Julius Rutschmann, 87, of Ghent, passed away on October 27, 2020 in the comfort of his home under the care of Hospice and his loving family.
Born as an identical twin on October 2, 1933, on a pig farm in Bronx, NY, he was the son of the late Harry and Alma (Reidmuller) Rutschmann. After graduating from Chatham Central High School, Julius studied agriculture at Cornell University, where he met the love of his life, Nancy Fitzpatrick. They were married on June 16, 1956, and made their home on Windswept Farm in Ghent, where he operated a dairy farm until 1987. After selling his dairy farm, he worked for Kinderhook Farm in Valatie, until he retired at the age of 80.
His friends called him “Jules” and respected him for his loyalty, intelligence, work ethic and sense of humor. Like most farmers he was an early riser, and would start each day strolling across the barnyard with a whistle on his lips and a hound dog at his heels. He was a member of the New York State Farm Bureau, the Cooperative Extension, the Ghent VFW, the Ghent Rod and Gun Club, the Chatham Booster Club, the Ghent/Chatham Area Senior Citizen Club, and the “Dirty Dozen,” a group of twelve close-knit friends, who have for many years shared occasions both joyous and sad. In addition, he was an advisor to the Boy Scouts and served on the Ghent Zoning Board.
Julius and Nancy had four children together, and despite the rigorous demands of being a farmer he managed to attend their band concerts, ball games, and school plays, as well as take them all roller skating every Friday night. While farming was not a lucrative profession, the opportunity to live and grow up on a farm, tethered so closely to the rhythms of nature, provided his family with riches far greater than money.
Julius was very fond of dogs. His beloved Basset Hounds were almost always quite plump- he drove them to the local convenience store every day to get them a Dixie cup of ice cream. At Kinderhook Farm he would routinely play his harmonica for the farm’s Boxer, Nellie, while she howled along. Even during his final days, he could be seen sneaking oatmeal cookies to his daughter’s pug, Kumi, who lovingly sat at his bedside. Music and dance were always sources of great joy, too, and some of the many gifts he instilled in his children and grandchildren. In his twenties he played the guitar and sang in Don Hill’s country band, the Rhythm Serenaders, along with his twin brother, Donald. Over the years at each day’s end he could be found sitting alone at the kitchen table playing songs from “The Great American Songbook” on his harmonica and drinking a beer. Later in life he enjoyed attending performances by The Eagles Concert Band, in which his daughter played the trumpet. To the delight of those watching, he tore up the dance floor at any wedding or event that he attended.
Julius, though small in stature, was exceptionally strong and tough as nails. He was kind and compassionate, and could put an end to the life of an animal if it was necessary with mercy and without hesitation. He loved deeply, a quiet romantic, whose affection and devotion to his wife, Nancy, demonstrated to his children and grandchildren just what unconditional and enduring love looks like.
Along with great love, he knew the pain of considerable loss. He was predeceased by his eldest son Jeffery, by his cherished twin Donald, and his older brother Thomas. He is survived by his loving wife Nancy, son Christopher (Lynne), his daughter Julie (Brooks Hagen), his daughter Karen (Jack McKeon), his daughter-in-law, Dawn, and his grandchildren, Matt, Jeremy, Ashley Brigham, Erin McKeon, & Will McKeon, along with his five great grandchildren. In addition, he leaves behind his dear friend Kirk Kneller, who he loved as one of his own.
In lieu of flowers donations in his memory can be made to The Community Hospice (www.communityhospice.org) or The Alzheimers Association (www.alz.org). Calling hours will be held Saturday, November 14 from 1:00-3:00 at “The Barn at Locust Hill” located at 5 Stockport Road in Ghent NY. Facemasks are required and social distancing will be observed. Condolences may be conveyed at frenchblasl.com.