Michael David Rutledge of Paxton, IL and formerly of Milford, IL passed away on September 13, 2021. He succumbed to complications of COVID 19. He was 43 years old.
Michael was born April 25, 1978 in El Paso, TX. He was raised in Milford by Don Rutledge and Rhonda (Steve) Wilken-Rutledge-Arseneau.
Michael is survived by his wife, Rebecca (Rybarczyk) Rutledge; one son, Cody Winter; one daughter, Anne Rutledge; his mother, Rhonda (Steve) Arseneau; his father, Don Rutledge; his brothers, Gordon Green, George Green, Jermy (Lori) Green, Jesse Rutledge, Justin Rutledge, Matthew Arseneau; one sister, Darlene (Roberto) Green-Valletta; and his best friend, Alberto (Kenia) Martinez of Milford.
Michael grew up Christian and was surrounded by a large family. He started out on the farm and then moved into town. Growing up like any Midwesterner would, he played baseball, joined cub scouts, and later onto the bigger sports. He couldn’t hide his love for football and lived for those Friday Night Lights. That passion was soon filled by the need to service his country and see the world.
Michael joined the United States Army in June of 1997, a few months after graduating High School. He became an All Wheeled/Tracked Diesel Mechanic and Recovery Specialist as well as a Unit Armor.
Michael served three enlistments with over eight deployments. He received the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Purple Heart, Army Achievement Medal (3), Army Good Conduct Medal (4), National Defense Service Medal (2), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Oversees Service Ribbon (3), Kosovo Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, NATO Medal (2), Combat Action Badge, and the Driver and Mechanic Badge.
Michael was also a Drill Sergeant and a Combat First Responder with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). He even earned his Gold and Silver Spurs with his Calvary Unit.
As a civilian, Michael earned his Mechanic Double ASE, Certified Master Automobile Certification. He closed up his tool box professionally and packed his gear away to focus on raising his two kids – Cody Winter and Anne Rutledge along side his wife, Rebecca (Rybarczyk) Rutledge. He tried his best to lead by example and through it all, his love for his family, his friends, and life in general never faltered.
Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until the 3:00 p.m. funeral service on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at Milford Christian Church with Rev. Brent Zastrow officiating. Military rites will follow at 3:30 p.m. by Cissna Park American Legion Post #527.
Arrangements by Knapp Funeral Home in Milford.