Welcome to the memorial page for

Richard "Dick" Way Rutter

March 31, 1948 ~ July 24, 2017 (age 69)

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Richard “Dick” Way Rutter,  passed away at the age of 69 on the morning of July 24, 2017 at Alameda Hospital from a two and a half year battle with an aggressive metastatic cancer. He fought very hard with three different series of radiation and chemotherapy. However, these efforts proved to be non-productive.

 Dick was born in Marietta, Ohio on March 31, 1948 to Joseph “Woody” and Betty “Bee” Rutter.  He grew up in Canal Winchester, Ohio and graduated high school with the CWHS Class of 1966.  Attended Miami University of Ohio on a Navy ROTC scholarship, and graduated with a degree in Applied Industrial Engineering in 1970. He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Electronic Warfare (AELW). Dick wanted to find out what the Vietnam War was all about and served as a Naval Flight Navigator from 1970 to 1974. Duties included Air-to-Air refueling and Electronics Warfare technician in A-3 Skywarrior jets (Whales) attached to CAG 1 (Carrier Air Group) VAQ-130 / DET-1 on the aircraft carrier USS CONSTELLATION (CVA 64) in Vietnam, from 1970 – 1972.  When the Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur War broke out, Dick served on the carrier USS JOHN F KENNEDY (CVA 67) and USS INDEPENDENCE (CVA 62), in the Mediterranean as well as Rota, Spain, which often involved harassing the Russians. Dick started and concluded his Naval service at the Alameda Naval Air Station located on the island of Alameda, California and decided he would like to live there permanently and bring up a family.

Dick married Patricia Skarry in Alameda in 1974 prior to ending his Navy career with a rank of Lieutenant.  Dick and Pat had two sons, Robert (Bob) and Alan.

He attended Laney College in Oakland, California and received an A.S. in Architectural and Engineering Technology. He became an architect, passing his Architectural Licensing Exams on his first attempt.  He worked for Galvez & Associates as well as the San Francisco firms of Bolles & Associates and Chin & Hensolt Engineering.  Some of his signature work includes the design of the Tower lighting for the Golden Gate Bridge, Architect of Record for the Westin St. Francis Hotel for almost thirty years, Macy’s Department Stores, the IBM building in San Jose, the PG&E Administration & Computer Center, Mervyns’s Distribution Center, Rincon Center Mixed Use Complex, Newpark Mall Expansion, NUMMI in Fremont, California, Saturn Design for over 450 dealerships in the U.S. and abroad, Marine World / Africa USA, Southern Pacific Building, California Culinary Institute, the Freidel Klussman Arch for the Cable Car Turnaround and many other projects too numerous to list. 

Dick was affiliated with the American Institute of Architects and served as Secretary for many years. Member of Construction Specifications Institute, National Trust for Historic Buildings, Steamship Historical Society of America, United States Naval Institute.

In 1992 Dick married Ann Christine Rule, and together they operated A Rule Designs in Alameda CA. They raised Bob and Alan in Alameda during this time. Dick worked at A Rule Designs until he literally couldn’t work at all from his cancer. 

He was active in the west coast branch of the Steamship Historical Society for decades, also hosted tours of the Preservation Society of Alameda, worked on A-3 Skywarrior restoration projects at the Alameda Naval Air Station as well as at the Oakland Aviation Museum. He was instrumental in repairing the two jets that are on pylons in Alameda, the A-7 and the A-4.

If that was not enough to keep him busy, he also restored old Triumph and Norton motorcycles, was an accomplished painter and sketch artist, and compiler of transportation history in California.   He was invited to present various programs around the Bay Area, as well as to the Sons & Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen in Marietta, Ohio.

Dick is survived by wife Annie, son Robert Way (Elena) Rutter and their children, Camille and Isaac of New Orleans LA. Dicks other son Alan (Emma) Rutter and their children Michael and Oliver of Rochester MN.  Also, Dick’s mother Bee Rutter of Marietta Ohio, and his brother Fred Rutter of Lithopolis, Ohio.

Dick was interested in a wide variety of things, and was a terrific story-teller.  He loved motorcycles, cars, art, architecture, writing, antiques, and his cats and animals at his house.  Many of his projects paid no money – he did them because they were interesting and needed to be done.  Dick was always there for people who wanted information on their Projects and wanted to build something to code. Dick was very civic minded and participated in many issues at City Hall.

He enjoyed life completely and thoroughly.  Every day was a new adventure which he greeted with a gregarious and loving nature. He loved people and enjoyed his long time friendships from his Motorcycle Club and Navy days. Dick will be missed by so many people, for to know him was to love him.

A memorial gathering is to be held Saturday, August 26, 2017 from noon to 5 pm at the Alameda Elks Lodge.


 Service Information

Celebration of Life
August 26, 2017

12:00 PM
Alameda Elk Lodge
2255 Santa Clara Ave
Alameda, CA 94501

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