He was born on July 24, 1929, in Fairview Township, Labette County, to Clarence Valentine and Ethel Florence (Strickland) Ruttgen. He grew up in rural Labette County, where he attended Bowman Country School and was a 1947 graduate of Labette County Community High School in Altamont.
From October 1951 through October 1953, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Upon his honorable discharge with a rank of corporal, he returned to Labette County, where he was engaged in farming. He later worked at Huntsman Manufacturing in Chetopa, Coons Manufacturing and Kraft in Oswego and Ruskin Manufacturing in Parsons until retiring.
He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Oswego. He enjoyed selling produce at the farmers market and loved cats. He especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends.
He married Kathryn Hollabaugh. They later divorced.
In 1979, he and Barbara Littlejohn started their lives together and were married on Nov. 15, 1985. She survives of the home.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons, Greg Ruttgen and his wife, Robin, of Welch, Okla., Donnie Ruttgen and his wife, Jeannie, of Labette City and Mark Ruttgen of Parsons; three daughters, Sherry Foister and her husband, Mike, of Parsons, Kim Kehlbreier and her husband, Werner, of Canada and Melissa Wray and her husband, Terry, of Girard; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Carol Ruttgen of Oswego.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Denzil Ruttgen; a son, Christopher Ruttgen; and a great-grandson, Mark Carter III.
The graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Fairview Cemetery near Bartlett. Friends may call at their convenience after 1 p.m. today at Bath-Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Altamont.
Memorials are suggested to Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice and may be left at or mailed to the funeral home, P.O. Box 325, Altamont, 67330.
Online condolences may be left at www.forbeshoffman.com.