Ranger Exes Memorial - RHS Class of 1970

John Rutledge JOHN A. "BUZZY" RUTLEDGE, 69, went to be with the Lord on May 20, 2020 doing what he loved, farming. Graveside services for Buzzy will be at 10am Monday, May 25, 2020 at Alameda Cemetery. Family and friends will gather 5-7 pm Sunday at Edwards Funeral Home in Ranger. Due to Covid-19, please wear a mask & follow social distancing guidelines. John A. "Buzzy" Rutledge was born May 5, 1951 in San Francisco, CA to John & Margie Mattes Rutledge. He moved to Texas as a youngster. He was a 1970 graduate of Ranger High School at Ranger, TX and was a farmer and rancher. He worked 25 years for Mitchell Energy and retired as an Eastland County Commissioner after serving 8 years. He married Barbara Ann Walker in Feb. of 1983 at his home in Ranger. He was a member of the Church of Christ. Buzzy is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Barbara, sons; Jeffrey Rutledge (RHS-1992, Wendy), John David Rutledge (RHS-1999, Shandy RHS-2000) and Ronny Rutledge (RHS-2002), brother; Darrell Fox (RHS- 1982) and grandchildren; Katy, Coy, Sidney, Jake, Josh, Harley Gwinn, Ryan Gwinn, and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, sister; Reta Stowe (RHS-1969), and brother; Roger Rutledge (RHS- 1971). Buzzy Story Buzzy Story - A great man died in Ranger Wednesday night. His loss, so sudden, so without warning has taken our breath away, left us unsettled. There is the sadness over losing his steadfast friendship. There’s the sadness from being reminded that vibrant lives expire on their own schedule. Every once in awhile we realize that important history is cruelly writing its next chapter. This is one chapter I never wished to read. May 20, 2020 John “Buzzy” Rutledge passed away in Ranger, Texas -- leaving a hole where this giant personality once stood. A towering oak tree falls in the forest. Sunlight bathes all that he left behind in his works, in his family, community and legacy. His death is troubling on a core, soul level nonetheless. There will be obituaries for Buzzy other places, reciting the Whens and Wheres that marked this man’s life. This is not that. Buzzy was a man of strong beliefs. Hard working. Right or wrong – not much gray muddling up how he saw the world. The man could weld like nobody’s business. He did what he said he would and more. Buzzy was serious about making sure duties were discharged. On time. To the best of his ability. Come hell or high water. I drive gravel county roads all over Texas and I can tell you Eastland County has no idea how blessed they were when he was elected to build and maintain so many miles of roads connecting them, one to the other. It isn’t like that most places. Some might say Buzzy was not without anger from time to time. He puzzled over human nature sometimes, over why people did, and said, what they felt they had to. There are folks who stand taller as they announce or hint or imply the virtue of their good works or financial contributions. Their bus ticket into heaven. Buzzy was not that kind of man. You can follow his footprints around – roads, cemetery fences, neighbors in need, folks in the community wanting help, young men who need a nudge to get back on track, to become all they can be – his actions were his faith. His faith was something to behold. Buzzy was assailed by some when he was county commissioner, often unfairly. Those people see good intentions, see a man turn his good intention and strong beliefs and work ethic into tangible, completed actions. Strong men like Buzzy actually accomplish things, make things happen, make things better, bring hope, leave legacies of good works. This can make them the target of attacks by lesser men and women. Sure enough, you could get on his list, good or bad. First or last or clean off that list, should you step too far out of line. You’ve got to respect that. Life’s too short. Buzzy was by-the-books, level or true or plumb or tear-it-down and build it all over again, right and correct – I’m not talking about fences. He came into the real estate office a few days after the worst day of my life. I don’t remember him saying anything. I do remember him reaching out his hand, him shaking mine slowly, looking me straight in the eye. May 25 he will be laid to rest in Alameda Cemetery, inside a strong, true, always-plumb fence that he and Kenneth Brown built together, not too long ago. Two lifetimes ago. Men of a certain age hear a story like Buzzy’s passing, its news passing quietly man to man out of the blue. You don’t have to explain what the man’s life meant. You don’t have to explain what a death like that means to you. To all that you hold dear. To all you will leave behind. May God give Buzzy Rutledge the peaceful rest he so richly deserves. Thank the Lord that he was here. Amen.