Charles H. Cruttenden, a longtime Bay Area news reporter and former legislative advocate for Alameda County, died of heart failure Monday Jan 8, 2000 in Sacramento. He was 77.
In the 1950s and '60s, he worked as a reporter, writer and editor at the San Jose News, Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Examiner and KGO-TV Channel 7. In 1968, he switched careers and became Alameda County's legislative advocate, a position he held for almost two decades.
Mr. Cruttenden was born in St. Paul, Minn. He was enrolled at Hamline University in St. Paul when the United States entered World War II. He joined the Navy in 1943, served in the South Pacific and was discharged in 1946. He then worked for several newspapers: the weekly LaGrange Citizen in suburban Chicago, the Daily Times of Hammond, Ind., and the San Rafael Independent, now called the Marin Independent Journal.
Mr. Cruttenden served as a news correspondent for the Chicago Herald- American, the San Francisco Call-Bulletin and the Chicago Daily News. By the time he became a general assignment reporter for the San Jose News he was a husband, homeowner and father of three children. He moved to the Berkeley hills and took a job with the Oakland Tribune.
As a Tribune reporter, Mr. Cruttenden covered one of Alameda's most infamous murder trials. He wrote about the conviction of Burton Abbott, who was later executed for the murder of a Berkeley schoolgirl behind the Claremont Hotel.
His last newspaper job was at the former Examiner, where he was dispatched to cover the showdown between the University of Mississippi and federal troops over James Meredith's admission in 1962. He was later promoted to city desk editor. Mr. Cruttenden switched to television after the 1965 joint operating agreement between the Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle. Three years later, he became a Sacramento lobbyist for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. He became an expert on county issues. Mr. Cruttenden is survived by three children, Peter of Pleasanton and Jeffrey of Oakland, . His wife of 52 years, the former Audrey Wolfe, a St. Paul school classmate, died in 1999.
He was a Master Mason of the 33rd Degree, a horseman, marksman and outdoors man, his family said. He was a longtime resident of Berkeley, Pleasant Hill and, most recently, Twain Harte. His family said he built his cabin by hand and that was a labor of love. He was a loving uncle, his family added. Mr. Feduloff is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Alexandra Saunders-Kubic and Bob Kubic, both of Berkeley; nieces, Claudia Evers and Alexandra Saunders, both of Danville; and nephews, Bruce and Greg Feduloff, both of Berkeley. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mimi; his mother, Nadia; an aunt, Katia; and a brother, Nicholas.