People

Celebrating The Life Of Dawson Atlee Rutter III, Beloved Son

Jim Luff
Posted on November 20, 2017
(L to R) Dawson Rutter, CEO of Commonwealth Worldwide, with his son Dawson (Dave) Rutter III
(L to R) Dawson Rutter, CEO of Commonwealth Worldwide, with his son Dawson (Dave) Rutter III

On Sunday, Nov. 12, more than 650 people gathered to support Dawson Rutter and Tami Saccoccio of Commonwealth Worldwide at a celebration of life and remembrance service for Dawson (DA) Atlee Rutter III, the beloved 23-year-old son of Rutter. More than 300 of the guests were members of the ground transportation industry who traveled thousands of miles and even from other countries to be there for their colleagues.

A funeral service took place in New Orleans on Nov. 15 at the Ignatius Chapel at Loyola University where he was attending school. DA, as he was known to friends and family, had long struggled with depression and tragically took his own life on Nov. 6.

As a young boy, DA was an accomplished artist studying at the Emerson Umbrella in Concord. He attended the Fenn School in Concord and had many friends among the students and faculty. Upon graduation, he received the Fenn School Gold Medal for his artistic accomplishments and a first place award for artistic excellence from The Boston Globe. DA was also an accomplished woodworker, painter, sculptor, skier, golfer, and an avid reader.

Dawson completed his high school education at St. Marks and Lincoln Sudbury, and went on to college at Loyola University in New Orleans where he studied economics and was in the business school in preparation for joining the family business, Commonwealth Worldwide Executive Transportation. Dawson was a member of the Economics Club, American Marketing Association, and founded the Stock Market Club at Loyola University. 

Rutter and Saccoccio returned to work on Nov. 20. In a Facebook post, Rutter shared the following message: “For me, starting the transition back to work has been a savior; a chance to feel useful and connected. But I quickly discovered even those connections had changed. Many of my coworkers had a look of fear in their eyes as I approached. I knew why — they wanted to help, but weren’t sure how. Should I mention it? Should I not? If I mention it, what the hell do I say? I realized to restore that closeness with my colleagues that has always been so important to me, I needed to let them in. That meant being more open and vulnerable than I ever wanted to be. I told those I work with most closely they could ask me their honest questions and I would answer. I also said it was okay for them to talk about how they felt. One colleague admitted she’d been driving by my house frequently, not sure if she should come in. Another said he was paralyzed when I was around, worried he might say the wrong thing. Speaking openly replaced the fear of doing and saying the wrong thing. One of my favorite cartoons of all time has an elephant in a room answering the phone, saying, 'it’s the elephant.' Once I addressed the elephant, we were able to kick him out of the room.”

Rutter and Saccoccio would like to express to the industry how grateful they are to the many who have offered sympathy, for acts as simple and kind as vacuuming, doing dishes, and making breakfast for them. Saccoccio said their small Boston condo was often filled with upwards of 70 people at a time who came, cooked, prayed, and surrounded the couple with love. “If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think we would have made it through,” Saccoccio said.

"Hug your children and please pray for us; most of all, pray for my beloved son DA who we will miss terribly forever. We love you with all our heart, son." Rutter said.

Related Topics: Boston operators, Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, Dawson Rutter, deaths, family businesses, LCTFast40, Massachusetts operators, memorial, Millennials, obituary

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
Comments ( 2 )
  • Rich Guberti

     | about 20 days ago

    May he rest in peace and may we continue the battle against depression and suicide. Starting the conversation is an important step. I will pray for the Rutter family to begin the healing process. Here if needed.

  • See all comments
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