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Schutter, Betty Rugen, 1917-



  • Existence: 1917-

Speech therapist Betty Rugen Schutter was born in Evanston, Illinois, in 1917. Her mother died in 1920, and Betty Rugen was sent to live on her aunt's farm until her father's remarriage reunited the family. Rugen and her father, stepmother, and older sister lived in Glenview, Illinois, where her father was a partner in the family's general store. Rugen attended Glenview District 34 School and New Trier High School. Inspired by speech teacher Maybelle Payton, she decided to pursue a career in speech pathology.

In 1937, Rugen moved to Iowa to attend the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa), where she lived in Currier Hall and studied speech pathology. In 1939, she transferred to Washington University for one semester, but returned to Iowa and completed her bachelor's degree in 1941. During her collegiate career, she wrote many letters to her parents detailing her experiences at the State University of Iowa, including her interactions with African-American students.

Following college, Rugen was hired to teach fifth grade and speech at the South Dakota School for the Deaf, where she remained for one year. In 1942, she married John Maurice Schutter, M.D., and moved to Algona, Iowa, where in addition to rearing five children, she maintained a private speech therapy practice in her home. Schutter participated in many organizations, including the League of Women Voters, and worked for the failed 1980 campaign to pass a state Equal Rights Amendment in Iowa. After her husband's death in 1984, Schutter continued to volunteer with the Crisis Center Food Bank the Free Lunch Program, and other organizations in her new residence, Coralville, Iowa.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Betty Rugen Schutter papers

Identifier: IWA0477
Abstract Scrapbook and correspondence to her parents during her student years at the State University of Iowa.