FREEPORT — Judy Rutter, 60, of Freeport, died Sept. 12, in an accident while hiking with friends in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy.
Rutter was born June 7, 1953, in Andover, Mass. In her youth, she was an accomplished equestrian, earning a stellar reputation in the show ring across New England. She moved from Andover to Maine in the mid 1970s to pursue her love of skiing, especially on the slopes of Sugarloaf. She was employed by L.L. Bean in the creative department for 10 years before attracting other opportunities. She led bike tours around New England for many summers and provided child care to families. As Rutter’s reputation spread, she became a much sought-after nanny because of her ability to instill creativity, playfulness and a sense of wonder into the lives of all the children she cared for. The many dogs she sat for were equally blessed with her enthusiastic attention.
As a Hurricane Island Outward Bound instructor for many years, Rutter led kayak trips along the Maine coast and in Puerto Rico. She then went on to facilitate professional development programs for Outward Bound and the University of Southern Maine. Her teaching techniques, safety skills and patience gave her students confidence, both on and off the water.
Rutter’s enthusiasm for engaging with nature was evident. She rarely let a beautiful sunset pass by unnoticed or closed a curtain during a thunderstorm. Her leadership in the outdoors was respected, and she challenged her friends to push themselves so they would fully appreciate the experience.
Her legacy is in her photographs. Through her artistic and keen eye, she captured images of children and nature. Many images are displayed in friend’s houses, and will serve as a reminder of the kind, passionate and remarkable friend that she was to so many people. The heart stones that she gathered from Maine beaches and trails are a fitting symbol of her life’s journey- one of love and generosity.
She was predeceased by her father, Harold Rutter.
She is survived by her mother, Dorothea Rutter; her brother, Stephen, and wife, Debbie; her sister, Jacqueline Rutter, and husband, Andrew Gully, and their children, Jocelyn, Hanna and Dylan.
A Celebration of Life is to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Maine Island Trail Association 58 Fore St., Suite 30-3 Portland, Maine 04101.