May 26, 1924 – Feb. 17, 2019
It is with great sadness we announce the loss of Zela Viola Rutledge on February 17, 2019. Zela passed from natural causes peacefully while resting in her home of 60+ years.
Zela was born at her Aunt Vern Goetjen's home on May 26,1924 to Winford A. Tomson and Lola O. Tomson (Goetjen). After only 5 days rest, the Tomson family returned to their farm on the Salmon River. (Which when sold, was eventually turned into Pixieland.)
As Zela grew she learned the essentials of farm life. She milked cows, tended gardens, canned for the winter, fished, and picked fruit. While this was difficult work, it established the brave, "we can do anything" personality that we all knew and loved.
As a young woman (1930ish) Zela worked outside the home at a number of different establishments to include "The Halls Crab Pot", Otis Chowder house, Taft High School, Lakeside Theater, Ocean Caves Store, and Nelscotts' Grocery. She also worked at "The Logs" (a dance hall here in Gleneden Beach). There she met her husband Dale L. Rutledge whom she married at the Chapel by the Sea in 1949. Dale Sr. unfortunately left us in 2002 from a car accident. She also had a second son, Tom Rutledge, who served honorably in Vietnam but passed in 2011.
Zela was a vital component to the Lincoln County community. She was contracted by Cascades West Senior Services for 24 years as an advocate for seniors and people with disabilities. Upon retirement she filled her calendar with volunteer work in programs such as Meals on Wheels, County Fairs and her beloved Senior Center.
Her efforts earned her a number of different awards to include the Newport County Fair County volunteer the year (1998), and Senior Services volunteer of the year (2012). She also received several letters of recognition, certificates other accolades from various State Governors acknowledging her exceptional contributions.
She is survived by Dale and Sherry Rutledge (son and daughter-in-law), her grandson Adam Rutledge, her wonderful sister Marcia Berry (Gotjen) and 2 beautiful nieces Bonnie Kessler and Peggy Gesik.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 13th at 1Pm in Eden Hall, Gleneden beach. For those considering bringing flowers, may we suggest donating to Newports' Meals on Wheels site. They are located at 20 S.E. 2nd St., Newport OR, 97365 and their phone number is (541)574-0669.
To send flowers to Zela's family, please visit our floral section.