JEFFERSON, Texas (KLTV) - The son of a Jefferson woman hopes East Texans will help him surprise his mother for her birthday by sending her birthday cards.
Karen Rutz turns 78 on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Rutz was formerly a Hallmark greeting card writer, starting in 1963.
“We had to be able to write across all lines," said Karen. “Whether for children or sweet old ladies.”
Her son thought to surprise her by asking everyone to send his mother a card to help mark her birthday.
“When I grew up, I moved to East Texas. When she got into some health issues, I had to move her down here,” Matt Rutz said. “I always felt kind of guilty for pulling her away from what she knew.”
Matt said his mother always enjoyed sharing her work with her two sons when they were kids.
“It’s the opportunity to give something back to her. I know I don’t have the means to give her the best life I can give her; [I just] want to give her a day of joy," Matt Rutz said.
Karen said, for her, greeting cards aren’t just pens and paper.
“The product is not just a pen and ink drawing on card stock and put in an envelope,” said Karen. “There is an awful lot of planning that goes in way ahead of the item and product.”
She said writing the cards provide others with the words they want to say.
“People are very personal because greeting cards express people’s stuff what they themselves are wanting to tell the recipient," said Karen. “I think cards kind of go into what people want to say and how they want to say it.”
Karen’s birthday isn’t until Jan. 15, but her son said if you’d like to send her a birthday card, you can send it at any time.
“She expresses [emotion] physically, and I guess that came out through her writing and through her actions,” Matt said.
“Even today, 50 years after the cards were originally wrote, you can still feel the passion and the importance religion was in her life."
Karen’s passion for greeting cards has never left.
“When you’re being trusted to tell people’s thoughts you have a very strong part of their idea and their expression and what they want to record in history,” said Karen.
You can send Karen a card by mailing it to Magnolia Place, 1307 Martin Luther King Dr, Jefferson, TX 75657. Her son said to make sure you put ‘Karen Rutz’ as the recipient.