Cover photo for Willard Sutter Rutledge's Obituary
Willard Sutter Rutledge Profile Photo
1948 Willard 2017

Willard Sutter Rutledge

November 30, 1948 — August 30, 2017

Will Rutledge was a warm, generous family man of deep and active Christian faith. He had a way of not just connecting with people, but staying connected for years, decades, even lifetimes. He loved playing music, was a huge fan of CU Buffs athletics and had a distinguished career in Boulder real estate for more than 40 years.

Willard Sutter Rutledge passed away at his residence in Boulder on Wednesday, August 30th, after battling pancreatic cancer for 15 months. He was 67.

He was born Sept. 12, 1949 in Clifton Hill, Missouri to Willard Omer Rutledge and Wynne Adel Sutter. He grew up on a farm outside of Clifton Hill and Moberly, Mo., graduating from Moberly High School.

From the age of 15, Will performed on piano and keyboards, touring with the band Wolfgang & The Warlocks. He had to ride a bus to gigs until he turned 16, when he bought a red Pontiac GTO convertible and began driving to neighboring states to play.

Will attended the University of Colorado Boulder, graduating in 1971 with a degree in political science. His work as a sportswriter for the Colorado Daily cemented his life-long love for CU sports, from women’s golf to football and everything in between, and he would go on to mentor athletes through the CU mentor program.

He served honorably in the Colorado National Guard from 1967-73.

Will began his career in real estate in 1973 and became a licensed real-estate broker in 1978. He was managing broker for Coldwell Banker’s Boulder office for 10 years and a member of the Boulder Area Realtor Association since 1977. Will also was the developer for Boulder’s Meadow Glen residential subdivision.

He married Jeanne Laurie Zelnick March 7, 1982, in Boulder, where they raised their children.

Ministry was at the forefront of his life. He played music for the Friday Morning Men’s Fellowship at Second Baptist Church for decades, as well as for New Day music, the Bethany Baptist worship band and the Cornerstone Church worship band. He and Jeanne were long-time active supporters of Young Life, on whose board he served for 25 years. He also served on the board of Horizons International for six years.

Will and Jeanne loved playing golf together, and he played for years in local leagues. He was director of Young Life’s annual golf tournament at the Omni Hotel for two years and helped sponsor tournaments for Buffs4Life and other organizations.

Will also loved being outside with his family and working in his garden at home. He continued a generations-long family tradition of cultivating irises, which he loved to share with others. Truly, where he lived was his own personal Garden of Eden.

He is survived by his wife Jeanne, of Boulder; two daughters, Summers Halgren and her husband Chris, and Rachel Boutros and her husband Sean, all of Houston; two stepdaughters, Laura Cofrin of Fort Collins and Christine Dante of Sandy, Utah; a brother, Jerry Rutledge of Colorado Springs; and eight grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A Celebration of Will’s Life will be held at 1:30 PM on Friday, September 8, at Boulder Valley Christian Church, 7100 S. Boulder Road, Boulder, CO 80303, the Rev. Mike Spivey of Compass Christian Fellowship Church officiating.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Willard Sutter Rutledge, please visit our flower store.

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