Hope Lutheran Church | Rest In Peace with Jesus
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Rest In Peace with Jesus

25 Apr Rest In Peace with Jesus

The Lord has called home another faithful member of Hope, our sister Vi Rutz. Vi and her husband Hal joined Hope in 1977. She was afflicted with debilitating illness the past five years. Hal provided faithful and loving attention with his twice-daily visits. A memorial service at Hope will be held this Friday, April 28, at 2:00 pm. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.”



Vi was born March 14, 1932 in Brooklyn, New York. When she was 12 her family moved to Tampa, Florida. She graduated from Hillsborough High School, Tampa in 1949 and from Concordia University (then Concordia Teachers College), River Forest, Illinois in 1953 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. That fall she opened a kindergarten at Trinity Lutheran Church, Orlando, Florida, a seed which eventually grew to Trinity’s current 9 grade elementary school. In June of 1954 she married Harold Rutz whom she had met while they were students at Concordia. Vi and Hal lived in Detroit, Michigan from 1954-1956, in Kansas City, Missouri from 1956-1964 (where their children Faith, Paul and Hope were born), and came to Austin in the summer of 1964 when Hal accepted a position on the faculty of Concordia University (then Concordia College). She went home to her Lord early in the morning of Saturday, April 22.

She was preceded in death by her grandson Matthew Kelley. She is survived by her husband Hal, daughter Faith Kelley and husband David, son Paul and wife Sandra Henry, daughter Hope Bartolotta and husband Peter, four Bartolotta grandchildren (Joy, Pierce, Eden and Asher), and her brother Jack Larkin of Lutz, Florida.

Vi loved teaching. She served as a substitute teacher in various schools in Detroit, Kansas City, and Austin. She earned certification as a Montessori teacher and used that instructional system to lead classes of 4-year olds at Redeemer and Hope Lutheran Schools in Austin. Subsequently she earned a Master’s Degree in Child Development at the University of Texas at Austin and taught Child Development courses on various Austin Community College campuses. Her many interests and talents included homemaking, reading, writing free verse poetry and children’s stories, and listening to classical music. Her children’s Christmas story “Little Tree and His Wish” was published by Concordia Publishing House in 1966. She was also an excellent seamstress, making clothes for herself and her children. She was involved in various church activities and in the Concordia Guild of Concordia University. She never lost her deep love of the Florida Gulf Coast, its beaches and its sunsets.

The Lord first welcomed Vi to Himself in baptism. He sustained her and blessed her throughout her life and has now taken her into His presence. Thanks be to God.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hope Lutheran Church or to the charity of your choice.