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Obit: Dean Rutledge (1942-2021)

GUEST,joyfulisa 11 Sep 21 - 10:42 PM
Joe Offer 12 Sep 21 - 01:38 AM
Waddon Pete 12 Sep 21 - 07:22 AM
GUEST 13 Sep 21 - 07:56 PM
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Subject: Obit: Dean Rutledge
From: GUEST,joyfulisa
Date: 11 Sep 21 - 10:42 PM

I am in a vaguely related field to folk music, so I don't frequent Mudcat often, but it just occurred to me that I might ought mention the passing of my father, Detroit-based folk singer Dean Rutledge. His memorial is next weekend.

While he never made it "big" in terms of commercial success, he had quite a lively, solid folk/pop career in the Detroit area for the better part of 40 years. He (very) briefly sang with the New Christy Minstrels and the Kingston Trio, and with local colleagues and friends like Josh White, Jr., Chad Mitchell, Hank Phillips, Charlie Lattimer, Wayne Willingham, Ron Cronen, Odetta, Tim Hazel, and many others.

Wayne Willingham was kind enough to share music they performed in 1973 at The Filling Station here:


    Virgil Dean Rutledge (Dean) of Orchard Lake, Michigan, passed away on Friday, July 2, 2021 at the age of 78. He was born on September 19, 1942 in Bunney, Arkansas, where he later grew up in multiple states. His parents moved around a lot, due to the fact that his dad was in the Air Force.

    He graduated from high school in North Carolina and earned 2+ years in college majoring in Mathematics at Iowa State University.

    His love was music and he was part of two nationally known singing groups. He was part of the Christie Minstrels and The Kingston Trio. He decided he didn’t like living out of a suitcase, so he developed a soloist career in folk/pop music. Amongst places he sang were The Poison Apple, Raven’s Gallery, The Colonial, The Meeting Place, Win Schulers, The Filling Station, The Railroad Crossing, and many more popular entertainment locations in the Detroit area. He worked at the Marketeer, in Brighton, Michigan as an agent for an advertisement magazine.

    He was actively involved in Lacasa, Focus Hope, and many other charities for churches and schools.

    He is preceded in death by his father, David, his mother, Dorothy, and his sister, Diane.

    He is survived by his wife, Cassandra (Sandy,) his sister, Barbara (Don), his daughters, Lisa (Ken) Shelly, Melissa (Eric) and Kristina (Jason). He has 7 grandchildren, Drew, Brittany, Brandon, Cameron, Aidan, Gillian, and Noah.

    His musical appearance at Red Rocks, Colorado, was a favorite memory of his. He also loved warm chocolate chip cookies made by his granddaughters and playing Zelda with his grandsons. His favorite drink was Dr. Pepper.

    During his long illness, he was cared for by his family members at home. A celebration of his life will be planned at a later date and details are pending. Cremation has taken place. Please consider making a donation in his honor to The American Cancer Society.

    He was a one of a kind person, with a gentle soul, who will be greatly missed by many.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Dean Rutledge (1942-2021)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Sep 21 - 01:38 AM

Thanks for telling his story, Joyfulisa. I enjoyed his recording. May he rest in peace.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dean Rutledge (1942-2021)
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 12 Sep 21 - 07:22 AM

May he rest in peace. I have added his name to the "In Memoriam" thread and send my condolences to all those who know and love him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Dean Rutledge (1942-2021)
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 07:56 PM

Thank you, Pete and Joe. I appreciate the remembrance.

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