JOHN A. "BUZZY" RUTLEDGE, 69, went to be with the
Lord on May 20, 2020 doing what he loved, farming.
Graveside services for Buzzy will be at 10am Monday,
May 25, 2020 at Alameda Cemetery. Family and friends
will gather 5-7 pm Sunday at Edwards Funeral Home in
Ranger. Due to Covid-19, please wear a mask & follow
social distancing guidelines.
John A. "Buzzy" Rutledge was born May 5, 1951 in San
Francisco, CA to John & Margie Mattes Rutledge. He
moved to Texas as a youngster. He was a 1970 graduate
of Ranger High School at Ranger, TX and was a farmer
and rancher. He worked 25 years for Mitchell Energy
and retired as an Eastland County Commissioner after
serving 8 years. He married Barbara Ann Walker in Feb.
of 1983 at his home in Ranger. He was a member of the
Church of Christ.
Buzzy is survived by his loving wife of 37 years,
Barbara, sons; Jeffrey Rutledge (RHS-1992, Wendy),
John David Rutledge (RHS-1999, Shandy RHS-2000) and
Ronny Rutledge (RHS-2002), brother; Darrell Fox (RHS-
1982) and grandchildren; Katy, Coy, Sidney, Jake,
Josh, Harley Gwinn, Ryan Gwinn, and several nieces
He is preceded in death by his parents, sister; Reta
Stowe (RHS-1969), and brother; Roger Rutledge (RHS-
Buzzy Story - A great man died in Ranger Wednesday night.
His loss, so sudden, so without warning has taken our
breath away, left us unsettled. There is the sadness
over losing his steadfast friendship. There’s the
sadness from being reminded that vibrant lives expire
on their own schedule.
Every once in awhile we realize that important history
is cruelly writing its next chapter. This is one chapter
I never wished to read.
May 20, 2020 John “Buzzy” Rutledge passed away in Ranger,
Texas -- leaving a hole where this giant personality once
stood. A towering oak tree falls in the forest. Sunlight
bathes all that he left behind in his works, in his family,
community and legacy. His death is troubling on a core,
soul level nonetheless.
There will be obituaries for Buzzy other places, reciting
the Whens and Wheres that marked this man’s life. This is
Buzzy was a man of strong beliefs. Hard working. Right or
wrong – not much gray muddling up how he saw the world.
The man could weld like nobody’s business. He did what he
said he would and more. Buzzy was serious about making sure
duties were discharged. On time. To the best of his ability.
Come hell or high water.
I drive gravel county roads all over Texas and I can tell
you Eastland County has no idea how blessed they were when
he was elected to build and maintain so many miles of roads
connecting them, one to the other. It isn’t like that most
Some might say Buzzy was not without anger from time to time.
He puzzled over human nature sometimes, over why people did,
and said, what they felt they had to.
There are folks who stand taller as they announce or hint or
imply the virtue of their good works or financial contributions.
Their bus ticket into heaven. Buzzy was not that kind of man.
You can follow his footprints around – roads, cemetery fences,
neighbors in need, folks in the community wanting help, young
men who need a nudge to get back on track, to become all they
can be – his actions were his faith. His faith was something
Buzzy was assailed by some when he was county commissioner,
often unfairly. Those people see good intentions, see a man
turn his good intention and strong beliefs and work ethic
into tangible, completed actions. Strong men like Buzzy
actually accomplish things, make things happen, make things
better, bring hope, leave legacies of good works. This can
make them the target of attacks by lesser men and women.
Sure enough, you could get on his list, good or bad. First
or last or clean off that list, should you step too far out
of line. You’ve got to respect that. Life’s too short. Buzzy
was by-the-books, level or true or plumb or tear-it-down and
build it all over again, right and correct – I’m not talking
He came into the real estate office a few days after the worst
day of my life. I don’t remember him saying anything. I do
remember him reaching out his hand, him shaking mine slowly,
looking me straight in the eye.
May 25 he will be laid to rest in Alameda Cemetery, inside a
strong, true, always-plumb fence that he and Kenneth Brown
built together, not too long ago.
Two lifetimes ago.
Men of a certain age hear a story like Buzzy’s passing, its
news passing quietly man to man out of the blue. You don’t
have to explain what the man’s life meant. You don’t have to
explain what a death like that means to you. To all that you
To all you will leave behind.
May God give Buzzy Rutledge the peaceful rest he so richly
deserves. Thank the Lord that he was here. Amen.