Larry Gene Rutter, 84, of Meriden, Kansas passed away on Friday, September 16, 2022.
He was born to Orville C. Rutter and S. Faye Robertson on October 15, 1937, in Leavenworth, Kansas.
Larry grew up on Billy Goat Hill and in his youth delivered newspapers on a bicycle route. After graduating from Leavenworth High School in 1955, Larry enlisted in the U.S. Navy (1958-1962) and proudly served his country as a sailor onboard the U.S.S. Shangri-La. Larry then went on to study at Washburn University, receiving his Bachelor’s degree in History in 1968. He would then further his education by earning his Master’s degree from Kansas State University in 1971.
Larry was a long-time employee of the Kansas State Historical Society, retiring in 2011 as the Assistant Director/Curator of historic sites throughout the state. Prior to his work with the Historical Society, he was a personnel officer with the Kansas Highway Patrol.
Larry was a member of First Assembly of God Church in Topeka. He is known for his love of History, Reading, Traveling, Cookies, Genealogy, Forestry, Gardening, and spending time with his family.
As a lifelong volunteer, Larry was involved with many organizations such as the Kansas Wildlife and Parks, Lake Perry Corp of Engineers, Topeka Audubon Society, Kansas Forest Service, Walnut Council, Jefferson County Historical Society and serving as a docent at the Konza Prairie. Larry was a Master Gardener with the Shawnee County Extension. In addition, he developed his own tree farm near Harveyville and was awarded the Kansas Tree Farmer of the year in 2011. He also authored numerous articles on historical landscapes in Kansas.
Predeceasing Larry are his parents, and two siblings O.C. Rutter Jr., and Waneta Karriker.
Larry is survived by his spouse of 57 years, Lila Kay and their three children: Eric (Jayne) Rutter, Neil (Elizabeth Faria) Rutter, and Pam (Matt) Walder. Also surviving Larry are ten grandchildren: Roderek and Malia Rutter, Thomas Pugh; Christopher, Joshua and Sarah Moore; and Jill, Tenley, Heidi and Waylon Walder. His brother, David (Mary Smith) Rutter, and sister-in-law, Chris Rutter, also survive, along with a host of nieces and nephews.
The family will receive guests for visitation on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm at Parker Price Funeral Home, 245 NW Independence Avenue, Topeka.
A funeral service will be held Thursday, September 22 at 10:00am at Parker Price.
Burial will take place at Ozawkie Cemetery following the service.
In lieu of flowers and to honor Larry’s great love of reading, the family requests donations be made to the Meriden-Ozawkie Public Library.