J. Edgar Thomson “JET” Rutter II departed to see the Lord on May 31, 2014, at age 83, after a short bout with cancer (it seemed longer.) J.E.T. Rutter was born in what he liked to call “The People’s Republic of Santa Monica,” the son of Thomas Renaud Rutter and Abby Holstein Rutter. He graduated from Chadwick School, located in the then-boondocks of Rolling Hills. In those days he was known as “Ned” or “Ed.” He attended Princeton University. After flunking out of the pre-med program, “Jet” finally graduated with honors from the Department of Religion and Philosophy, with a minor in Economics. During his senior year at Princeton, Jet was the Captain of the Princeton Fencing team, and was named as an alternate for the 1952 Olympics.
The day after graduating from Princeton, June 18, 1952 “the luckiest day of his life” Jet married Lenore “Kit” Kittredge, daughter of Princeton Senior Professor of Engineering, Clifford Kittredge (who was delighted to hear about Jet’s beer drinking and bawdy song singing abilities.) In 1955, with assistance from Kit, who worked full-time to support them, Jet graduated from USC law school. He was then drafted into the U.S. Army (where he wasted two years and some taxpayer money) and was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska. When he returned to California he took a job practicing law with a mid-sized firm in Los Angeles.
In 1959, he formed a partnership with Dennis Carpenter and practiced law in Newport Beach until 1968, when he was appointed to the Municipal court. In 1970 was promoted to the Superior Court. Judge Rutter organized the Family Law Panel for the Orange County Superior Court; he resigned from the bench in 1985 as the senior judge of that panel. Thereafter, he worked as a mediator, private judge, arbitrator, and appellate law consultant.
After shaking off their children (they thought), Kit and Jet traveled extensively, and enjoyed their waterfront home on Lido Isle, their condo in Palm Desert, as well as their friends at The Newport Harbor Yacht Club.
Jet Rutter lived most of his life on Lido Isle in Newport Beach, and served as board President of the Lido Isle Community Association. He was a founding member of the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum and served for many years on the board and as its President. His charitable efforts included Saint James Anglican Church and the Lighthouse Outreach Ministries in Costa Mesa.
Jet was an avid free diver, SCUBA diver, and a mediocre boogie boarder (until he had to have his back fused from “going over the falls” and other clumsy mistakes.) He enjoyed gardening, boating, and singing and playing guitar (not good but loud). His repertory of bawdy songs and limericks was legendary.
Jet Rutter is survived by his wife of 62 years, Kit, who has stood by him all these years, and by their four children and three grandchildren.
Jet Rutter was a man who was hard to ignore - whether or not you miss him is up to you.
---- JETR II May 14, 2014
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 PM on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at Grace Chapel, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 600 St Andrews Road, Newport Beach, CA 92663
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Lighthouse Outreach Ministry: 1885 Anaheim Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92627