William  "Bill"  Rutan

Make a Charitable Donation In Memory of William
  • Essex Veterans Memorial Hall, Inc.
    P.O. Box 142
    Centerbrook, CT 06409

William "Bill" Rutan

  • BORN: May 5, 1931
  • DIED: April 4, 2018
  • LOCATION: Centerbrook, Connecticut

William "Bill" Rutan, age 86, of Centerbrook CT, passed away unexpectedly after a brief illness on Wednesday April 4, 2018 at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He was born on May 5, 1931 in Middletown, CT the son of the late Charles William Rutan and Hazel (Tiley) Rutan. He leaves behind his longtime companion Carole Schmitt of Centerbrook CT and their faithful dog 'Tag'; his son Daniel William Rutan and wife Deborah (Strain) Rutan, of Deep River CT, and his daughter Rebecca Rutan Filkowski and husband Eric Filkowski, of Waterbury Center VT; grandchildren Cole Rutan, McLaine Rutan, Taylor Burdett, Ethan Burdett, Emma Filkowski, and Meagan Filkowski, and Carole's granddaughter Grace Anniskett; his former wife and dear friend Deirdre ( Wilson) Rutan of Essex CT, and his sister Nancy (Rutan) Meitzler of Norwich CT. He also leaves many nieces, nephews, and extended family members. He was predeceased by his brother Charles Tiley Rutan of Chester CT. Bill was a lifelong resident of Essex CT and graduated from Pratt High School. Bill was a proud veteran of the United States Army having served his country during the Korean War. He was self-employed with several businesses through the years, but his passion was amateur car racing. He built racing cars and engines for himself and many others, belonged to the SCCA and VSCCA, ran hill climbs, endurance races, and road courses. His racing career spanned over 60 years. He won many races, including 2 championships at Daytona and Riverside, and set many hill climbing records. Many will remember "The Bathtub", a Volkswagen which he outfitted with a Porsche engine and captured the record to the top of Mt Washington which he held for several years. He was also a longtime member of the Essex Boat Club where he enjoyed gathering with others for friendly debate and comradery, and where he also enjoyed its beauty and serenity overlooking the Connecticut River through the years with his many 4-legged friends. A graveside service will be held at 10:00 AM on Sunday April 15, 2018 at Fountain Hill Cemetery, 57 High St, Deep River CT 06417. His family appreciates all of the support and kind words shown. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Essex Veteran's Memorial Hall, Inc. PO Box 142, Centerbrook CT 06409. To share a memory of Bill or send a condolence to his family please visit www.rwwfh.com

Graveside Service
  • April 15, 2018
    10:00 AM
  • Fountain Hill Cemetery
  • 57 High Street
  • Deep River, CT 06417
  • Get Directions


“ Proud to have known him for many years,A real Icon of the sport,from the early days of the Pa.Hillclimb Circuit where I cant recall him ever not...Read More »

Posted by: Bob Kilpatrick - friend

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