Tom Rutland

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tom Rutland, 77, of Magnolia, Texas, passed away on May 20, 2016. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

He was born at Okemah, Oklahoma. With his parents, the late Dean and Allie Rutland, he lived in several small Oklahoma towns before moving to McKinney, Texas, in 1948 and to Port Arthur, Texas, in 1952. He was graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur and studied journalism at the University of Oklahoma.

He was honorably discharged as a corporal from the U.S. Marine Corps after four years of active duty.

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He had a daily newspaper career of more than 25 years beginning at The Daily Oklahoman where he rose to state editor before accepting the managing editor’s post at the Midland Reporter-Telegram in Texas in 1974. He later held newsroom positions at the Port Arthur News, Beaumont Enterprise and Conroe Courier. He was a member of Associated Press Managing Editors.

He and his wife, Sarah Willsie Rutland, owned and managed ladies ready-to-wear shops in Jefferson County in the early 1980’s. During that time, he was a member of the Rotary Club of Port Arthur and served as its president in 1986-1987, after which the club honored him with a Paul Harris Fellowship.

In 1994, he joined Compaq Computer Corp. as a technical writer. He retired from HP in 2007 after 10 years as a manager of technical communications. His wife had died six months earlier.

He was a member of The Woodlands United Methodist Church.

Survivors include two daughters, Nancy Graves of Alexander, Arkansas, and Diane Willey of Houston; and three grandchildren, Mason Johnston, Elizabeth Willey and Nicholas Willey, all of Houston.