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James Michael Rutten

May 30, 1940 ~ June 20, 2018 (age 78)

James Michael Rutten was born on May 30, 1940, in Devils Lake, ND, the son of William John and Gladys M. (Trisco) Rutten.  In 1949, the family moved to Nelson, MN, where they owned Bill’s Café.  Jim attended Nelson school through the eighth grade and then graduated from Central High School in Alexandria in 1958.  Jim’s class was the last group of seniors to graduate from Central High School.  Jim continued his education at St. Cloud State College and then purchased the family café in 1961.  Jim applied for the first On & Off liquor license in Douglas County since prohibition, and then opened Diamond Jim’s in 1963.  

Jim joined the National Guard in 1963, and completed his basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and medic training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX.  Jim was honorably discharged in 1969.  After selling Diamond Jim’s in 1972, he began working for Phillips Liquor Company in 1973, retiring in 2017 after 45 years.  Through the years, he secured many "Salesman of the Year" awards from the Phillips Company. 

Jim was united in marriage to Darlene Ringdahl on September 27, 1969.  Together they raised their seven children on a farm two miles NE of Nelson.  They always had a large garden and raised many types of livestock including: horses, chickens, and his favorite animal - the Emus.  They moved to the SW corner of Lake Latoka for 13 years and then to their daughter and son-in-law’s place near Carlos, MN.  Jim was able to enjoy 16 acres, where he raised chickens and manicured his large yard. 

Jim was always very active in his community.  He was a member of the Elks, Eagles, Nelson Community Association, Nelson Men’s Club, and the Knights of Columbus.  He was also chairman of the Nelson Bicentennial in 1976, the Nelson Fun Fest for many years and the All Class Reunion for Nelson School in 1999.  Some of Jim’s interests would include being outdoors, building artsy displays, wood working, traveling, games of all kinds, and he was an avid card player. He will be remembered as a great husband, father, grandpa, great-grandpa, brother, uncle, and friend. Jim enjoyed being with his family and especially enjoyed teasing his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Actually, he enjoyed teasing everybody.

James M. Rutten died on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, at his home.  He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Dotty Rutten of Alexandria; seven children, Pam (Larry) Buttke of Sioux Falls, SD, Debbie (Tony) Johnson of Alexandria, Brad (Alison) Rutten of Rice, Chad (Robin) Rutten of Oak Park, CA, Dawn (Joe) Willie of Minneapolis, Kalli (Bill) Kraker of Alexandria, and Trevor (Ann) Rutten of Bennington, NE; 18 grandchildren; 8 great grandchildren; brothers, Mark (Michelle) Rutten and Rich (JoNell) Rutten; sister, Kay Hobbs; sister-in-law, Pat Rutten and former foreign exchange student, Iñaki of Spain.  He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Dwight and William Jr., and three nephews. 

A visitation will be held on Thursday, June 28, 2018, from 4-7 PM with a Knights of Columbus Rosary beginning at 3:30 PM and a Parish Prayer Service beginning at 7 PM at the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Friday, June 29, 2018, at 11 AM at the Church of St. Mary in Alexandria with a visitation one hour prior to the mass at the church.

Inurnment will be in the St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Alexandria.

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