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Santa Barbara News-Press : CROCKETT-RUTTEN, Laura Mae


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June 1, 2013 12:31 AM

One of Goleta Valley's Pioneering Women

Age 82, passed away on Friday, May 24, 2013 She was a loving and devout wife, mother, grand mother and great grandmother.

Laura was born in a rural farm setting in Langdon, North Dakota on January 6, 1931. She was the sixth of seven children born to Lawrence and Edith Crockett. She graduated from high school in Langdon and attended college. In 1950 she married Ruben John (Jack) Rutten, M.D.. Following their wedding, they moved to Portland, Oregon where Jack attended medical school at the University of Portland.

In 1953 Laura and Jack moved to San Diego, California where Jack fulfilled his internship and obligations to the U.S. Navy. In October 1954, their first son, Randy, was born. In 1955 Laura, Jack and Randy moved to Goleta, California where Jack associated with OB/GYN, Bert Zeener, M.D. and Jack became Goleta's first general practitioner. In November 1957, Laura and Jack's second son, Raul, was born.

In 1958 Laura and Jack built their beloved home on Holiday Hill Road, where they raised their family. In the early 1960's Laura and Jack bought into a partnership to buy a Bonanza airplane and she obtained her pilot's license. 

Laura loved being a hostess and often did so for many family and community events. She was active in the Goleta Valley Community Hospital (now Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital) and served in the Goleta Valley Hospital Auxiliary Association, volunteering in the hospital's gift shop.

Laura was a member at the Goleta Federated Church for many years and later the Community Covenant Church on Cathedral Oaks Road. Laura taught preschool for the Goleta Federated Church and Community Covenant Church. She also volunteered her time with special needs children in Goletaand Santa Barbara over the years. Laura was bestowed the Goleta Valley Woman of the year award in 1994.

In 1976, Jack received an invitation to serve the United States Government for foreign based personnel and took a two year tour of duty as a regional medical officer based in Tehran, Iran. He inspected medical facilities and administered medical care in the field to Americans, in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri-Lanka and Pakistan. Laura accompanied him during these travels and had great experiences living at and visiting these various regions. While traveling, she loved collecting art and crafts, which later filled her Goleta home. Laura and Jack renewed consecutive two year commitments in other posts after Iran. They lived in Panama (serving all of Central and South America), Alice Springs, Australia and finally in Kinshasa, Zaire. They returned to their home on Holiday Hill Road in 1987.

After returned home from overseas duties, Laura once again became involved in community activities, returning to the hospital auxiliary and served as a docent at the Goleta Valley Historical Society. It was during these years that she also enjoyed many cruise vacations with Jack. They visited Hawaii, the Scandinavian countries, Alaska, the Caribbean and even went around the tip of South America with a stop over in the Falkland Islands.

Laura is survived by her son, Randy and daughter in law, Kathleen residing in Guam; granddaughter, Kiana, and two great grandchildren, Landon and Drew, residing in El Centro, California; grandson, Aaron, residing in San Diego, California; son, Raul and daughter in law Maya residing in Santa Barbara; grandson, Helek and granddaughter, Ila, residing in Santa Cruz, California.

Burial was held Thursday, May 30, 2013 in a private ceremony at the Goleta Cemetery where she was buried alongside Jack. A "Celebration of Life" is scheduled for some where along the West end of Goleta Beach State Park (look for the Blue Balloons) on Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. Friends and family are encouraged to attend.


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