Ernest Reuter

Ernest A. Rueter

1926 - 2013 BRATTLEBORO, VT Ernest Rueter, 86, died in Brattleboro on Thursday, January 31, 2013 with his family close by.

Born July 8, 1926, in Seattle, he was the fourth of five children of William and Kathleen Gorham Rueter. He graduated from Roosevelt HS and served in the Army Air Corps in World War II. He graduated from Carleton College and was president of the National Council of the Pilgrim Fellowship, 1950-1952. While attending Eden Seminary in St. Louis, he met Jeanne C. Duemler; they were married June 8, 1952.

His first church was in Nashua, IA, 1952-1957, and his second Evansville, IN, 1957-1959. As a campus minister at Purdue University, 1959-1966, he took students to the 1963 March on Washington. He organized ministers in seven counties to support the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 & 1965 and earned a Masters of Sociology. Beginning 1966, he worked in Gary, IN for the Human Relations Commission focusing on moving African-Americans and Hispanics into skilled trades at US Steel. He had many jobs, including insurance sales, fundraising for a PBS station, and teaching sociology at area colleges.

Ernest's passions were in developing leadership in volunteer organizations, late 19th century US history, and theology. He served on the board of the Northwest Indiana Symphony with a term as president. In Gary Rotary, he founded the district World Affairs Conference for 40 high schools.

Beginning 1967, he researched late 19th century politics. Starting with his great-grandfather, William C. Gorham, he focused on the Erie Canal, its supporters, monopolies and challenging views of historians. He published ALL THE WAY TO MOBILE in 2012.

The Rueters moved to Brattleboro in 2002. At Centre Congregational Church, he worked on the farm/food justice program, led study sessions and was affectionately known for his dry wit and perseverance.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Jeanne, who supported him devotedly for 60 years; by son Allen, daughter-in-law Catherine Koziol, granddaughter Adelaide, St. Louis; daughter Rebecca and granddaughter Emma, and son Robert, daughter-in-law Joanna, Brattleboro; and granddaughter Jennifer Atlee, partner Marko Packard and great-granddaughter Iris, Montague, MA; and two sisters, Kathleen New, Vancouver, WA, and Carol Basse, The Dalles, OR.

Two brothers, William and John, predeceased him.

MEMORIAL NOTICE: A memorial service will be held on Tues., Feb. 12, 2013, 10:30 am at Centre Congregational Church, Brattleboro. Donations may be made to Centre Congregational Church or the Centre for Children, Brattleboro, Vermont.

Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Feb. 5, 2013