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Founder of Rutt HandCrafted Cabinetry Dies at Age 93


March 23, 2017

Phares B. Rutt, the founder of Rutt HandCrafted Cabinetry passed away on Friday, March 17, 2017, at the Bay Breeze Health and Rehabilitation Center near his home in Nokomis, Florida. He was 93 years old.

Raised in Goodville, Penn., Rutt founded Rutt Custom Kitchens, now Rutt HandCrafted Cabinetry in 1951. Beginning in a small workshop near his home, he produced cabinetry designs that were at once regarded as innovative and timeless—displaying uncompromising hand craftsmanship unique to southeastern Pennsylvania’s Amish and Mennonite communities.  His dedication to crafting architecturally inspired, furniture quality cabinetry was unparalleled, causing news of his work to spread throughout the East Coast.

Rutt was a mentor to many in the custom kitchen cabinet business. In fact, the roots of many founders of other cabinetry brands can be traced back to Phares. He was instrumental in developing important and unique construction techniques still widely in use and his knowledge of wood tooling was unrivaled.

As he refined and improved custom woodworking and cabinetry capabilities, his business continued to grow.  In the late 1950s, Rutt became one of the first cabinetry companies to begin distribution through a network of dedicated kitchen design showrooms.

“Phares instilled a tireless devotion to all of our employees, past and present, to create the finest custom American tailored cabinetry, always distinguished by detail,” said Jason Artus, Rutt vice president of sales and marketing. “His spirit lives on in our associates and craftsmen. We are honored to call him our founder. He will be greatly missed.”

Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 2:00 PM at the Christian Fellowship Church, in New Holland, PA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made either to Gator Wilderness Camp School, 4493 Farabee Road, Punta Gorda, Florida 33982 (the camp is for boys who are at risk) or to Global Disciples, 315 W. James St., Suite 202, Lancaster, PA 17603.