Michael, you will always be in our hearts and continue to inspire us to be the best we can because that's how you were.
  • 34 years old
  • Born on March 6, 1983 in Plainfield, New Jersey, United States.
  • Passed away on September 7, 2017 in Porto, Portugal.


It is with deep sadness that the family of Michael Hazen Rutkowski, age 34, announce his sudden passing on Sept.7, 2017, after a  tragic accident while traveling with his girfriend in Porto, Portugal

Michael was born in Plainfield, NJ, raised in Somerset, NJ, and lived in Jersey City, NJ.  He attended Christ the King Elementary  School in Manville, graduated from Immaculata High School in Somerville, and graduated from the University of Delaware.  He obtained  his CPA in 2006 and worked as a Senior Controller for Persado in New York City.

Above all, Michael loved his family and his friends. He had a passion for travel, adventure and the environment, and he will be missed  greatly by all who knew him.

Michael is survived by his parents, Michael J. and Ellen F. Rutkowski of Somerset, NJ, his brother Matthew D. Rutkowski of Madison, NJ, his aunts and uncles Dave and Donna Rutkowski of Stanhope, NJ, Charles D. and Chloebelle Blachford of Highland Park, NJ, Esther and Rob Kuhns of Brooklyn, New York, Matthew Blachford of Brick, NJ,  Donna Blachford of Monroe Twp., NJ., his 9 cousins and 6 young second cousins, and his girlfriend Rachelle Martins of Jersey City, NJ.

The family invites all friends and relatives of Michael to a Memorial Mass at Mary Mother of God Church, 157 South Triangle Rd., Hillsborugh, NJ 08844 on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 10:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Michael may be made to "Doctors Without Borders" or "Americares".

This memorial website, created in memory of beloved Michael will remain online permanently. Please keep his spirit alive by submitting stories, photos and anything else that reminds you of him.

Posted by Stephanie Spalding on 7th September 2018
I write and then delete. Write. Delete. I cannot seem to find the words I want to say. I’m so sad you’re gone. I’m even more saddened for your family and closest friends who feel my grief 100-fold, because I know we hadn’t talked in a while. And that fact makes me hurt even more because the opportunity is gone. I will cherish your memeory forever and take comfort when I see you in my dreams. All love.
Posted by Rachelle Martins on 7th September 2018
My love, it's been a year since I last saw you, heard your laughter, looked into your big blue eyes, touched you, talked to you for hours on end, felt your arms around me. How can it be a year? It's too short, given it's felt like 10 years of waking up and realizing you're not there, waiting for you to walk in through my door but you never come. How can it be a year? It's too long, given it feels like last week that we were enjoying our summer and discovering the beautiful Porto. How can it be a year? It's too short, when there is an eternity to endure before I can hope to see you again. How can it be a year...? Your death is mourned You are missed You are loved You are cherished You'll always be in my heart
Posted by Carolyn DeSiena D'Andrea on 5th December 2017
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of our dear friend, Mike. I miss him very much and send my sincere condolences to his entire family. His life made a tremendous impact on me and my family; especially my brother, Matthew. I can still hear Mike's voice and miss his dry, wonderful humor. Praying for the Rutkowski family during this Christmas season.
Posted by MaryLynn Lufkin on 20th November 2017
I am so very sorry to hear of Michael's passing. May the Holy Spirit comfort your hearts as you grieve. Remember though, that we will see him again. Let's all live our lives so that we can be united with him again in heaven!
Posted by Rose DeSiena on 11th October 2017
Mike was so much a part of my family. He and my son were born 3 days apart. Matthew and Mike celebrated their birthdays together since college. Mike was at many family functions including my daughter's engagement. I still here Mike's voice saying only wonderful and kind things. I will miss our friend and our fellow Met Fan! Mike will forever be missed.
Posted by Julia Takahashi on 10th October 2017
I didn’t know Michael personally but wanted to share some encouraging words. From your comments he definitely lived a productive life surrounded by friends and family who cared about and loved him. I saw that one person left a scripture and I wanted to share another one. 1 Corinthians 15:26 shows we can look forward to a time when death the last enemy will be brought to nothing or eliminated. I’m sure you may be aware of this as you seem to have a spiritual background as well. When we think about it death really is an enemy and it’s unnatural for us to think about anyone and most especially those we love passing away. But we can take comfort in knowing that this wasn’t God’s original purpose for any of us and He will take action in the near future. Until that time deep sympathy—Julia
Posted by Panos Tim on 6th October 2017
I was talking to Michael just a couple of days before he went missed. He was about to come to Crete. He told me three times how excited he was about this journey. He couldn't wait. He also wanted to come to Athens, to the Greek office and see his former colleagues although he had changed job. Michael was a really great guy.
Posted by Ramona Armstrong on 30th September 2017
Our condolences to the Rutkowski family & to the extended family. Though we have not had the pleasure of meeting Michael, our Rachelle was truly happy knowing him. External rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.
Posted by P J on 30th September 2017
My deepest sympathy to the family. Mike was adventurous and really loved people. It's especially difficult to lose someone so young and full of life. God has promised to bring about a time when we will see our loved ones again at Revelations 21:4. At that time all mankind will enjoy perfect health on a paradise earth. May the God of all comfort embrace the family during this time of bereavement.
Posted by Lauren Raniere on 30th September 2017
Mike - You became my favorite junior at MTL. I took you on all my jobs. You were such a great guy, kind, funny, and truly good hearted. I will always think of you fondly. I pray for peace and comfort for your family. Rest in peace Mike.
Posted by Lia Copeland on 30th September 2017
Working together for 5 1/2 years, we developed the kind of friendship I will forever treasure. I had an easy transition working at MTL because you offered your time to teach me the company policies and you offered your friendship while you did not know me. You showed everyone how silly I can be and I slowly became friends to most. During tax season you went on your ways and took care most our audit work so I can concentrate on the other pressing work I had. Thank you for your kindness, your help and your friendship. Rest In Peace my good friend.
Posted by Stephanie Spalding on 30th September 2017
Thank you so much for putting together this beautiful tribute. I'm so sorry I cannot be there in person today to share my love for Mike and condolences to his loving family and to Rachelle. He was such a close friend during my college days and his loss is felt so deeply. With love and fond memories.
Posted by Barbra Masterbone on 30th September 2017
To the Rukowski family, I am sorry to hear of the death of your son Michael may he rest in peace. My condolences, Barbra Razzano Masterbone
Posted by Debra Hart on 28th September 2017
Devastated and heartbroken and sending prayers to Mike's family. You were a wonderful friend and I will always be grateful you were in Ryan's life, even though your time here was not long enough. Rest in Peace Michael.

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