Jutta Levasseur, Epcot’s egg painter, has died

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.

9 Responses to “Jutta Levasseur, Epcot’s egg painter, has died”

  1. Elise

    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.

  2. Marion Poloka

    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.

  3. Monika White

    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.

  4. Kelly Verhelle

    14 April 2014/Kelly Verhelle

    I just got done taking my Little Red Riding Hood egg I bought from Disney World in 2009 off my Easter tree and tucked it away. I had kept the little note card with the woman’s name I purchased it from and I remember our conversation. She was thrilled that I wanted
    one of her eggs and that someone appreciated her wonderful talent. Out of curiosity, I did a computer search for her today and sadly came to this information that she had passed away. I will treasure my little egg even more and the memory of the lovely and talented woman posed with her paintbrush who created its beauty.

  5. B Richard Nicholson

    We were at art school in Jamaica together in the early ’70s. I studied graphic design, and I don’t remember if she studied paining or ceramics. Back then she signed her work J Anemone Stefanski. This is such sad news.