Charles Edward Rutledge (May 15, 1960 – August 5, 2021)
On Thursday, August 5, Charles Rutledge, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle passed away at age 61 with his family at his side.
Chuck was born in Mesa, Arizona to Robert and Mary Carol (Beckett) Rutledge and was raised in Redondo Beach, California. On July 6, 1985, he married his best friend and partner in life, Lynne (Featherstone). In 1999, Chuck and Lynne settled in Midland, Michigan to raise their three children, Heather, Robert, and Jonathan.
Chuck worked as an Operations Supervisor in El Segundo, California until he was declared legally blind age 35. At age 41, he was hit with “a double-whammy” as he would say and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Chuck never let his physical disabilities stop him from enjoying life. He was the ultimate people person., making friends wherever he went. He had a smile that could light up the world and a handshake that conveyed an unforgettable sincerity and compassionate spirit. Chuck was quick to challenge anyone to an arm wrestle and he would win every time. He had a quick wit and keen sense of humor. When his Parkinson’s became obvious and he would be shuffling in public, he would declare, “These people think I’m imitating the Tim Conway walk! This is Parkinson’s!”
As a child, Chuck was an avid soccer player. He made many friends through sports and school, with whom he remained in touch his entire life. He had a passion for cars, music, and dancing, making the clumsiest female look graceful on the dance floor. When he was young, much to his chagrin, he took accordion lessons, but he enjoyed playing air drums the most.
During the end stages of his Parkinson’s, he developed dementia. Conversations with him were centered around children, cars, and music. Chuck once said, “Carlos Santana came by to see me yesterday,” and then giggled as if he knew that was a ridiculous statement or maybe he giggled because he felt it was real and was reminiscing. Either way, he kept that sense of wonder for life despite his decline.
Chuck is survived by his best friend and caring bride, Lynne, who provided unwavering caregiving and love to him throughout their 36 years of marriage.
He is survived by his three children, Heather (Peter) Makar, Robert (Ashley) Rutledge, and Jonathan (Shawna Jones) Rutledge of Midland, Michigan and relished his role as “Pop Pop” to his four grandchildren whom he loved dearly. Peter “Sixy” Makar VI, Penelope Makar, Robert (“RJ”) Rutledge and Wrenley Rutledge. His grandkids gave him happiness and joy beyond measure.
Chuck also leaves behind his three siblings: Jean (Deborah Brooks), James, and Ann, who will miss his example of compassion and love immensely; his sisters-in-law Pamela (Doug) Gandy of Midland and Laura (John) DePablos of La Crescenta, California, as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, and very close friends whom he loved dearly.
Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 13 at Our Redeemer Church located at 889 S. Poseyville Rd. Midland, MI 48642, followed by the service at 11 a.m., with burial immediately following at Midland Cemetery. An open house will take place after the burial from 1 to 8 p.m. at 2305 Wilder Rd. Midland, MI 48642. According to Chuck, every day was a great day to wear a Hawaiian shirt. To honor this celebration of life, guests are encouraged wear bright, beachy, or tropical attire.
The family would like to thank the staff at Brittany Manor for their warmth and care during the last months of his life.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to your favorite charity.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Charles Edward Rutledge, please visit our floral store.
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