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Robert Martin Rutherford

May 13, 1931 January 24, 2019
Robert Martin Rutherford
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Obituary for Robert Martin Rutherford

Bob Rutherford, 87, of Grinnell died on January 24, 2019, at Grinnell Regional Medical Center.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Saturday, February 2nd, at the Smith Funeral Home in Grinnell with Pastor Brian Kleinschrodt, Kellogg Christian Church, officiating. Honorary bearers will be Michael, Jonathan, Karin and Brian Edelen, Sara Rutherford-Quach, Amanda and Todd Rutherford, Holli Robbins and Nicholas Rutherford.

Visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, February 1st, at the Smith Funeral Home with the Rutherford family present from 5:00 to 7:00 Friday evening.

Burial will be in the Pleasant Township Cemetery in Ewart at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be designated to Poweshiek County Rural Fire Department or Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines.

Bob was born on May 13, 1931, on the family farm near Ewart, the son of Ralph and Isabel Bowman Rutherford. He was raised in the Ewart area as a child and attended rural school near his home. He was a 1949 graduate of Grinnell High School.

On June 4, 1949, he was united in marriage with Velda Lou Larsen, at her parent’s home in Grinnell. A union of 56 years! The couple had four children, Rebecca, Stephen, David and Mark.

Bob loved his life on the farm and spent his entire life there and farmed until he could no longer do the work and then ran errands for Steve and Mark. He could be found in his shop tinkering with one of his projects. He was a welder and many times someone would bring something to be welded or fabricated. He served on the 4-H Poweshiek County Fair Board and was a long-time member of the Grinnell Elks Lodge. Bob was active in getting the Rural Fire Department and Poweshiek Rural Water established. He served as Honorary Fire Chief and on the Poweshiek Rural Water Board of Directors. He enjoyed going to coffee at HyVee and loved eating at Montgomery’s Sandwich Shop, where they spoiled him rotten. For several years, Bob traveled to Alaska for fishing and the family enjoyed eating his catch.

Bob and Velda loved going dancing and went as often as they could; when the kids and grandkids were in school they enjoyed attending the events and the 4-H fair. They traveled with Carolyn and Carroll Stuart and went on many vacations. Bob was a devoted husband and cared for Velda at home when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. When she could no longer remain at home, he spent his days at St. Francis Manor where he would feed her and spend time with her each day and be there to put her to bed each night.

After the death of his wife in 2005, Bob and his friend, Alice Anderson loved going out to eat and they enjoyed traveling to Jamaica, Hawaii, California and other places. Bob loved music and could be found at Grinnell Central Park in the summer.

Bob is survived by three children, Rebecca (Joseph) Edelen of Brooklyn, Stephen (Patricia) Rutherford of Grinnell and Mark (Vickie) Rutherford of Grinnell; 9 grandchildren, Michael (Cally) Edelen, Jon Edelen, Karin Edelen, Brian (Drea Cline) Edelen, Sara (Phat) Rutherford-Quach, Amanda (Ryan Smith) Rutherford, Todd (Gabrielle) Rutherford, Holli (Brett) Robbins, Nicholas (Josie Leshen) Rutherford; 12 great-grandchildren, Cameron Farmer, Brayden, Hunter and Noah Edelen, Kaiden Forsythe, Aaron and Maya Quach, Harper and Lucille Smith, Lawson and Cal Rutherford and Nora Robbins; one sister-in-law, Joanne Dimit; one brother-in-law, Hillard Turner, Jr.; a special friend, Alice Anderson; and many nieces, nephews, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Velda; a son in infancy, David; his sister and brother-in-law, Carolyn and Carroll Stuart; his sister, Judith Turner; his brother-in-law, Gerald Dimit; two nieces, Sandra Stuart and Joni Harris; one nephew, Daniel Stuart; and a great-nephew, Adam Stuart.


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