Larry Dean Rutter


Larry Dean Rutter, formerly of Marion, Iowa, passed away peacefully at home in Leawood, Kansas, on August 23, 2013, after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Larry was born on February 6, 1941, in Ames, Iowa, to Vincil and Katherine Rutter.  He graduated from McCallsburg High School, in Story County, Iowa, where he spent much of his time kicking around on the sandlot.  He proudly served his country as a member of the United States Navy during wartime.

After his service, Larry settled back in Iowa, where he dedicated his professional career to helping at-risk children throughout Iowa’s youth residential treatment system.  The caring, respectful, and innovative programs Larry developed and coordinated enriched the lives of thousands of our most vulnerable children, and had lasting, positive impacts on the lives of many employees and volunteers.  After his retirement from Four Oaks, Larry was honored with the 1998 Tom Lewis Award, acknowledging his outstanding service, dedication, longevity and diversity in duties to children and families in the State of Iowa.

Larry will be remembered by all for his humor, caring spirit, sense of duty, humility, outlandish stories, practical jokes, and his love of sweets, “Matilda,” coffee-filter bowls, bad movies, pie, duct tape, “big butter,” enormous pumpkins at Halloween, hustling friends in pool, checkers, and cards, as well as the beautiful luster of black and gold throughout Kinnick on a crisp fall day.

Larry was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and friend.  He is survived by Anne, his loving wife of 23 years, of Leawood, Kansas, his daughter Chris (Mindy) Rutter of Sarasota, FL, three step-children, Angie Balius of Eagan, Minn., Kirk (Diane) Marty of Leawood, Kan., and Eric (Dina) Marty of Greensboro, NC.  He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Pat, Emily, Max, George, Alexi, Kyra, and Emersen, in addition to his many loving brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews.

The family would like to thank the many friends, volunteers, and professionals who assisted and comforted Larry throughout his last years, in particular Anna, Hospice RN, Iesha, Hospice Aide, and Doug, Hospice Chaplain.

A private service will be held at a later time.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to St. Luke’s Home Care Services and Hospice, c/o St. Luke’s Hospital Foundation, 4225 Baltimore Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111.


  1. Shirley Ruedy on September 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Anne, you and I worked together at The Gazette newspaper in Cedar Rapids, IA, and while I only met Larry briefly a couple of times, I offer my deep condolences to you and your family, because I know how much you loved Larry. I haven’t been there with you, but I know you had to have been a wonderful helpmate to Larry, your dear husband and best friend. I’ve been thinking of you ever since I heard the news. Thoughts and prayers are with you, my friend….. Shirley

  2. Kathy Toborg Cook on September 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Anne and family, what a wonderful gain for the host of angels, and a terrific loss for the rest of us. Larry was a treasure, and I am honored to call myself a friend and colleague of BOTH of you. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers, as you have been for so long. Love to you, Kathy

  3. Jerry & Dorothy Claussen on September 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Anne, I met you a few months ago at one of the Caregiver sessions at Parkinson’s. Jerry and I offer our condolences in your loss. While we did not know Larry real well we became acquainted and friendly at the exercise classes on Tues. and Thurs. when he was able to come. We are so sorry for your loss and may the Lord bless you and give you strength and courage.
    Jerry & Dorothy Claussen

  4. Anne Gruenewald on August 28, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Anne and family,

    I was lucky to work with Larry at Four Oaks for many years. He taught us all his special talents for working with children – and still makes us smile, remembering all the tricks and jokes he played on us!

    Although we miss him dearly, I know he is at peace and his life’s work lives on.

    Deepest sympathies,

    Anne Gruenewald

  5. Carol Sundberg on August 28, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Dear Anne & family,

    I worked with Larry for many, many years at Four Oaks. I remember the anticipation of seeing the “big pumpkin” in the fall, the twinkle in his eyes, the creative thinking about blending generations together to learn and heal and grow, the jokes that made you laugh, the joy that he spread wherever he was.

    My life is different because of Larry’s influence. And I stand with many that count him as friend, colleague, mentor, and courageous inspiration.

    Much love and great respect,
    Carol Sundberg

  6. Karen Bruess on August 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Anne and family
    Larry was a dear and delightful colleague who always brightened up work and made difficulties seem small. Thank you all for making his life so rich.

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