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Saturday, October 21, 2023
1:00 - 2:45pm (Central time)
Saturday, October 21, 2023
Starts at 3:00pm (Central time)
Dr. John Reutter, III of Sheffield, Alabama passed away on October 16, 2023.
He leaves three sons: Paul and wife Tera (Roberson), Michael, and Steven and wife Mandy (Norsworthy) and seven grandchildren: Paige Newlin (Reutter) and husband Zack, Dylan Reutter and wife Erika (Wright), Madison Reutter and fiancé Cole Hill, Caleb, Hanna, Lily and J J Reutter; and great-grandson Asher Newlin and great-granddaughter Saylor Reutter. John was preceded in death by his beloved sister Paula Reutter Corfman and his parents John Jr. and Gladys McDonald Reutter.
John was born in Illinois in 1943 and raised as an Army Air Corps brat traveling between US air bases during World War II. After the war, he lived in Illinois before moving to Lancaster, California in 1952. From there his family moved to San Diego, then El Centro, on to Torrance, and San Francisco as his father moved up the ladder at the rapidly growing Bank of America. John attended Pomona College in Claremont, California before transferring to California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, California where he graduated in 1965 with a degree in mathematics. John began his career as a professional computer technician for Pacific Bell in San Francisco, married Julia Castanieto and transferred to Bell Telephone Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey in 1968. Bell Labs sponsored his participation in the new computer science graduate degree program at Rutgers University where he finished an M.S. degree in 1970.
John and wife Julia moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1970 where they were blessed with the birth of their first son Paul. While in Atlanta, John began a rich and varied professional life as a homebuilder, life insurance salesman, and computer software developer before moving back to California upon the death of his father in 1973. He returned to Pacific Bell to spearhead the development of a statewide, online telephone service order system. At that time, the family expanded, adding sons Michael in 1974 and Steven in 1977.
In 1978, John accepted a vice-presidency with VISA, Inc. in San Mateo, California, where he managed the software of VISA's billing system and its worldwide credit card transaction interchange network. In 1979, succumbing to the thrill of Silicon Valley ventures, John left VISA to start his own computer software company in San Jose, California. Named Megasoft Computer Corp., his company specialized in software for hi-fi retail store sales tracking and general ledger accounting. During the development of Megasoft, John participated in a joint venture with Dynabyte, Inc., another young Silicon Valley company specializing in the manufacture and sales of microcomputers for personal and business use. John served as its application software director and through that venture became personally acquainted with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
In 1984, Megasoft spawned a second company, Domico, Inc. specializing in self-storage facilities management software. Megasoft was hit with marketing and financial challenges and went out of business after filing bankruptcy at the behest of its board of directors. Domico continued on and remains in business today as a leader in self-storage management software.
Unfortunately John's Silicon Valley business ventures caused irreconcilable stress in his marriage leading to the divorce of John and Julia. John maintained custody of his three sons, and upon the urging of his sister, moved his family to Florence, Alabama, to "God's green acres on earth", as she called it. Situations led to John leaving the high-tech entrepreneurial world to join academe. He taught computer science classes part-time for both the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama and Shoals Community College in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
In 1992, while still teaching part-time at the two institutions, John completed an MBA, which enabled him to secure a full-time teaching position at Northwest-Shoals Community College. John found the graduate school experience so stimulating that he decided to attend the University of Alabama to obtain a doctorate in college administration, which he completed in 2004. Before completing his doctorate, John accepted the first in a series of administrator positions at Alabama community colleges. In 2002, he wrote a proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a million dollar grant to implement a statewide associate degree program in semiconductor manufacturing technology. The NSF awarded the grant in 2003.
John went on to serve a total of five different Alabama community colleges in a variety of administrative roles, including a brief stint as acting president of Drake State Community and Technical College in Huntsville, Alabama before retiring to form a consultancy, the Reutter Group, to mentor and advise executive directors of non-profit organizations serving K-12 and college student support needs.
John had a passion for the connection between teaching and learning and technology-based careers. He called himself a "futurist" and a technology workforce developer. He loved his family dearly and believed totally that he had the most beautiful, handsome, talented and intelligent grandchildren in the world and wanted to leave them a legacy that would inspire them to do great things in life. To that end, he wrote for them a genealogical study of his parents' backgrounds and inheritance complete with records dating back to 1040 AD and DNA traces going back 60,000 years.
A public visitation will be held from 1-3 PM on Saturday, October 21, 2023, with a funeral service to follow at Legacy Chapel Funeral Home in Madison, Alabama. There will be a private family burial of his cremated remains at Huntsville Memory Gardens at a later time.
He asked that rather than providing flowers, he desired his family and friends to donate funds in his name to local community foundations or specific non-profits in need of support funds.