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Richard G. Rautio

Ely Echo - Staff Photo -

Richard G. Rautio of Denver, Colorado died on March 13, 2024 with his wife, children and grandchildren by his side. He was 91.

Born in Ely, Minnesota to John and Alberta (Gardner) Rautio, Richard had a deep passion for the outdoors and enjoyed fishing and canoeing in Colorado and Minnesota for most of his life. He also loved music, writing and discussing philosophy, politics and the family’s Finnish history – even discussing epistemology with his youngest grandson on his last day with us. Some of his writings about his adventures in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness have appeared in the Boundary Waters Journal.

Richard earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Chicago in 1958. His religious views emphasized theological open-mindedness and authenticity in human interaction.  He went on to serve as an associate pastor of Andrew Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, where he became known for his passionate and emotional preaching style. Later, he worked as director of a special ministry to young adults in the Twin Cities area. He relocated to Denver and was hired as director of a federal job training program in Boulder County. In 1977, he helped Vail Associates create job training for the developing ski resort economy. In 1984, he returned to Denver and became the coordinator of dislocated worker programs for the Governor’s Job Training Office and was active in the development of re-employment workforce centers across Colorado.

In 1964, he married Kay Cameron, with whom he raised three children. Later in life, a mutual friend introduced Richard to Ann Winder Scudder, a Denver native, and they were married in 1996.

Richard was predeceased by his sister Marian, who raised a family of five children with her husband Leslie Cherne of Ely. Richard is survived by his wife Ann; daughter Julie Rautio, of Richmond, Virginia, and her son, Cameron; daughter Ann Castellano of Littleton, Colorado, and her sons, Evan and Paul; and son Douglas Rautio of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and his son, Logan. He also is survived by Ann’s two sons, Paul and Jeff Scudder, with whom Richard enjoyed a close relationship.

Richard was very proud of all his children and grandchildren and step-children, who will miss him dearly.

According to his wishes, Richard will be celebrated with friends and family at a later time. Contributions may be made to Save the Boundary Waters in his memory.

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