In Memory of




Obituary for John Walter Ruthven

John Walter Ruthven, age 92, of Manistee, Michigan, passed away March 4, 2019 at Green Acres Assisted Living.

John was born January 25, 1927 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, son of late John Wallace Ruthven and Mildred (Castle) Ruthven. He graduated Coopersville High School in 1945. Ruthven served as a US Army teletype operator in the Pacific Theater immediately following WWII, following which he built a career with Kresge (Kmart).

On July 31, 1948 he married Dorothy Sapkowski. (She predeceased him in 2012). They had two children, Sandra, and Robert (who also predeceased Mr. Ruthven in 2004).

John retired from Kmart after 42 years and moved with Dorothy to the home they had constructed on Portage Lake across the road from their treasured cottage near Onekama, Michigan. In retirement John honed his long time love of golf and amassed priceless memories with the family ‘up north’ playing bridge, and enjoying water activities on the lake. Their home became the gathering spot for the family.

John is survived by daughter Dr. Sandra Ruthven Murphy (Patrick) of Manistee, two grandsons, Michael Kroulik (Nicole) of Saginaw and Patrick Garbani (Brittney) of San Diego; great grandchildren Brooke and Stephen Kroulik; sister Shirley (Ruthven) Sapkowski, brother William Ruthven; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dorothy, and Robert.

Following his wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial celebration of his life will be announced later.
To share a photo or memory with the family, please visit John’s personal page at
Arrangements by Oak Grove Funeral Home & Cremation Center of Manistee