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Fond Farwell to Bob Rutter, The Fountain Pen's Last Editor

Web posted on December 08, 2020

RUTTER, Robert Louis "Bob"

Passed away November 22, 2020 at Kitchener's Innisfree House palliative care home after a lengthy battle with kidney and liver failure.

The eldest of Richard and Alice Rutter's four children, Bob was born July 26, 1948, in Montreal, Quebec and began his education in Outremont, before the family moved to Clarkson, Ontario.

Predeceased by his parents, his brother Glenn, and sister Lynn McKenzie, Bob leaves behind his daughter, Sandra (Derek) Rutter-Stewart of Waterloo, his former wife Anne Rutter of Waterloo, his dear friend Patricia Wright of Guelph, his sister Sharon Ann Rutter of Mississauga and his nieces, Barbara McNally and Patricia McNally and many great nieces and nephews.

At sixteen Bob joined the Canadian Army's Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers as an apprentice soldier and completed his service as a repair technician attached to the infantry and armoured regiments of Canada's NATO contingent at Werl & Lahr in West Germany. That was where he caught the reporting bug while volunteering with the base radio station as a disc jockey and news reader for the CBC Northern and Armed Forces Radio Network and as a sports editor of Der Kanadier, the weekly newspaper serving Canada's NATO troops.

Upon returning to Canada, he began a lengthy newspaper career as a writer, photographer, editor, and designer for the Fergus-Elora News Express and Thomson Newspaper's weeklies in Georgetown and Hanover. His daily paper experience began in the Guelph Daily Mercury's Acton bureau and continued at the main office in Guelph, where he held multiple editorial positions before leaving to work as assistant editor on an Ontario Ministry of Agriculture magazine. Throughout those years he earned awards from the Ontario Community Newspaper Association, Canada Press Wire Service and Thomson's own national editorial competitions.

Bob's interests were diverse. He indulged his passion for politics for a year as constituency agent in the Fergus office of H. Perrin Beatty, MP for what was then the riding of Wellington-Dufferin-Grey-Waterloo. His camera skills saw him shooting weddings, portraits, industrial, and commercial photographs part time for Guelph's Ross Davidson-Pilon Studio. For five years he hosted the Rutter Report, a talk show on civic affairs with Guelph's Maclean-Hunter cable television channel. He was also a director and then president of the Guelph Humane Society, and a member and bulletin editor for the Royal City Lions Club.

Among his many volunteer activities, Bob had a major role in steering his fellow Mercury reporters through the lengthy dispute with Thomson Newspapers that resulted in certification of the Southern Ontario Newspaper Guild chapter and a first contract for the Mercury reporters, editors and photographers in 1992.

He also wrote two books, A Century of Caring: A History of the Guelph Humane Society, and Write, a how to book for would-be authors, as well as co-authoring Fingerprints Through Time, A History of Guelph Police.

Cremation has already taken place and a graveside service will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob's memory may be made to the Canadian Kidney Foundation.