John Hilliard Rutz, age 87, a resident of Montrose, Alabama, passed away on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016.
He was proceeded in death by his loving wife, Mary Jane Rutz.
He was a U.S. Marine veteran, earning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Serving as a sergeant in the Korean War, he also received the National Defense service medal, the Korean service medal, the United Nations service medal and the good conduct service medal.
Mr Rutz was a decorated rescue diver for the Hialeah Fire Department and the owner/operator of four McDonald's restaurants in Victoria, Texas for 27 years where he was a pioneer in the business.
John was the first in Texas to advocate that a drive-thru be added to McDonald's restaurants. He also had the first Walmart McDonald's, and oil and gas joint venture. He was instrumental in implementing lettuce and tomato on McDonald's sandwiches.
He is survived by his daughters, Liz (Steve) Novotny of Gulf Shores, Katey (John) Renz of Montrose, Pam (Glenn) Stanford of Corpus Christi, Texas and Deborah (Thomas) Suniga of Austin, Texas; seven grandchildren, Tom and Anthony Suniga, Chris and Kaitlyn Stanford, John and Sarah Thornbury and Brittney Renz Slade; six great-grandchildren; along with many other relatives and friends.
Graveside services and interment will be held Friday, Dec. 23, 2016 at 12:30 p.m. at the Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Arrangements by Wolfe-Bayview Funeral Homes & Crematory Inc., 19698 Greeno Road, Fairhope, AL 36532, 251-990-7775, www.wolfefuneralhomes.com.