Memorial service Sunday for hall of fame inductee, longtime athletic secretary

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Joan Rutschman passed away on Sept. 9. She was 84.

Kaelia Neal, Sports editor

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Joan Rutschman, a woman once known as “Mama Cat” by the Linfield community, died Friday, Sept. 9, 2016.

A memorial service is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday in the Ted Wilson Gym at Linfield. A reception will follow.

She was born on Sept. 9, 1932. In 1999 she was inducted into the Linfield Athletics hall of fame, and she is one of 10 individuals who were 1999 inductees.

“In my opinion, she was part of what I call Linfield’s greatest generation,” head football coach Joe Smith said.

She impacted Linfield greatly as she was the college’s athletic department secretary for 27 years. Later she became the athletic booster club coordinator and a ticket manager.

Her husband, Ad Rutschman, is also an important part of Linfield. He is in the Linfield Athletics hall of fame for football and was a football and baseball coach at Linfield.

To honor the Rutschmans for their contributions, the field house on Linfield Avenue is named the Ad and Joan Rutschman Field House.

Mrs. Rutschman was loved by many, especially people in the Linfield community. “Mrs. Rutschman made me feel like I was the most important person in the world,” football coach Doug Hire said. “I will never forget her kind words.”

Smith said her compassion and kindness is what set her apart from others. “She gave everything to Linfield,” Smith said.