of José Gutierrez (1976 – 2021) – Lacey, WA


José S. Gutierrez Jr.
December 19, 1976 – November 5, 2021
Lacey, Washington – Jose “DJ Luvva J” Salvador Gutierrez, Jr., 44, was born on December 19, 1976 in Hayward, California. He died of complications from COVID-19 on Friday, November 5, 2021 in Lacey, Wash., Where he resided.
Defying all odds, from an early age Jose excelled at almost anything he put his mind and his hands on. At the age of 12, he began volunteering at Evergreen State College’s KAOS Olympia Community Radio as a DJ and continued to volunteer and collaborate with them until his passing. His first salary came from The Olympian newspaper for a two-page article he wrote about hip-hop when he was 14. While attending River Ridge High School in Lacey, Jose was a football, baseball and basketball team captain and loved by his peers and teammates; graduated in 1995.
A lifelong learner, he would continue his education at several institutions of higher learning over the course of his life, beginning with Washington State University. Jose received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communications with a triple focus and honors in TV / Film Production, Media Management and Journalism, as well as a Masters in Education from the College of Education. He touched many lives at Pullman on air as a DJ KZUU, on Cable 8 Productions, as a DJ at local events and nightclubs, working with the ASWSU student body and as a as a mentor for his peers. While at Pullman, Jose also founded the student organization, Black Men Making a Difference (BMMAD) and was instrumental in raising awareness and advocating for women’s safety on campus; receiving a Restorative Justice Development Certificate from Eastern Washington University.
His graduate studies continued in Bellingham, Washington, at Western Washington University. He obtained a Masters of Business Administration with distinction in Global Leadership and Diversity. He returned to Thurston County and earned an additional Masters of Environmental Science and Public Administration from Evergreen State College while continuing to volunteer at KAOS-fm. In 2021, he continued his graduate studies by attending the University of California at Berkeley law school remotely and obtained a certificate in sustainable capitalism and ESG (environment, social and governance).
While living in Thurston County, Jose worked as a producer at Thurston Community Television / TCTV (now Thurston Community Media / TCM) and was a liaison for the North Thurston School District. An assistant professor at Northwest Indian College, Jose has worked with the Tulalip and Nisqually tribes to empower youth and was a professor and director of strategic development and leadership at the Edutainment Academy and Institute. Puget Sound Community College.
Jose was Section Chief, Minister and member of the Temple of Hip-Hop organization from 1996 until his death. He was also a respected member of 206 Zulu and Universal Zulu Nation groups. He was the founder and director of Hip-Hop for the Homeless in Washington State.
Jose has served his local community in countless roles, using his gifts as a man of faith, educator, mentor, teacher, DJ, philanthropist, advocate, certified mediator, founder, leader, artist, philosopher and innovator. Jose was and truly is a local legend and his contributions to humanity reflect what it means to love, lead and serve. He will be truly missed.
Jose is survived by his grandmother, Bernadine Miller, his mother, Arkame B. Curry; father, José Salvador Gutierrez Sr .; sister, Stella Haioulani; brother, Jonathon Angel Gutierrez; uncle, Alphonse Curry; niece, Tattiani Elliott; grand-nephews, Robbin Hearn, Alphonse Hearn and RiShawn Crews; and a host of other family members and friends.
A private service will be held at Woodlawn Funeral Home 5930 Mullen Road SE, Lacey, WA 98503. There will be a public memorial and celebration of life on Saturday, November 27, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. in historic Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave, Seattle , WA 98122. More details on this event and others can be found on Facebook and GoFundMe. Memorial contributions to be made in lieu of flowers at: For more information, please call (253) 921-1160 or email [email protected]

Published by Bellingham Herald on November 19, 2021.


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