Edith Lyle Rutter, 89, a life-long resident of the Shelbina area, passed away on May 30, 2020 at Salt River Community Care. She was born September 16, 1930, the daughter of Dr. Roy Lee Caldwell and Pauline Davidson (Williams) Caldwell. She was delivered by her physician father at their family home, 204 West Spruce, in Shelbina.
On September 3, 1950 she married her high school sweetheart, James (Jim) Gibson Rutter. Their first date was on December 5, 1945 when she asked him to attend the Future Homemaker’s Kitchen Warming. Their courtship was meant to be as they were crowned king and queen of the Kitchen Warming on their first date. They were married for almost 60 years, when Jim preceded Edith in death on May 6, 2010. Edith and Jim lived on their farm west of Shelbina for most of their married lives with some short times away to finish their last year of college in 1950-51, and while Jim served in the Army from 1952-54 in Fort Riley, KS; Fort Holabird, MD; St. Louis and Quincy, IL. Edith was a partner and bookkeeper for the family farm business of purebred Yorkshire hogs, row crops, cattle and border collie dogs for over 60 years. Edith moved from the farm to Salt River Community Care in 2014. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; brother James Russell Caldwell, who died in infancy; and brother Dr. Roy Lee Caldwell Jr., who died at the conclusion of World War II in a Navy aviation accident.
Edith was active in music, scholastic and athletic activities in high school and graduated from Shelbina High School in 1948. In 1950 she graduated from Christian College in Columbia and then attended one year at the University of Missouri. Edith was an accomplished pianist and organist. In high school she often accompanied classmates on the piano for school vocal competitions. She also learned to play the organ in high school and refined her skills at Christian College. Edith was a longtime member of the Shelbina First Baptist Church and in 2011 she retired from playing the organ after 50 years of service.
Edith served on the Shelby County 4-H Council and held various leadership positions in the Lentner 4-H Club in the 1960’s and 70’s. In 2011, she accepted the Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame award on behalf of the Rutter family for their contributions to Shelby County 4-H. Edith was also a lifelong member of PEO and the 49ers Homemaking Club. Edith and her husband were both active in the Gideons Ministry, where she held leadership roles in the Gideons Women’s Auxiliary.
In 1975 she was a member of the first steering committee for the University of Missouri’s Women’s Athletic Scholarship Program. From 1976-78, Edith served on the first University of Missouri Alumni Association Committee for women’s athletics.
Edith enjoyed vegetable and flower gardening, sewing, quilting, cooking, crossword puzzles and reading. She enjoyed helping others and was a gracious hostess, even when Jim would bring home last-minute farm guests for dinner. Most of all she loved spending time with her family. At her 50th wedding anniversary celebration, Edith said her greatest accomplishment was raising four kids to be successful and happy people.
Edith is survived by her four children, Mike (Kaye) Rutter of Easton MO, Ken (Jeanna) Rutter of Shelbina, Nancy (Steve) Huerd of Kissimmee FL and Mindy Rutter of Shelbina; 10 grandchildren, John Mark (Desiree’) Rutter of Jonesboro AR, Anna (Brian) Warren of Seattle WA, Elisabeth (JohnPaul) Zenone of Guthrie OK, Katherine (Eli Reitz) Rutter of Ukiah CA, Lucy (Hisham) Bin Saif of Vienna VA, Maggie (Jordan) Watson of Lentner, James (Marina) Rutter of Chicago Ill., Grace (Richard) Young of Little Rock AR and Jonathan Huerd and Matthew Huerd of Minneapolis MN. She is also survived by 12 great-grandchildren, two nieces and one nephew.
Visitation will be held at Greening-Eagan-Hayes Funeral Home in Shelbina on June 3 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Due to COVID-19, there will be a graveside funeral service immediately after at the Shelbina Cemetery at 3 p.m.
Memorials may be made to Shelbina First Baptist Church or the Gideons.