Kersti Rutledge will touch the lives of Des Moines Diocesan priests and seminarians for years to come, even though she isn’t here to see that difference!

Kersti was born in Des Moines on October 30, 1942 to her parents, George and Marian Rutledge. At a young age, Kersti was sent to a Catholic boarding school. She grew up to become a graduate and postulant of Mount Mercy College in Yankton, South Dakota. Following her education, she worked as a registered nurse in St. Louis. During her time there, she became familiar with the Passionist Nuns in Ellisville, Missouri and served as a Lay Passionist.

“From the age of 6 or 7, she fell in love with the Lord. She fell in love with the Catholic Church, and that is what drove her,” said Julie Brenner, Rutledge’s friend and estate trustee. “She was a very devout Catholic. She was very loving and very caring.”

Years later, Kersti moved back to Des Moines and became a parishioner at Christ the King Parish. She was very active in her faith. Over the span of her life, Kersti grew a heart for loving Christ. Along with her love for Christ, came her desire to give back to what gave her great joy during life.

“Kersti was a very generous person. She would give all her money away, and have very little. That’s just the way she was.” said Julie.

Prior to the end of her life in March of 2019, Kersti made the decision to gift parts of her estate to various entities within the Diocese of Des Moines. She desired for others to know Christ the way she did. Kersti wanted everyone to share in the gifts that she had been given during her lifetime.

Along with other entities within our Diocese, the Diocese of Des Moines Priests’ Pension and Seminarian Funds, both held at the Catholic Foundation of Southwest Iowa, were recipients of a portion of her estate. “Now, her love for Christ and others will continue to make an impact even after her life,” says Brooke Pulliam, Director of Planned Giving for the Catholic Foundation of Southwest Iowa. “What a beautiful tribute to how she lived her life.”

Kersti was inspired to make a planned gift to encourage others to live out their faith as she did. If you’d like to learn more about the Catholic Foundation of Southwest Iowa, or visit with someone in regard to a planned gift, give us a call or visit our website. Our goal is to collaborate and encourage others to pursue giving options that will continue to make an impact long after their lifetime. It is one of the most inspiring ways to give of your treasure!