2012-10-25 / Obituaries

Egon A. Ruttiman

Egon August Ruttiman, a 38- year resident of Mariposa, was born Oct. 25, 1923, and passed away on Oct. 7. He was 88 and a native of Denmark.

He was the youngest of three siblings, growing up in Copenhagen, Denmark. His father was a chef for the Duke of Denmark, and his mother worked as a maid in the castle where they met. After they married, they owned and operated their own restaurant where Egon and his siblings ate most of their meals.

In Denmark, Egon met his wife, Edith Ruess. They traveled to France, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Germany and Belgium.

In 1943, Egon was in the Danish Resistance which helped save nearly 7,000 Danish Jews from certain death at the hands of the Nazis when Germany occupied Denmark during World War II. He had studied civil engineering in Denmark, and was a top student, but then got the chance to come to the United States.

The Ruttimans, and their young son Allan, emigrated to the United States in 1954, with just $50 in hand. The family worked through different states, living in their car along the way, across the nation until they came to the West Coast. He logged and worked in ranch management, saving money to buy his own land.

The family eventually settled in Southern California, where Egon pursued his civil engineering occupation. Three daughters joined the family over the following years. In 1970, 19-year-old Allan, who was serving in the United States Army as a Green Beret, was tragically killed in action. The calamity influenced the family’s move to the Mariposa area in 1974.

Egon played the trumpet and was part of the Happy Days Band in Mariposa. He enjoyed fishing, horseback riding, dancing, outdoors, nature and visiting with family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 42 years, Edith on Sept. 15, 1991; and son, Allan, on March 13, 1970. His parents and sister, Vera, also preceded him in death.

Egon is survived by daughters, Pearl Wass, Lisa Wight and Lynn Ruttiman Smith, all of Mariposa; granchildren, Holly, Cody, Laney, Casey, Justin, Coleman and Terrence; and great-grandchildren, Kinsley and Cooper.

The family has scheduled a private memorial service.

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