|Written by provided to Sentinel-Tribune|
|Monday, 25 March 2013 09:56|
Howard Rutter was born in Bowling Green, Ohio June 30th, 1928 to Howard L. Rutter and Lucille Randall Rutter.
He graduated from Bowling Green High School in 1945 and enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. He was honorably discharged in 1947 and returned to Bowling Green where he married Mary Alice Thompson on December 21st, 1947.
He was hired on the Bowling Green Fire Department in 1952 and became Chief in 1966. Chief Rutter served during a time of great changes in the fire service. He was one of the first five hired firemen and witnessed the department's transition from 18 volunteer firemen to a full-time paid department. During his service, the first 1,500-gallon pumper was purchased, replacing the standard 750-gallon pumper. The old siren on top of the fire station was replaced with a telephone alerting system in the firemen's home. Another updated improvement was the replacement of the hose drying tower with more efficient gas hose-drying cabinets.
In 1967, Chief Rutter implemented the emergency ambulance service for the city of Bowling Green rather than going with the area-wide service. Also, in agreement with the then working firemen, an emergency medical program was developed requiring full certification of all firemen. In addition to serving as Fire Chief, he also served as Safety Director from 1974 to 1976.
Chief Rutter often reminisced about the many fires the Fire Department fought in the area. One such example was the fire at the Montgomery Ward building in 1956 when the entire downtown businesses were threatened in below 0 degree temperatures. Other fires were: The Royal Manufacturing in 1953, The Green Manufacturing in 1964, The Landmark Building in 1966, Ajusto in 1968, Bee Gee Rental in 1970, The Gigolo Nite Club in 1970, The Bowling Green Country Club fire in July of 1970, The H.J. Heinz Company in 1980 and the Ross Hotel fire that left 25 people homeless. Chief Rutter was proud to have worked under the office of six mayors during his tenure as Fire Chief for the City of Bowling Green, Ohio.
Howard Rutter retained his membership in the International Association of Fire Chiefs, The Ohio Association of Fire Chiefs, The Northwestern Ohio Association of Fire Chiefs, The Wood County Association of Fire Chiefs and The Police and Fire Retirees of Ohio.
Mr. Rutter retired as Fire Chief in 1984 after 32 years of service for the City of Bowling Green.
Howard's retirement years were enjoyably spent following BGSU Falcons' sports, Cleveland Indians' baseball and along with various hobbies such as working with silver, cutting, polishing, setting precious stones and goldsmithing during his 20 years as proprietor of "The River City Jewelry" located in Grand Rapids, Ohio. After much deliberation and discussion with friends and family, Howard sold the business in 2003.
Howard is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary Alice (nee Thompson); children, Mary Anne Spielman (Jeff) of Salem, Virginia, Thomas Rutter (KoAnn) and Bruce Rutter (Cathy Kutzli) and Jane Rutter (Jim Grilliot), of Bowling Green; grandchildren, TJ Rutter (Allison Wegman) of Bowling Green, Matthew Spielman of Tampa, Fla., Nicole Rutter Hirth (Nick Hirth) of Springboro, Ohio, Heather Rutter Babaryk (Gary Babaryk) of Zanesville, Ohio; great-grandchildren, Calen Hirth, Harper Babaryk, Paige Hirth. Also survived by one sister, Janet Kramer and brother-in-law Jerry Kramer of Findlay, Ohio.
He was preceded in death by parents: Lucille and Howard L. Rutter and grandson, Chad Spielman.
There will be a Gathering of friends and relatives on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 from 4 to 6 p.m. at DUNN FUNERAL HOME, located in Bowling Green's Historical District at 408 West Wooster Street.
Memorial contributions may be given to Bridge Hospice of Bowling Green.
Condolences may be shared with the family by visiting www.dunnfuneralhome.com.
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