Jason Cochran

Stuff you never knew you never knew

Jutta Levasseur in her studio inside the store in the Germany pavilion. (Credit: Issysue.Blogspot.com)

I was at Epcot in Walt Disney World last week, and I learned the sad news that Jutta Levasseur has passed away. The German-born Levasseur had hand-painted egg  ornaments in the Germany pavilion since the park’s opening day in 1982.

She was such a fixture that the park gave her the great honor of setting aside a studio nook overlooking the World Showcase Lagoon. Her eggs, which were Disney riffs on an old Germany Christmas tradition, were meticulous work, many taking up to three weeks to complete, and were prized by Disney collectors. Most of her eggs are now gone except for a few large ones costing well over $1,000, but her name plate remains on a shelf above her desk in tribute.

I have not been able to find an obituary for her, but I have reached out to Walt Disney World to see if it can confirm this sad news. (Update: It confirmed the news but had no other details.) A few years ago, other cast members told me that she was battling cancer, and it’s true that Jutta was not in her usual station very often for the past few years. Five years ago, she was only working Fridays and Saturdays, but her handiwork was considered by many to be a symbol of Epcot.

I first met Jutta when I was writing my first guidebook to the park for Pauline Frommer’s series (I teasingly called her little oblong canvasses “chicken roe”) and I made a decision to spotlight some of the cast members who have been part of Epcot since the very beginning. There are a few cast members at Epcot who are true fixtures, including Miyuki the candy sculptor in Japan, the Hat Lady (now Hat Ladies) of the United Kingdom, and the brothers in the mariachi band in Mexico (I shot a video feature on them a few years ago). I am sorry to see her depart, and at a relatively young age.

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7 comments. Add a Comment:

  1. Oh that is very sad to hear. I bought some of her eggs as a gift for my grandmother in Greece. May she rest in peace.

  2. Elise says:

    I never knew the woman behind the beautiful eggs, but I love her art! She was one of the cast members who made Epcot and Disney World special.

  3. Marion Poloka says:

    I’m so sad about that. I use to work with her in EPCOT in 96/97. We painted a a mural in the cast hallway together with another friend. Anybody know when that happened? She will be missed from a lot of people.

  4. Monika White says:

    That is so sad, I worked with her at Epcot in 1985-1991. My son and I just talked about Jutta last night,
    so today i search the internet, and I could not believe that she past away. She will be missed.

  5. Craig says:

    Jutta passed July 19, 2012 8am,

  6. Thank you, Craig. She will be missed.

  7. […] it seems Ms. Levasseur passed away a little less than two years ago (source) so Disney fans and the world in general will never again get to see her create one of her amazing […]

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