Pastor John Mark Rutledge, 78, of Rockford, Ohio, passed away at 11:58 p.m., Tuesday, November 19, 2019, at Parkview Regional Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 


Mark was born on May 2, 1941, in Van Wert, Ohio, to the late John W. and Helen (Book) Rutledge.  


He was a graduate of Rockford High School and Huntington College, as well as St. Francis College, where he earned his Masterís degree.  On October 19, 1963, he married the love of his life, Kathleen (Brunstrup) Rutledge, who survives in Rockford.


Mark was the High School Guidance Counselor at Fort Recovery High School, then became the Junior High Principal, and later the Superintendent at Parkway.  After his positions at Parkway, he returned to Fort Recovery, where he again served as the High School Guidance Counselor. He retired from there in 2009.  He had also held numerous pastoral positions at churches in the area, including the former Otterbein U.B. Church outside of Rockford, the Mt. Victory Church, Decatur, and the Zion U.B. Church, between Rockford and Willshire. Mark most recently had been the pastor at The Rockford Belle Community Church in Rockford.


He and Kathy had moved back to Rockford in 1975, where he enjoyed being outside doing yard work at their home. Mark could often be seen working on the beautiful flowers up the driveway and around the house, which he would plant and care for throughout the spring and summer months.  He was an avid fan of the Cleveland Indians, and loved watching them on television.  His family was everything to him, and he loved spending time with Kathy, their sons and their grandchildren.  On a nice warm day, you might see him and Kathy sporting around in his Mustang convertible, which they very much enjoyed doing.


Surviving in addition to his wife Kathy are two sons:  Matthew Rutledge of Pleasant Hill, Ohio; John (Barbra) Rutledge of Toledo, Ohio; six grandchildren:  Jordan, Megan, Austin, Sarah, Rachel, and Eli Rutledge.  Also surviving is his sister Sherrill (Richard) Gibbs of Babson Park Florida and a sister-in-law, Linda Rutledge of Stryker, Ohio.  Deceased in addition to his parents is his brother, Tim Rutledge.


Memorial services for Mark will be held on Sunday, November 24, 2019, at 4:00 p.m., at Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home in Rockford, Ohio, with Pastor Tom Brunstrup officiating.  The family will receive friends prior to the service on Sunday, from 1:00 p.m. until the time of the service.


Burial will take place at a later date. 


Memorials may be directed to The Rockford Belle Community Church.

Condolences may be expressed at  




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