Glacier as a National Park was only 10-years-old when Lyle Ruterbories was born. When the first cars drove over the completed Going-to-the-Sun-Highway Ruterbories was 13.
In his 70’s he became a ranger, and his wife Marge a campground host at the remote Kintla Lake campground.
Now, at the age of 93-and-a-half he’s still the camp ranger.
“My number one is the public, number two is taking care of the resources, and number three is I have to keep things in shape around the place,” Ruterbories said ranger duties have changed over the past 20-plus years. Now, the Park hires back country rangers to do things like patrolling. Today, he said his responsibilities include answering questions, keeping up the campground, and making sure people are keeping their campsites clear of bear attractants.
“In my 22 years here, I’ve never had a bear-food encounter. Not once, knock on wood, because that may happen tonight…” another duty is chopping and stacking firewood at the Kintla Ranger Station.
Ruterbories will celebrate his 94th birthday in February.
“It seems to me that I’ve lived a pretty straight life; I’ve never drank, I’ve never smoked, and, my attitude is when I’m talking to you, I feel the same age as you are. I never feel older- no older than anybody, even my great grandchildren,” or Ruterbories great-great grandchildren. He said he has 10 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and 7 great-great-grandchildren.
By this weekend Ruterbories will have his 1984 Westfalia Van packed up pulling his 19-73 VW bug back to his home in Colorado. He walks with a bit of limp, and said he’s considering a knee replacement surgery. He said if he gets that knee fixed, you’ll see him back at the camp next summer.