Passed away peacefully September 19, 2023.

Kazuko was born May 22, 1930 and returned to Japan as a teenager from Korea at the end of World War Two. She immigrated to Canada in 1962 with her then husband Timothy Rutley.

She was a dedicated and giving mother. She was avid in her promotion of Japanese culture and an advocate of multiculturalism. She also loved her new country Canada and spent time as a tour guide telling Japanese tourists about Canadian sights, scenery, people and life. She was a talented seamstress, did Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement), studied Japanese calligraphy, and loved ballroom dancing and tennis. She always wanted to learn about new things and this trait was present her whole life. Her volunteer work in multiculturalism was recognized in her being made an Honouary Citizen of the City of Victoria in 1986 in addition she received a Certificate of Recognition for her volunteer work in multiculturalism from the Federal Government in 1987.

Kazu enjoyed her life with her family and was especially kind and generous to her grandchildren. Kazuko was known in the circles she travelled in as the sweet Japanese lady with the big smile and stylish hats.

She will be missed by her son Ken, daughter Sheila, daughter in-law Lindie and grandchildren Michaela and Stella, her two surviving sisters Yoshiko and Chioko and their families in Japan, and will also be missed by her many groups of friends and the staff at Marion Village.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.


McCall  Gardens

  • Kim LeBlanc

    Ken, I am sending my condolences to you and your family. So sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing.


  • Yoshiko Nakamuta

    Dear Ken
    Please accept our sincere condolences.
     Our siblings and we have been taken care of by Kazuko-san since we were young, and Kazuko has taught us how to live in order to become good members of society.
    We are very grateful to our dear sister Kazuko-san.

    Yoshiko Chieko
    From Japan

  • Michiko Higgins (previously Webber)

    HI, Ken (I know you as “Eugene” when my children, Garner, Kimi & Dean, were growing up in Victoria.
    I’m sorry that your mom passed away. Since I moved away to Vancouver, I didn’t have much chance to associate with your mom, but I did hear that your mom had kept her spirit as vibrant and dynamic as ever into her mature age. Good for her. That’s the only way I remember her as, one of a kind of a lady!
    I hear that you moved away to the East Coast and doing well. I’m delighted to hear that things are going well for you and your family.
    I and my companion of 34 years David had been visiting the islands this summer Gulf Island hopping and occasionally spend a bit of time with our good old friends from that era reminiscing good old days of the 70’s when we were always partying together as a Japanese family. Those were the days I cherish the most. I hope you remember some of them. You were always such a nice polite boy! Please come and visit us the next time when you decide to visit Vancouver. Your mom would love that! Michiko HIggins (previously Webber)

  • Jai djwa

    Ah, Ken so sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. She was such a force and I remember her whacking tennis balls and making lunch for you and I back in the day. She was a powerhouse! Much love to you and fam.

  • Valerie Secord

    To Kazuko san’s family and friends,

    Our family moved to Victoria in 1994. It wasn’t too long after that I met Kazuko san. She was training me to be a tour guide. I so enjoyed her wit and charm. It wasn’t the job for me, but she was perfect!!

    Over the years we would meet more other through the Victoria Japanese Church gatherings. Sheila shared a birthday with my father, so we celebrated together many a time.

    Lots of wonderful memories. We will miss her! Thank you for the memories!!
    Valerie Secord

  • Keiko Alkire

    To Rutley family,
    We offer our condolences and honour Kazoko’s remarkable life. The Japanese community will miss her very much.
    Keiko Alkire

  • Andréa Pilichos and Steve Graham

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your mum. We are thinking of you.
    Andréa and Steve

  • Reuben Bauer

    We are so sorry for your loss. Our condolences to you and the family.
    Reuben and Sachie

  • Nancy Mac Millan

    So sorry Ken to hear of your mums passing. She certainly sounds like an amazing lady.. lots of love to you,lindie,and the girls . Nancy and Reg

  • Anne Ring

    Dear Ken, I am sorry for the loss of your mom. She sounds like an amazing person, you certainly made her proud.
    Anne Ring

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