John Rutt

John Rutt


Memorial services for John R. Rutt, 68, of Des Moines, will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 10, 2019, at Grace United Methodist Church in Des Moines. Rev. Gary Nims will officiate the service with assistance from Deacon Ralph W. Agar.

Visitation with the family will take place an hour before the service.

Private family burial was conducted at Grandview Cemetery in Fayette prior to the service.

John Raymond Rutt was born in Des Moines, Iowa to C. Raymond and June Clinton Rutt on July. 21, 1950.   He was active in scouting like his grandfather and brothers and used his voice in music and theater in school.  John attended public schools in Guernsey, Kellogg, Newton, East Greene and Fayette and graduated from Fayette High School in 1968. He attended the University of Iowa majoring in music and later finished his degree in French at Upper Iowa University in 1979. You could always tell John was coming wearing his familiar red beret in his younger days.

John was known for his love of learning and never opened a book he didn’t like.  However he was known to say later in life, “Books are good, but people are more important than books.” John used his knowledge to engage with family and friends and shared his mental illness as just that, only one part of his gifts.  He followed in his parents’ love of music in learning piano and tuba and was a member of the Iowa All-State Band under Dr. William Revelli in 1967.  He had two pieces of Bach that he enjoyed sharing at family gatherings along with one joke he told until his family were all able to recite it with him.

John did some retail work during his life as well as working in state government and tutoring in French and was very active in the work of Passageway in Des Moines.  He was greatly supported with his mental illness by the staff of Mainstream Living.   He enjoyed his brief stay making many friends at Elsie Mason Manor and Urbandale Health Care Center.  John’s boyhood likeness can still be seen at the Lincoln and Tad statue at the state capital in Des Moines as he was the artist’s model for Tad. 

John passed away at Mercy Hospice in Johnston on May 7, 2019.  He is preceded in death by his parents, C. Raymond and June Clinton Rutt, infant sisters, Barbara Ann and Mary Beth Rutt, grandfather and grandmother, Dr. John D. and Lillian Clinton; aunt and uncle, Lois and Jack Fischthal, uncle, Dewitt C. Clinton; grandfather and grandmother, Raymond J. and Lois C. Rutt; aunt and uncle Marion and Neil Henry and aunt and uncle Eleanor and Gene Case.

John is survived by his sister, Sue Armstrong, of Golden, Colorado; brothers, David (Dawn) Rutt, of Forest City; and Tom (Tierny) Rutt of Spencer; nieces and nephews Laura (Andy) Jordan, of Ames, Iowa; Danielle (Keith) Doolittle, of Lakewood, Colorado; Leighanna (Roger) Gampel, of Denver, Colorado; Eric Rutt, of Spencer; Pat (Sarah) Armstrong, of Altadena, California and Sarah Rutt, of Lone Rock, as well as special family friends Ray and Heidi Katzenbach and many friends who along with his family miss John’s good humor.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to the family to assist with funeral expenses.  Hamilton’s Funeral Home in Des Moines are in charge of arrangements. Burial arrangements are with Becker-Milnes Funeral Home in Fayette.




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