Andy Rutledge mug


Former Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency director Andy Rutledge died Saturday in Idaho.

He turned 96 on Sept. 21. He served on AVEK Board of Directors from 1988 through 2014, retiring at the age of 90. He served for 12 years as president of the Board. 

“Andy was one of a kind,” former AVEK director George Lane said. “He made friends wherever he went. He was my principal in grammar school. We served on the AVEK Board for a number of years.”

Lane said Rutledge was very positive and liked by everyone he met.

“He loved to walk, not just a little walk,” he said. “He would go out for several miles. I walked with him  a couple of times. It was hard to keep up with him.”

Rutledge and his wife Elizabeth moved to Idaho six years ago after his retirement. They lived in the Antelope Valley for 57 years. Rutledge died six months shy of their 75th wedding anniversary.

A World War II veteran, he was born in Texas and earned a master’s degree from New Mexico State University and attended the University of California-Los Angeles, for advanced studies.

He developed his water knowledge while living on a ranch and irrigated farm in New Mexico and he majored in agriculture in college, but later received credentials in school administration. He was the first principal at Joe Walker Middle School.

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