Hopkins native Lyle Rutgers died Thursday, Jan. 11, at his home in Mattawan. He had turned 83 years old last month.
He was born Dec. 19, 1934, to Herman and Mabel (Green) Rutgers in Hopkins. He was the youngest of four boys as he was raised in the family home alongside his older brothers, Donald, Howard and Gale, on the family farm.
Lyle’s father was self-employed while his mother was a homemaker. She died in 1944. He attended local schools including Hopkins High where he was the manager of high school sports. Lyle was also involved in church.
After graduating from high school in 1953, Lyle served in the United States Army from 1954 through 1956 as a specialist 4 class. He returned home and attended Western Michigan University, where he helped start a vintage ’60s Broncos club that continued to meet 50 years later. Lyle graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1961.
He and his wife, Ginger, were married Sept. 10, 1966, at the Portage Methodist Church. Together they welcomed two children, Mindy and Gregg.
He volunteered at the hospital was Santa at the Marquette Mall during the holidays. For 26 years, he was an active member of the Presbyterian Church in Marquette. He retired from being an auditor in 1997. He was involved with the Rotary, Lions, and was also a Mason. For many years he bowled on leagues.
His wife died in 2014 of ALS.
He is survived by his children Mindy Rutgers and Gregg (Shawn) Rutgers; sisters-in-law, Janet Rutgers and Elizabeth Rutgers; one granddaughter, Taylor Rutgers as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Lyle was preceded in death by his parents, Ginger, and his siblings: Donald, Howard, Gale as well as his sister who passed away at birth.
Visitation will be from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Life Story Funeral Home, Portage; 5975 Lovers Lane (344-5600). A memorial service will follow at 5 p.m.