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Viola "Vi" Larkin Rutz

Obituary for Viola "Vi" Larkin Rutz

March 14, 1932 - April 22, 2017
Austin, Texas | Age 85

Obituary

Vi was born March 14, 1932 in Brooklyn, NY. When she was 12 her family moved to Tampa, FL. She graduated from Hillsborough High School, Tampa in 1949 and from Concordia University (then Concordia Teachers College), River Forest, IL in 1953 with a Bachelor's Degree in Education. That fall she opened a kindergarten at Trinity Lutheran Church, Orlando, FL, a seed which eventually grew to Trinity's current 9 grade elementary school. In June of 1954 she married Harold Rutz whom she had met while they were students at Concordia. Vi and Hal lived in Detroit, MI from '54-'56, in Kansas City, MO from '56-'64 (where their children Faith, Paul and Hope were born), and came to Austin in the summer of '64 when Hal accepted a position on the faculty of Concordia University (then Concordia College). She went home to her Lord early in the morning of Saturday, April 22. She was preceded in death by her grandson Matthew Kelley. She is survived by her husband Hal, daughter Faith Kelley and husband David, son Paul and wife Sandra Henry, daughter Hope Bartolotta and husband Peter, four Bartolotta grandchildren (Joy, Pierce, Eden and Asher), and her brother Jack Larkin of Lutz, FL.

Vi loved teaching. She served as a substitute teacher in various schools in Detroit, Kansas City, and Austin. She earned certification as a Montessori teacher and used that instructional system to lead classes of 4 year olds at Redeemer Lutheran and Hope Lutheran Schools in Austin. Subsequently she earned a Master's Degree in Child Development at the University of Texas at Austin and taught Child Development courses on various Austin Community College campuses. Her many interests and talents included homemaking, reading, writing free verse poetry and children's stories, listening to classical music. Her children's Christmas book "Little Tree and His Wish" was published by Concordia Publishing House in 1966. She was also an excellent seamstress, making clothes for herself and her children. She was involved in various church activities and in the Concordia Guild of Concordia University. She never lost her deep love of the Florida Gulf Coast, its beaches and its sunsets.

A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, April 28 at 2:00 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church, 5414 N. Hampton, Austin. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Hope Lutheran Church or to the charity of your choice.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Hope Lutheran Church or to the charity of your choice.

Arrangements By

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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