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Bert's Story

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Bert Ruttman of La Quinta, California formerly of Mooreland, passed away at home on September 14, 2015. A graveside memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm Thursday, April 28, 2016 in the Mooreland Cemetery with Reverend Larry Massoner officiating. Interment will follow with the Billings Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Bert Lee Ruttman was born January 22, 1930 to Lee Paul Ruttman and Wilma Syms Ruttman in Mooreland, Oklahoma, the first of their two children. They moved to Fritch, Texas when he was 6 years of age. Jim (Lee Paul) was a pilot and Bert loved co-piloting all over the prairie. When Bert was 11 years of age his father was killed barn storming and the family moved to Los Angeles, California to be near his cousin Troy and his family. While living in Los Angeles he ventured into the business world with his own paper route to help defray family expenses. He also began his lifelong love of auto racing in both stock cars and midgets with his cousin Troy and Uncle Butch. He enlisted in the United States Air Force on December 7 as a patriotic gesture serving his four years, he was discharged September 14, 1954. After his discharge he moved to Louisiana to start the first of his entrepreneurial enterprises, the invention/sale of air conditioners for automobiles with Louis Novi. He returned to Los Angeles for another career change, opening his own company Baruda, where his patent for the cocktail candle lamp allowed the company to franchise in Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, and Arlington, Texas before he sold the business. He was married to his beloved wife Kay Ann (Young) on April 28, 1962 and they moved to Orange County where he started Pacific Coast Wholesale Tire Co. with branches in both Fullerton and Costa Mesa. Again he sold this business and started Ruttman Construction/Interiors, Inc.; a fire reconstruction company with offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and Palm Springs. His other love, besides auto racing, was golf. He was a member of El Niguel Golf Club, Hacienda Golf Club, where he captained the Men's Thursday team for several years, La Quinta Country Club, and Bermuda Dunes Country Club. He played in 17 Bob Hope Classics representing both La Quinta CC and Bermuda Dunes CC before retiring, but his proudest moments were his 5 holes-in-one; the last two being at La Quinta CC on March 18, 2000 and Bermuda Dunes CC on January 14, 2011.

He believed in giving back to the community when he could and served on the Board of the Boys & Girls Club of the Coachella Valley, where he also headed the Southwestern Golf Committee, the Bighorn Sheep Institute and, of course, the Pet Rescue.

He leaves behind his wife Kay (53 years), his favorite niece Kary Smith (Greg), his favorite great nephew Quinn (Reyna), his only sister-in-law Judy Huss and her daughter, 2 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren, plus numerous other relatives.

He will be buried in the family plot next to his parents and near his cousins Troy Ruttman, Carol Noel and other relatives. Many thanks to Elsie Wesley and Josephine Martinez for their help these past two years and to Gentiva Hospice for their excellent care in his final days. Donations in his name may be made to any of his favorite charities listed above. He had a long and happy life and will be missed by many friends, family, and business associates.
Published on April 27, 2016
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