Dawson Rutter Scholarship Fund Established

Jim Luff
Posted on September 25, 2019
A memorial scholarship fund has been set up for Dawson Atlee "D.A." Rutter III (R), who passed away on Nov. 6, 2017. (photo: Facebook)

A memorial scholarship fund has been set up for Dawson Atlee "D.A." Rutter III (R), who passed away on Nov. 6, 2017. (photo: Facebook)

There is likely no emotional pain like that of a parent losing a child. Life isn’t supposed to work that way. It is a natural part of life for people to plan a funeral for their parents. It is a very unnatural and tough job when a parent has to make arrangements for their child. I know first-hand what this is like as my own son passed away in 2006 at the age of 24.

Industry operator icon, leader, and mentor Dawson Rutter, founder and owner of Commonwealth Worldwide in Boston, also experienced the loss of his 23-year-old son, Dawson A. Rutter, III, affectionately known as D.A. on Nov. 6, 2017.

Providing Inspiration

As parents, we are left with a tremendous amount of grief when a child passes before us. It is a grief we struggle to channel. My own grief led me to serve in organizations that serve at-risk children. Rutter has channeled his grief toward helping young men with achieving their educational goals and easing a financial burden for their parents.

Even after departing earth, D.A. continues to inspire others. “We are supporting one of our brother operators who lost his only son in 2017. We are raising money for the Dawson A. Rutter, lll Scholarship Fund,” says Don Mahnke, president of ABC Worldwide Transportation and an NLA board director who was inspired to help. Mahnke and Rutter belong to Limo Entrepreneurs Group, an industry focus group. The group has created a collective goal of raising $50,000 to $100,000 for the scholarship fund.

Remembering D.A.

As a young boy, D.A attended The Fenn School in Concord, Mass. and had many friends among the students and faculty. This was a place D.A. was most happy in life among his friends from fourth grade to ninth grade where he was very well known.

“D.A. loved his classmates, his teachers, and really everyone at Fenn”, says Tami Saccoccio, Rutter’s life partner. Saccoccio served as a close confidante of D.A. and elaborated that since she is not D.A.’s biological parent, D.A. felt a closeness and comfort level in discussing life issues with her.

D.A. 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 preparing to join the family business, Commonwealth Worldwide Executive Transportation. He was a member of the Economics Club, American Marketing Association, and founded the Stock Market Club at Loyola University. He had a very promising life ahead of him.

Rutter remembers his son as a very artistic young man who received The Fenn School Gold Medal for his artistic accomplishments and a first-place award for artistic excellence from The Boston Globe. D.A. was also an accomplished woodworker, painter, sculptor, skier, golfer, and an avid reader. He enjoyed playing soccer and played on the Fenn team. Because Fenn provided so much joy for D.A., Rutter and Saccoccio decided immediately after his passing the ideal way to memorialize his life would be with a perpetual scholarship fund for students attending Fenn.

Industry Family

Our industry has always been one that takes care of our own and operators have been known to dig deep into their pockets to provide support, relief, and assistance for brothers and sisters in the industry. Rutter and Saccoccio are arguably one of the most prominent couples in the industry and have expressed their gratefulness for many acts of kindness in their time of sorrow and grief.

“If it wasn’t for them (industry members), I don’t think we would have made it through,” Saccoccio said. Rutter added, “We are grateful for people like Don Mahnke who are helping spread the word about the scholarship fund and we encourage you to listen to others and try to help someone as much as you can. Do everything you can for someone who is depressed.”

Funding the Scholarship

The scholarship fund is a perpetual fund and that means it must be fed on a regular basis. One of the easiest ways for industry members to contribute to the fund is to set-up an ongoing donation using The Fenn School website ( Visit the support section and select the Annual Giving option where you can specify that your donations are in memory of Dawson A. Rutter, III.

You can also send checks made payable to Fenn School, 516 Monument Street, Concord, MA, 01742 and include a note your check is in memory of Dawson A. Rutter, III. For further information, please contact Veronica Jorge-Curtis at [email protected]. Fenn offers options for monthly donations that can be automatically deducted from your checking account or a one-time credit card payment. Because Fenn is a 501c-3 organization, your contributions are tax-deductible.

Related Topics: Boston operators, charity, Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, Dawson Rutter, Don Mahnke, Massachusetts operators, memorial, Tami Saccoccio

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Comments ( 2 )
  • Neil E. Collins

     | about 10 months ago

    I am told that we are on Gods time, and to have eternal peace is to be with God. So i wish him and his family peace & eternal life. Amen

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