Obituary: Thomas Wilber Rutter

Tom entered Eternal Life on November 21, 2012, a week before his 89th birthday. He was born in Nebraska on November 29, 1923 as the youngest of five children born to Everett Roscoe Rutter and Effie Margaret (Dunn). His parents, sister, Jean, and brothers, Ted, David, and Jim preceded him in death. Surviving him are his wife, Helen, son Mark, daughters Nancy and Lisa and his grandchildren Woody, Justin, and Mathew Ludwig and Kristin Holland. Tom grew up on his Irish Grandfather's farm where he learned the meaning of hard work and the love of family. As soon as possible, he enlisted in the Army during WWII and was sent to the jungles of New Guinea as a high-speed radio operator. After breaking his leg, the Army flew him to Winter General Hospital in Topeka, Kansas, where he met, and later married, Helen Kilgore, who worked in the telegraph office in the hospital. When Tom received a telegram, it started a beautiful love and marriage that lasted 67 years. After his discharge from the Army, Tom attended and graduated from Kansas University. Tom spent most of his working years with the Space Program as a contracting officer for the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. He eventually retired as the Assistant Deputy for Contracting, Special Projects Division. Tom also earned the level of 32nd Degree Mason after his father-in-law assisted his induction into Lodge #17, Topeka, Kansas. After retiring, he and Helen moved to Oakhurst, California, where they enjoyed visiting Bass Lake and Yosemite. Tom and Helen also enjoyed having lots of company, especially by the grandchildren whom Tom took camping, fishing, and hiking. It was hard to say who enjoyed it the most. Tom loved seeing new places. If not on a cruise, Tom and Helen would hook up their trailer and have many wonderful trips, including genealogy hunts to look for records of their ancestors. They later moved to Carson City to be near their daughter, Lisa, and her family, where loved ones continued to visit. Tom enjoyed people and, for a few years, was even a crossing guard at Fritsch Elementary School. Those who knew him well say, “He was an epitome of a gentleman with a great sense of humor"His family and friends will deeply miss him. Services will be held at St. Paul's Lutheran Church at the corner of Saliman and Hwy 50 on Saturday,December 8th, at 11 a.m. Interrnment will be held Sunday, December 9th, in Oakhurst, California, in a columbarium of OakhurstLutheran Church. Arrangements are in the care of Autumn Funerals & Cremations


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