DENISON - Gordon Tracy Rutledge, 89, longtime educator and resident of Denison, was called home Monday, February 3, 2014.|
Mr. Rutledge was born April 2, 1924 in Denison, the son of Robert Milton and Barthemie (Henry) Rutledge. He married the love of his life, Onie "Blanche" Wilkerson, October 4, 1948 in Denison, Texas. She preceded him in death in 2003.
He served his country proudly in the U.S. Army, during World War II as a surgical technician paratrooper in the Battle of the Bulge. He was a member of the First Christian Church of Denison. Gordon was of unselfish and dedicated service to others in many aspects.
After the war he moved back to Denison, and began his career as an educator in the 1950s where he worked as a substitute teacher while also working for the Katy Railroad. In 1956, he became a full-time teacher, teaching at McDaniel Junior High, and Hughes Junior High. In 1967, he became the principal of Layne School, where he continued until his retirement in 1997. Over the years he has served on the Denison ISD Board of Trustees. In 2005, he was recognized as the "Trustee of the Year" by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association. Of over 8000 Texas Trustees, Gordon was chosen as "The Trustee" of Texas. In Denison he is distinguished as DISD Trustee "Emeritus", the only trustee to be granted this title by the board.
He left a legacy of integrity, love of family and of God, professionalism, quiet leadership and respect. He dedicated his life in service to his staff, students and parents. He had great respect and admiration for the teachers and administration who worked for and beside him as he fulfilled his love of teaching and educating. He was not only a father to his own family, but also became a father figure to any child that needed him. He lived a life of example and was loved and respected by all who crossed his path. He will be deeply missed by all whose lives he touched.
Gordon leaves behind his beloved family: son, Jerry Rutledge and wife Joanne of Savoy; daughters, Kay Watkins and husband Jay, Peggy Rutledge Breed, Nancy Harrison, all of Denison; grandchildren: Christi Crane and husband Eric, Kimberly Anderson and husband Chris , Kelly Palmore, Lisa Shields, Mandy Foster and husband Cory, Sunny Hill, Jarrett Rutledge, Bobby Breed, Brian Coulter, Stacy Baecht, Candice Faulkner and numerous great-grandchildren; brother, Dr. Art Rutledge; special friend and neighbor, Patti Little, and two very special Boston Terriers, Lady Bug and Jackson.
Gordon was preceded in death by his wife, Blanche; parents, Robert and Barthemie Rutledge; brother, Bob Rutledge; and sister, Nancy Hall.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, February 8, 2014 at Southside Baptist Church with Rev. Keith Taylor officiating. Interment will follow in Fairview Cemetery. Family visitation will be held from 6 -8 p.m. Friday, February 7, 2014 at Fisher Funeral Home.
Pallbearers for Mr. Rutledge will be Jerry Hatfield, Phillip Shaffer, Dr. Henry Scott, Pat Rowland, Freddy Lessly and Tony Plauche. Honorary Pallbearers will be Alfred Weisberg, Bobby Parker, Jubal Fritts, Wylie Fritts, Joe Mace and the members of the Denison ISD Board of Trustees.
In lieu of flowers the family request that donations be made in Gordon's name to the Denison Education Foundation, ATTN: Lisa Crawley, 1201 S. Rusk Ave., Denison, TX 75020; or Home Hospice of Grayson County, 505 Center St., Sherman, TX 75092
Condolences may be registered online at www.fisherfh.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Fisher Funeral Home, 604 W. Main, Denison.
Published in The Herald Democrat on Feb. 6, 2014