Memorial services for James King Rutherford are 1 p.m. Saturday at the First Christian Church, 220 Cherokee Avenue, Langley. Services are entrusted Stephens Memorial Chapel, Pryor.
The family requests that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Oklahoma/Arkansas Chapter or to the charity of your choice.
Rutherford, 82, died Nov. 14, in Oklahoma City after suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease for over ten years.
Rutherford was born June 6, 1930 in Gaffney, S.C. to James Amis and Mildred Idsardi Rutherford. When he was two years old, they moved to Tulsa. He was a member of the Cincinnati Avenue Christian Church in Tulsa where his father was a pastor. He graduated from Central High School in Tulsa, in 1948 and received a wrestling scholarship to the University of Wyoming. However, he chose to attend, and graduated from, Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Mo.
Rutherford married Norma Jean Burden in 1949. They had three children, James Richard, Julia Carol, and Joel Steven.
Rutherford was an evangelist, held revivals and pastored churches. He helped start and build Riverlawn Christian Church in Wichita, Kan. where he served as pastor for thirteen years. He left Wichita and returned to Tulsa in 1969 and did secular work for years. He was a salesman for Share Corporation of Milwaukee, Wis.
In 1973, Rutherford married his wife of thirty-nine years, Eva Jo Rucker Hale. They lived in Tulsa until they moved to the Grand Lake area in 1980. Rutherford became Pastor of the First Christian Church in Langley, in 1984. He remained there until advancing Alzheimer’s Disease forced his retirement in 2008. In 2011, he moved with his wife Eva Jo to Edmond.
Rutherford enjoyed the church and was a tithing advocate. He enjoyed playing golf, bowling, fly, fishing, sailing, playing cards, singing, listening to music, holding revivals, baptizing people, telling jokes, playing jokes, and enjoyed eating good food. Rutherford enjoyed jogging and ran five miles a day until 2002 when a virus attacked his heart. When he was sixty, he won a triathalon event at Grand Lake. He learned to fly when he was in his forties and bought a plane. He flew until Eva Jo made him sell the plane. He and Eva Jo farmed near Langley and owned cattle. The last few years of his life, he and Eva Jo spent time in Oklahoma City where he enjoyed barbeque and other foods prepared by his son-in-law Kent McGuire.
Rutherford served on the board of the Rural Water District Number 6 of Mayes County, was a member of the Friends of the Library in Langley, helped start and support the Grand Lake Community Ministry of Langley. He also went to the Ketchum schools and helped children with their reading.
He was part of a preaching family – his father, two brothers, two sons and five nephews were, or are, preachers.
Rutherford was preceded in death by his parents James and Mildred, infant sister Carol, wife Norma Jean Burden, sister Ann Campbell, nephew Neil Campbell, and his grandson James Daniel Rutherford. He is survived by his wife, Eva Jo; brother Dean Rutherford and wife Pattie of Fresno, Calif., brother Shan Rutherford and wife Karen of Greenwood, Ind., son James R. Rutherford and his wife Sheila of Catoosa; daughter Julia Carol McReynolds of Loveland, Colo.; son Joel S. Rutherford and wife Margaret of Langley; son Jon F. Hale and wife Lynn Kamenitsa of Oak Park, Ill., and daughter Linda Hale McGuire and husband Kent of Oklahoma City; grandchildren Katie Rutherford, Houston Conner, Savannah Snyder, Joshua McReynolds, Amy Green, Jennifer Tompkins, Sarah McReynolds, Megan Spine, Lindsey Sisson, Emily Carroll, Grace Ann Rutherford, Vade Kamenitsa-Hale, Nellie Kamenitsa-Hale, William Dane, III, Wyatt McGuire, eleven great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Special thanks to Quail Creek Nursing Center and to Physicians’ Choice Hospice for providing Jim with months of care when Eva Jo could no longer care for him without assistance.