Ruth Rutherford died Sunday, April 10th, 2011, surrounded by her loving family. She was born to Carl E. and Anna Mork Peterson on November 25th, 1917. Her parents were immigrants from Sweden, arriving through Ellis Island. Ruth graduated from Cherokee High School in 1935 and earned a business degree from the University of Minnesota in 1939, one of few women in her class.
On March 24th, 1940 she married Parker W. Rutherford, who was originally from Gann Valley, South Dakota. Ruth was primarily a home-maker until her youngest daughter was in high school. She then went to work at Wilson Foods and later she taught special needs children at Cherokee Mental Health. After the death of Parker in 1975, she went to Ames and served as 'Mom' for 60 sorority girls at Iowa State University.
Ruth was a member of the Memorial Presbyterian Church of Cherokee for more than 60 years where she served on the Board of Trustees, Memorial Committee, the Board of Deacons and many other offices. She was very active in the Cherokee community as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission and as Treasurer of the County Fund Drive, receiving recognition from the mayor for her many years of service. She was also District Director and 'Woman of the Year' for the Business and Professional Women organization and a member of Eastern Star for 50 years. Ruth enjoyed many social activities with her friends and was an avid traveler and reader, continuously keeping in touch with the world and political activities.
Ruth suffered a stroke on St. Patrick's Day in 2004 and entered Careage Hills Care Center and later moved to Waukee Senior Living Center to be near family. Ruth dearly cherished and loved the time she spent with her daughters, 11 grandchildren and her 10 great-grandchildren. Missing their daily chats are four daughters: Susan Holderness (Mike) of Des Moines, Patricia Heisler of Omaha, Kay Rutherford of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and Joani Hollingsworth (Mel) of Des Moines. Grandchildren are: Lauren Holderness, Lisa Holderness Brown, Jennifer Lewis, Josh Holderness, Terri Kokoruz, T.J. Heisler, Katie Rutherford-Bartels, Anna Rutherford-Bartels, Megan Ferchen, Libby Geistkemper, and Zach Hollingsworth. Great grandchildren are: Emma and Parker Brown, Jack and Abby Lewis, Stella and Cash Holderness, Tyler and Evie Heisler, Kade and Alec Ferchen, and Landree and Easton Geistkemper. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Ann Peterson of Storm Lake and Dorothy Barnett of Sioux Falls. Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brothers: Rueben and Carl Peterson, and a multitude of dear friends.
It was Ruth's wish to be cremated. Services, arranged by Greenwood Funeral Home, will be held at Memorial Presbyterian Church on Friday, April 15, 2011 at 11:00 A.M. Ruth requests this be a celebration of her life on Earth and her life to come. Please join her family in fellowship for a light lunch immediately following the service.
Throughout her 93 years, Ruth never lost her sense of humor and wanted to convey to those who were dear to her, 'What a ride it has been!'
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Greenwood Funeral Home in Cherokee, and will be used for a permanent park bench at beautiful Spring Lake.
Ruth's wish for you: 'May the Good Lord take a liking to ye, but not too soon!'
Memorial services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, April 15, 2011 at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Cherokee
Pastor Ethan Sayler
Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.
Oak Hill Cemetery