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Obituaries » Donald A. Rutishauser

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November 5, 1956 - July 20, 2018

Don was laid to rest in Portage South Cemetery at a service attended by his immediate family. A Celebration of Life is scheduled for August 11, 2018 at 11 AM at Portage United Church of Christ at 2731 W. Milham Ave in Portage, MI. The Rev. Dr. Mary Kay Schueneman and the Rev. Kyle Tade will be officiating.  A visitation is scheduled to precede the event from 9:30-10:30 AM at the church and a reception will follow the service.  Donations in Don’s memory are welcomed for Portage United Church of Christ, Friends of Dartmouth Football and Rose Arbor Hospice (part of Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan). His family deeply appreciates the love and friendship of so many who helped to make Don’s life rich and meaningful and who continue to cherish his memory and legacy.

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The family of Don Rutishauser are sad to announce his passing on July 20th at Rose Arbor Hospice after an unexpected battle with cancer. Don was a cherished husband, a devoted father and a beloved son, brother and uncle. He was born on November 5, 1956 in Morocco while his father, Robert G. Rutishauser (now of Austin, TX) was stationed at Nouasseur AFB in Casablanca. His mother, Dorothy (nee Ayres) Rutishauser, was a beloved teacher and arts lover who passed away in 2015. Don was an Eagle Scout, an athlete who played baseball, basketball and football and an honor student. He and his siblings grew up in La Crosse, WI, Chicago, IL and Edina, MN. Don is survived by his brother, Jeffrey G. Rutishauser (Jennifer) of Wilton, CT and his sister, Robin E. Hoagland (John) of Osterville, MA. He was glad to welcome Phyllis Rothgeb-Schenkkan into the family when she married his father in 2016. Don was the proud uncle of Lindsay, Alison and Nicole Rutishauser, Elissa Hoagland-Izmailyan (Ruben) and Henry Hoagland. He went on to attend Dartmouth College majoring in Economics where he also played football and was a proud member of the Alpha Chi Alpha Fraternity and the Dragon Senior Society. Following his graduation in 1978 he went to the University of Michigan Business School where he obtained his MBA in 1980. He was also a CMA and took his first job at Texas Instruments in Dallas, TX.  It was there that he and his wife Melissa (nee Spring, also a 1980 MBA from the University of Michigan) became engaged.  They were married in Grand Rapids, MI on August 29, 1981 and subsequently made their home in Carrollton, TX. Don described Melissa as the love of his life and he delighted in her intelligence, vibrancy, generosity and caring heart. They were joyfully married for 36 years. Don is beloved and survived by his father and mother in-law, Dr. Roger and Mrs. Yvonne Spring of Grand Rapids, MI and his brother-in-law, Drew F. Spring (Dillard) of High Point, NC. He was the proud uncle of Berton and John Spring. Don and Melissa welcomed daughter, Rebecca S. Rutishauser (engaged to Craig R. Harabedian and currently working as the Director of Manufacturing Innovation and Technology for Emerson in Marshalltown, IA) on March 11, 1986 in Dallas while he was working for W.R. Grace. They moved to North Canton, OH where Don became the Treasurer for Belden and Blake Corp. They welcomed daughter, Amanda A. Rutishauser (now an MD who lives and works in Cincinnati, OH) on July 17, 1988.  Don and his family moved to the Kalamazoo, MI area in 1997 when he took a job with the Miller Energy Company. He most recently was the Financial Analyst for Wolverine Pipe Line Company where he enjoyed working for the last 16 years. He was an admired and valued co-worker and friend who will be deeply missed. Don was an active member of his church, Portage United Church of Christ along with his wife and children. He served as a Sunday School Teacher, Confirmation Leader and Mentor, and a Deacon among other roles. Don had a strong sense of spirituality and enjoyed lively Biblical scholarship. He is remembered by his church family as a warm, inviting and unselfish friend and leader. Don and Melissa devoted their time and energy to the benefit of their two daughters of whom they are very proud. Both Rebecca and Amanda are graduates of Vicksburg Schools and the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center. Don was a proud softball coach, Band Parent and school volunteer.  Rebecca went on to graduate with honors from the University of Michigan with degrees in Chemical Engineering and later a Master’s in Manufacturing Engineering and an MBA from the Ross School of Business. Amanda also graduated from the University of Michigan with honors in English/Creative Writing and Microbiology. She then obtained her MS in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University in New York City. She graduated from Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine in 2016 and matched into Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency. For the last 21 years Don and Melissa have made their home on Austin Lake where they took great pleasure in boating, hosting family and friends and enjoying sunsets together. Don was an avid reader, a world traveler and lifelong learner who was also a community volunteer and a proud Michigan Wolverines and Detroit Tigers fan. He will be most remembered among his family and close friends for his sense of humor, integrity and generosity.