Joseph W. Rutter Sr., a career Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. worker and father of the county planning director, died Tuesday of heart failure at his home in Ellicott City.
Mr. Rutter, 83, who in retirement helped start the county's Meals on Wheels program, helped support his family from the age of 7, when he tied paper flowers for burials. He retired in 1974 from the underground engineering department at BG&E.;
Joseph W. Rutter Jr., the county planning and zoning director, said yesterday that it was that work ethic his father passed on to his sons.
"He was never into political-type things, or the planning profession, although the irony of the thing is the underground engineering he worked in was part of the infrastructure for new development," Mr. Rutter said.
The late Mr. Rutter's wife of 54 years, the former Margaret Schmidt, is also involved in county planning as a member of the Board of Appeals.
A native of Baltimore's Walbrook neighborhood, Mr. Rutter graduated in the late 1920s from Woodlawn High School, where he attended night classes while an office clerk at BG&E;'s downtown headquarters.
He married in 1939 and two years later was drafted into the Army. He served with the 36th Infantry Division, fighting in Italy and marching to Germany. After the war, he returned to work at BG&E.;
One of his sons, George, died shortly after Christmas in 1969 of Hodgkin's disease at age 18.
Services for Mr. Rutter are to be held at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church, St. Paul Place and College Avenue in Ellicott City.
Besides his wife, Mr. Rutter is survived by two sons, Joseph W. dTC Rutter Jr. of Lisbon and Donald Rutter of West Virginia; and three grandchildren, Jenifer Rutter of West Virginia and Jeremy and Kerry Rutter of Woodbine.