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Rutkowski, Charles Leonard -

Charles Leonard Rutkowski

Perry Hall - On Nov. 29, Charles Leonard Rutkowski, 83, of Perry Hall, died of sepsis at Seasons Hospice at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center.

He was born on June 15, 1932, in his family’s farmhouse on Race Road in Stemmers Run and moved with the family to a larger farm in Upper Falls in 1940. He graduated from Kenwood High School in 1952 and was drafted into the Army in 1955. When he was discharged he went to work as a store clerk at The Meyer Seed Company (at the time, located on Belair Road in Fullerton), switching to work as a truck driver for the Fells Point location in 1995 until his retirement in 2005. He lived in Parkville and then in Perry Hall.

He was well-known in the surrounding communities for his accordion playing as a member of Bill Andrew’s Orchestra and on his own. He played at the Perry Hall McDonald’s on the first Tuesday of every month and played at various assisted living homes periodically as well. He received his first accordion at age 14 as a gift from his older brother Edward and took a few lessons before switching to playing by ear, which he did for the rest of his life.

He also enjoyed puttering around his yard and doing yard work for himself and his neighbor, his daughter Lorrie.

Mr. Rutkowski is survived by his wife of 60 years, Loretta Dorothy Rutkowski (nee Kahl); daughters Lorrie Erdman and Diane Peters of Perry Hall and Joanne Gurley of Nottingham, sons Ronald Rutkowski of Darlington and Richard Rutkowski of Glen Arm, and seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A funeral attended by over 100 people was held at St. Joseph Catholic Church - Fullerton on Dec. 4, with interment in the church cemetery. The McDonald’s celebrated his life on Dec. 1 with a gathering of fellow musicians playing his favorite songs. It featured a rendition of "Amazing Grace" by his granddaughter Stephanie Holland Pitt.