“Uniquely And Deeply Kind”: Dick Rutledge, 80-year San Leandro Resident, Dies Of COVID-19

Watching Notre Dame football on Saturdays was a tradition for Rutledge, his wife Norma, and their six children.

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Dick Rutledge was, by anyone's definition, a family man.

It's not just the number of children Dick and his wife, Norma, raised (six), it is how he oriented his life to be there for them.

"My dad was, most of all, a family man," said Dick's son, Bob Rutledge.

Dick, a lifelong resident of San Leandro, died of complications from COVID-19 on May 6, 2020.

The Rutledge home, according to Dick and Norma's children was a very traditional one. Dick worked as a program manager and systems analyst for companies such as the Bechtel Corporation and NASA Ames Research Center while Norma, who passed away in 2015, managed the busy household.

"He would be home at 5:30, dinner on the table at 6," Bob said.

And on Saturday mornings, it was Notre Dame football.

"He was a big Notre Dame fan," said Dick's daughter, Susan Leffel.

Dick, who was born in San Francisco's Noe Valley but grew up an only child in San Leandro, graduated from Notre Dame in 1955.

"It's an Irish family and so going to Notre Dame was a very big deal," Bob said.

Dick spent time in the Air Force after college before returning to the Bay Area to get advanced degrees in business and computing. He and Norma married in 1961.

Susan remembers her father as an avid reader and a master at trivia. "If I ever needed a lifeline for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, he'd be my call," she said.

Bob says Dick was also passionate about writing. He remembers his father getting up early before work each morning to spend time writing an, as yet, unpublished novel. Dick also wrote a business column after retirement for their local newspaper.

Most of all, though, his children remember Dick as being kind and patient, not just to his family, but to everyone he encountered.

"If I could just have half of his patience, I'd be lucky," Susan said.

"My dad was uniquely and deeply kind in a way I never witnessed in anyone else. Regardless of how someone else treated him, he went out of his way to be kind to them," Bob said.

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