Rites set for former Albion mayor

November 29, 2018 GMT

ALBION — Services for Donald L. “Don” Rutten, 84, Albion, will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Albion. The Rev. Mark Tomasiewicz and James Schindel will officiate. Private inurnment at the parish cemetery in Albion will be at a later date.

Visitation will be 4-6:30 p.m. Thursday at Levander Funeral Home in Albion with a 6:30 p.m. wake.

He died Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, at Good Samaritan Society in Albion.


Donald Lawrence “Don” Rutten was born on May 13, 1934, at Cedar Rapids, to Richard and Madeline (Jacobi) Rutten. The family moved to a farm near Albion, where Don went to a country grade school and graduated from Albion High School in 1951. He farmed with his dad and worked winter months in Omaha.


He met Deloris Diekmann of Gregory, S.D., in Omaha. On July 30, 1956, the couple were married in St. Joseph Catholic Church in Gregory. They made their home in Albion.

Don worked for Buettner Construction, Packard Flying Service and Gerhold Concrete Company. He enjoyed running the construction equipment and flying, and then he went on to be a supervisor for Gerhold Construction on road and street projects throughout the state.

Don and Deloris managed the Albion Vets Club from 1970 to 1977. At that time, they purchased Green Acres Landfill and Boone County Disposal Service, which Don ran until 1993 with several dedicated helpers and his family assisting him. He continued his salvage business until he retired in 1996. In retirement, he hired out seasonally to local farmers during harvest season and hauled pigs for his son-in-law.

Don served on Albion City Council from 1972 to 1976 and 1984 to 1987. He then served as the mayor of Albion from 1987 to 1995. Don was on the Albion Development Corporation Board and was active in environmental issues.

The couple are parents to four daughters: Cheryl, Cynthia, Catherine and Cara. In 1971, Cheryl was killed in a car wreck at the age of 14 years. The couple then went on to adopt a son, Troy, in 1972. Cheryl had always said they needed to do this.

Don was known as a competitor and enjoyed the sports of pool playing (he even went to Reno once in tournament finals) bowling, playing pinochle, poker and best of all — golf. If you needed him, he was on the golf course. Many in his family learned to golf with Don’s instructions.

He enjoyed wood working during retirement and made many gifts for relatives and friends. His greatest joy of all was his grandkids and great-grandkids. He loved going to their activities and cheering them on. He also loved sharing his sense of humor and was always on the lookout for that unique gift that would make you smile.


Don is survived by his spouse of 62 years, Deloris of Albion; three daughters, Cindy (Ronald) Paulsen of Meadow Grove, Cathy (Mark) Tierney of Logan, Iowa, and Cara (John) Furgerson of Elmwood; a son, Troy (Brandy) Rutten of Omaha; eight grandchildren, Aryn (Ryan) Moyer of St. Louis, Mo., Kailee Esser (Zach Coleman) of Harlan, Iowa, Regan (Mitchell) Faircloth of DeLand, Fla., Jarrod (Amanda) Paulsen of Meadow Grove, Maggie Shanahan of Grand Island, Kolbi Furgerson (Jake Tomka) of Norfolk, Shelbi Furgerson of Elmwood and Noa Paige Rutten of Omaha; two stepgrandsons, Ben (Corri) Tierney of Missouri Valley, Iowa, and Nate (Amanda) Tierney of Pella Iowa; 14 great-grandchildren, Nox and Lux Paulsen, Elena Wallace, Robby and Wesley Moyer, Angella and Rhiley Faircloth, Gavin and Tatum Tierney and Colby, Chloe, Claire, Cymber and Cade Tierney; a sister, Mary Tenski of Columbus; a brother-in-law, Robert (Cindy) Diekmann of Gregory; three sisters-in-law, Donna Hutchison and Phyllis Henley of Burke, S.D., and Dorothy Diekmann of Lincoln, Calif.; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great- nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Henry and Blanche Diekmann; a daughter, Cheryl Lynn; a brother-in-law, Raymond Tenski; a nephew, Tony Tenski; a brother-in-law, Donald Diekmann; and a sister-in-law, Dorothy Laposky.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the family. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.levanderfuneralhome.com.