Mary Ellen Rutter passed away on November 17, 2022, under the wonderful care and love of her family and the folks at Julie’s Place in Enumclaw, Washington. Mary Ellen was born on August 4th, 1925, to Charles and Anne Grassl in San Francisco, California. Mary Ellen was introduced to the National Parks by her parents at an early age. She grew to love the parks and married a national park ranger from Lassen National Park in 1943.
Mary Ellen lived and raised her family living in the National Parks of Lassen, Lake Texhoma, Sequoia Kings Canyon, Badlands, Rocky Mountain, and Mount Rainier. She and her family were blessed with the outdoor experiences of skiing, hiking, and fishing, all of which became lifetime activities for her and guiding lights for her family. As she was raising her family Mary Ellen became fascinated with the art of knitting. She made sweaters for all family members for daily use as skiers and hikers.
Mary Ellen had many careers: raising her family, working as a bookkeeper, using her artistic and crafts skills to design and sell North West needle point kits, acting as the NW regional distributor of literature for the USFS and NPS association book stores, and being a reflexologist practitioner and instructor. She gave her all to whatever she did with intense energy, love, and enthusiasm.
Mary Ellen had a passion for family and skiing. She was skiing on a regular basis until she was 89 and always wanted to be out on the slopes. Mary Ellen is survived by her children Marilyn (Mark) Pedersen and John W. (Perrin) Rutter, her grandchildren Eric (Brittany) Pedersen, Jennifer (Brent) Watterson, John A. Rutter, Meredith (Webb) Stevens and her great grandchildren Makayla, Aleah and Miles Watterson.