Lyle Wayne Rutter, age 71, of Limestone, died Monday, November 20, 2023 at UPHS – Marquette following a courageous one year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan on August 14, 1952 to the late Lyle Garland and Mary Lucy (Phairas) Rutter. Lyle fell in love with the woods at a young age learning to hunt and fish. His family moved to Sturgis, MI where his uncle was a pastor at a local church. It was at that church where he met Sandra Schwartz. Lyle and Sandy were married in 1971 and together they raised their two sons. In 1982, the Rutter family moved to the UP to go off grid and landed in Limestone. It was there that they lived in a small trailer with no running water or electricity. Over the years their trailer grew, but they continued without electricity for seven full years. By living this way there were less distraction and Lyle helped teach his boys hard work ethics, the love of reading, and a passion for the outdoors. Lyle started his employment for the State of Michigan’s Department of Corrections at the Marquette Branch Prison. When Alger Max opened Lyle moved locations. Lyle found it interesting that he was required to miss six weeks of work when he had broken his thumb, but only got a week off following being stabbed in the neck by an inmate. Lyle served for over 35 years and retired as an inspector in 2019. Lyle was a longtime member of the Limestone Baptist Church. His love of the Lord moved him to become a deacon and in 2019 he was ordained as a minister and became the fulltime Pastor of the church until the time of his death. Lyle loved hunting, fishing, and rides in the woods. Pastoring had become a passion of Lyle’s. He loved sharing the word of God with anyone who would listen. Lyle’s family brought him great joy, following the grandkids to sporting events, family trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota, and working on Luke and Naomi’s farm throwing countless bails of hay and working on equipment. No matter how hard things got, Lyle's motto was “Don’t quit and don’t give up.”
He is survived by his wife – Sandy Rutter; sons and daughters-in-law – Skip and Tracy and Luke and Naomi Rutter; grandkids – Emma and Trent Rutter; siblings – Duane, Larry and Linda; sister-in-law – Elaine Sweet-Rutter and Diana Kamphues; special cousins – Brian (Marie), Bruce, and Vicky (Bob); and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Lyle was preceded in death by his parents Mary Fonua and Lyle G. Rutter, brother Lonnie Rutter and brother-in-law Roger Kamphues.