William Ruttan

Obituary of William Montgomery Ruttan

Bill Ruttan, 87, of Provost died June 1, 2020. Born August 28, 1932 to Bill Ruttan Senior and Peggy (Dick) he joined his older brother Bob, a brotherhood of much love shared through their lives. The family lived on a small farm south of Provost in the Eyehill district until Bill was about 14 years old, when they moved into the town of Provost. From that point on until his death Bill lived his life in Provost, a place he loved. In July 1956, he married his love Janet Lee. Bill and Jan had come to join their lives at Provost High School and that was the start of a 65 year beautiful love affair. Provost High School was a place that led to many wonderful and long lasting friendships. Our father had more close high school friends at his death than most people would count at the time of their graduation. We hesitate to name these friends and others that joined along the way, since there are so many and we don’t want to leave anyone out, you know you were precious to Dad. But no telling of Dad’s life is complete without mention of Al Colborne now of Sidney, BC and Ray Bradley recently deceased from Edmonton. These two were without a doubt his brothers for life. Bill and Jan each came from a small and close immediate family (Dad had a soft spot for Bob’s girls), but Bill came to know his real family to include Jan’s cousins. All these people the Larsons, the Flemings, the Youngs were Dad’s true and chosen family. Joan is the widow to Jan’s brother Bill, and she and her daughters and grandchildren were so generous and kind to our father throughout later life, he was lucky to know them all, and he treasured each of them. Bill and Jan had three children: Pat Magnan married to Michel Magnan of Edmonton, Michelle of Westlock, and Monte (with David Tung) from Vancouver. He was proud to be Gramps to his two grandchildren, happy to share their lives and to be present when they were married: Chantal Magnan of Edmonton married to Andrew Wright; and Stéphane Magnan of Ottawa married to Stéphanie Benoît. Our father loved nature. As one example, the last several years of his life he spent many happy days driving along the many miles of side roads along which he had installed birdhouses for the beautiful Mountain Bluebird. For several years he added to and maintained these bird houses, and checked on the chick progress during the spring and summer. He received recognition for this in 2017 when he received the Blue Feather Award from the Ellis Bird Farm. Bill loved to hunt, and as it came to be, he hunted with several close friends and then their children for decades. Even in the last couple of years after he wisely put down his guns, he continued to spend precious time with his friends locating and being together, waiting ostensibly for a good shot, but mostly just spending time together. Until a few years ago he had a little piece of land near Dillberry Lake that was a favourite spot to hang out in a small hunting blind called the Eagle’s Nest, overlooking the small lakes near the Hager and Skinner territory. This was his slice of heaven. Summers at the family cabin at Dillberry Lake with extended family nearby were the highlight of the year. After an early career selling cattle for the Provost Auction Market, Bill spent most of his career selling real estate in Provost. He first worked with Jan’s cousin (and his good friend until Al’s death) Allan Fleming, and then later for his lifelong friend Buck Gregory and his sons, Randy and Dale at Provost Insurance Agencies, including many years alongside his brother Bob. Dad loved to know people, and so Real Estate was a perfect career for him. After mom passed on in 2012, Dad looked forward to going to the Provost Motor Inn each morning for some coffee and bs with the coffee guys. This social connection was extremely important to him, and we his children were content to know he was getting out and had his friends. Watching sports on TV was his passion. He became a master of recording more than one game on his PVR. He always cheered for the underdog (since the favourite didn’t need his support) but got mad when the underdog lost. He wanted to read the Edmonton Journal every day. When delivery of the Journal to Provost ended a few years ago, he spread the word to everyone he could to pick him up a paper every chance they could. Some days he was lucky to get two of the same paper, which was never a problem. God forgive them if his children forgot a Journal when they came to Provost, you almost wanted to get back in the car and go back rather than come in the house and admit you forgot. These strange days of life with Covid-19 with no coffee at the hotel in the morning and no sports to watch on TV, our Dad decided it was time to move on. He was very much loved, and we’ll miss his guidance, advice and sense of humour. His favourite way of saying goodbye we now want to extend to all his friends and family: catch you on the next round. If he got his wish Bill is now with Jan in a small pickup driving down a country road looking for deer and birds. A Graveside Service will be held on Friday, June 5, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. at the Provost Cemetery with Reverend Greg Parker officiating. This event is open to the public and everyone is welcome, but only immediate family and close extended family and friends are to be present at the graveside outside their vehicles by invitation to a total amount of 50 people. All others are requested to remain in their vehicles, and there will be a sound system for those close by in their vehicles to be a part of the service. The Graveside Service will be recorded and can be viewed later. For those attending please be mindful of the restrictions set forth by the Alberta Government in respect of Covid-19 restrictions. Bill’s family hopes to have another event to remember Bill in the future, when Covid-19 restrictions allow. If you wish to plant a tree in the local cemetery, please contract GFH directly at 780-753-2332.
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