October 29, 1923 – February 11, 2019
Dorothy Jean Rutowski, who went by Jean, was born in Hollywood, California, on October 29, 1923, to Robert and Verne Hervey. She grew up riding horses through the fields of then-rural San Fernando Valley and met the love of her life, Edward Rutowski, at North Hollywood High School.
She and Ed graduated with top honors and then went to UCLA. Jean worked in a women’s dress store and the college library to fund her way through a teaching credential and bachelor’s degree in home economics.
Jean and Edward married at age 21 during WWII, right before he deployed for the Philippines. During his service, he wrote daily letters, which she later transcribed.
After living in North Hollywood and then relocating for four years to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Ed’s work, they settled in Pacific Palisades, where Jean lived until she was 83.
They had four children—Kenny, Ron, Mary Anne and Patricia—but in Tulsa, Kenny died in 1957 of leukemia at age 11.
Jean and Ed were very active in the Unitarian Church of Santa Monica, running the Adult Program Committee. After earning a master’s degree in education from Loyola Marymount, Jean taught home economics, child development and bachelor arts at St. Monica and St. Bernard High Schools in Santa Monica. She loved when her students would greet her as she shopped in Santa Monica.
Throughout their life together, Jean and Ed were avid theater- and concert-goers and hikers.
After Ed died in 1998 right before their 54th anniversary, Jean remained in the Palisades for eight years before relocating to Pacific Grove, where Ed and she had planned to move to be near their daughters, Patricia and Mary Anne.
During her time without Ed, Jean traveled to Greece and Spain, and took the family on a memorable trip to the Galapagos, using “mad money” saved from her teaching.
She loved Pacific Grove and was active in the local Unitarian Church, a book group and exercise classes at the Sally Griffin Center. She moved into The Park Lane retirement community after she broke her hip at 89.
She is interred in the El Carmelo cemetery in Pacific Grove next to Ed.
Jean often said that she lived a good life, married a wonderful man and raised children she dearly loved. Her bright eyes, positive outlook, love of life and loving care of her family will be greatly missed.