Olson Burke-Sullivan Funeral And Cremation Center

Obituary Detail

June 03, 1928 August 18, 2023
June 03, 1928 -- August 18, 2023

Earl Herman Rutzen, Age:95

Earl Herman Rutzen, 95, passed away on August 18, 2023.

Earl was born on June 3, 1928 in Chicago, one of six children born to Herman and Eleanor Rutzen.  He went to Blaine Elementary and graduated from Lane technical High School in 1946.  He lettered on both the cross country and track teams, serving as captain of the track team his senior year.

Earl married his childhood sweetheart, Ruth Ahlberg, on June 25, 1949.  Together they were blessed with seven children.  It was the death of their second child, Curt, when he was only four months old, that brought him to seek out answers which led him to a saving grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Earl worked for his dad at H.W. Rutzen and Son where he eventually took over the business.  Upon his retirement in 2005,  the company closed after he had been there over sixty years.  It was his dad, Herman Rutzen, along with his partner, Henry Koenig, who patented the Rutzen-Koenig colostomy/ilesotomy bags, which were the first made of rubber.

Earl and Ruth raised their children in the same home in the Wildwood/Edgebrook neighborhood for 68 years.  He had many hobbies, including gardening, wood working, playing softball with friends, painting, candle making, jelly making, and fishing.  One of his favorites was making wooden toys for his children and grandchildren. 

Earl was a member of the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle Church for many years.  He served as an AWANA leader, Sunday School teacher, Sunday School superintendent, and Chairman of the Board.  After the Chicago Gospel Tabernacle Church dissolved, he and his family attended the Edgebrook Evangelical Free Church where he was a leader in the Adventure Youth Club for many years.  In his later years, he attended Bethel Community Church in Chicago.  Earl and Ruth raised their family with Biblical Christian values.

Earl was the loving husband to the late Ruth (nee Ahlberg); dearest father of Christine (late Dan) Anderson, Joyce (John) Schwenk, Mark (Jennie), Karen (John) Gaynor, Randy, Audrey (Ross) and the late Curt; proud grandfather to Jason, Hannah (Robert), Emily, Justin, Tom, Julie (Parker) Settecase, Curt, and Ariana; cherished great grandfather to Dagny, Nora, and Matilda; beloved brother-in-law to Gus ”Ed” (Patty) and the late Richard (Kathie) Ahlberg; dear brother to the late Laverne (late John), late Helen, late Norma (late Joseph), late June (late Bill) and late Elaine (Corky); fond uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be on Thursday, August 24, 2023 at Olson Burke/Sullivan Funeral and Cremation Center from 4 pm until 8 pm.  Funeral Servcies will be held on Friday, August 25 at 11am at the funeral home.  Interment Rosehill Cemetery. 

Earl’s favorite times were when his house was filled with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  Family was everything to him.


Leonard Buss August 21, 2023

Fellow church member Lee’s Summit , Missouri

My condolences to the whole family. I have many great memories of Earl at church events and at the summer home.

Rob Altergott August 23, 2023

Good friend of Randy and the family St. Paul , Minnesota

To Randy and family. Words cannot describe how sad I was to hear of your dads passing. I can’t express how much I cared for your dad. Every time I visited him, it brought me back to the 6O’s and 7021 McAlpin Ave. The memories will never fade! I’m glad he is resting with your mom now in heaven. He lived life the right way and was always smiling. What a great man you were Earl. I love you and will miss you.

Claire McCormack August 24, 2023

Edgebrook Evangelical Free Church Girls & Boys Adventure Club 1979-1986 Chicago , Illinois

Earl was a remarkable, generous, & compassionate man who was thoughtful, loving, and fatherly to all - reaching beyond his own family to the community at large. He brought Jesus & the Gospel to many hungry children's hearts (and some adults, too)! He never stopped being a kind teacher, wise leader, yet humble servant. Much loved by all, he will be greatly missed, until we meet again in Heaven! God bless and comfort all family, friends, and loved ones.

John Turnbow August 24, 2023

Friend of Mark Enter your city ,

Sorry to hear about the passing of your father. Laura and I have you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

Ronda Real August 24, 2023

Enter your relationship with Earl Herman Rutzen Lombard , Illinois

Randy and Family, It's never easy losing a leaf from our family trees. Sending love and prayers your way. Ronda

Robert Cairo August 27, 2023

Family friend Elmhurst , Illinois

Remembering Mr Rutzen as a kind and generous man. Our deepest condolences to the Rutzen family. The Cairo family.

Robert Cairo August 27, 2023

Family friend Elmhurst , Illinois

Remembering Mr Rutzen as a kind and generous man. Our deepest condolences to the Rutzen family. The Cairo family.