PAVE LOW Aerial Gunner
Randy Michael Rutledge (age 54) passed peacefully in his home on January 22nd, 2021. Randy was born on February 19, 1966 in Callicoon, NY to Mary Ellen Steinhour and Robert Rutledge. He married Christine Michaelle Williams on May 3, 1986 in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Randy graduated from Arkansas University with a Masters Degree in Program Management.
Randy joined the Air Force in January of 1984 and was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base working on F-15's for the 33rd Fighter Squadron. Soon after, he was assigned to the 20th Special Operations at Hurlburt Field, FL. On Sep 7, 1995 Randy was deployed to the Bosnia conflict. During a mission to rescue two downed French Pilots, his aircraft received heavy enemy gunfire. While returning fire, he was struck by enemy small arms, which led to Randy receiving a Purple Heart. Since then he has received many more awards and accolades.
Randy proudly served 20 years in the service and was honorably discharged. He then entered the Civil Service up till the day he passed. Randy was a lifetime member of the VFW Spectre 113677 serving in various positions within the organization.
Randy was known for his contagious laugh, warm heart and incredible mind. He was a man of many talents; jack of all trades. He could transition from being a warrior, father, and a brother in a heartbeat. He was a man of infinite wisdom and always held out his hand to help someone in need. While serving as an Aerial Gunner, he often spoke about how much he loved flying and everyone knew if time would've allowed, he would've flown forever. He was a passionate hunter and loved teaching his son, and going hunting with him. One of his proudest joys was building a tiny home for his hunting camp with his daughter.
Randy is survived by: his wife, Christine of 34 years, daughter Jennifer and husband Matthew Jones of Santa Rosa Beach, FL, son Jeffery and girlfriend Kiffanie of Williamsburg VA. His brother, Robert and Sheri Rutledge, and brother, Ryan Rutledge of Tyler Hill, PA. His sister-in-law, Kelly and Kerry Cartwright and brother in law, Thomas Williams. As well as various nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his father, Robert Rutledge.