LINCOLN (SNR) – Father Paul Joseph Rutten, 86, a retired priest of the Lincoln Diocese, died March 20 at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln.
A native of David City, Father Rutten graduated from Assumption High School in Dwight in 1950 and attended St. Thomas Seminary in Denver. He was ordained in 1958 at St. Francis Church in David City by Bishop James Casey, D.D.
Father Rutten served in Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Falls City and Sacred Heart in Lincoln, and taught at Pius X High School. He was director of guidance and counseling at Aquinas High School in David City from 1965-84. He lived in residence for six years at Presentation Parish in Bellwood, later serving as pastor there and at St. Joseph Parish in Bellwood from 1971-84. Father Rutten later served at All Saints Parish in Holdrege and at St. Joseph and St. Mary parishes in Lincoln. He finished his active priestly duties as chaplain at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital and other health care facilities in Lincoln from 1991-2008.
Father Rutten retired and moved to the Bonacum Retirement Home for priests in 2008, managed through the care of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George.
Bishop James Conley celebrated a funeral Mass March 26 in St. Joseph Church, Lincoln, with priests of the Diocese of Lincoln concelebrating. Butherus, Maser, & Love Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Burial was in St. Francis Cemetery, rural David City.
Father Rutten is survived by cousins. Memorials may be given to the Aquinas High School Endowment Fund or the Madonna Foundation.