Roy M. Rutherford

Roy Rutherford
Roy Rutherford

Roy M. Rutherford, 94, passed away on Sunday, August 16, 2020, after a period of illness.  Memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM, Monday, August 24 at the United Methodist Church in Claude, 400 Trice St., Claude, TX 79019.

Roy was born on May 9, 1926, in Amarillo, the second son of Albert F. Rutherford and Annie Gorin Rutherford.  He grew up in Claude and attended school there before moving on to Kemper Military school in Boonville, Missouri.

In 1944, when Roy was 18 he enlisted in the Marine Corps, rose to the rank of Sergeant, and served on the U.S.S. Chester, a heavy cruiser, seeing action in the Pacific.  He was a part of the battle for Okinawa and participated in the occupation of Japan.

After the war, Roy married Fran Harold whom he had met in Boonville while at Kemper.  He studied at Texas Christian University.  He and Fran adopted a young baby boy, Tom,  while they were in Ft. Worth.  The young family followed Roy to Hartford, Connecticut while he finished his Doctorate. They settled in Columbia, Missouri where Roy entered the ministry teaching as an Associate Professor at the Missouri School of Religion, of the University of Missouri.

He held a B.A and Bachelor of Divinity from Brite College of the Bible at TCU, an M.A. and Doctorate of Education from the Hartford Seminary Foundation in Connecticut.

In 1969 Roy left the ministry and took a position with the State of Kansas in Topeka. In the early 80’s Fran and Roy went their separate ways.  After he retired from the State, Roy moved back to his roots in Claude.  There he renewed an acquaintance with his former teacher in Claude, Marianne Wooldridge.   Roy and Marianne married in 1989.  Both he and Marianne were benefactors of the Armstrong County Museum, the historic Gem Theatre, and the Goodnight House.  Roy served on the board of the museum from 1990 until 2018.

He was proud of his Texas heritage.  He was proud of Claude.  He was well thought of in the community.  A Husband.  A Father.  A Grandfather.  A friend.  Roy will be missed by many.

Roy is survived by his wife Marianne, his son Tom and his family as well as step-daughter Peggy and her family.  Tom and his wife Diana live in Aurora, Colorado, and have two daughters, Heather and Andrea.  Heather and her husband Josh Hallman live in Centennial, Colorado, with their two daughters, Ella and Nolie.  Andrea lives in Los Angeles.   Peggy Wooldridge Berg and husband Dr. Howard Berg live in Amarillo.  Granddaughter Christi Berg Floeck lives in Houston with her children Lizzie and Clay Floeck.  Grandson Trent Berg is in Austin.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Armstrong County Museum in Roy’s name.

21 Replies to “Roy M. Rutherford”

  1. Roy had a “larger than life” way about him. He cared deeply for his family, friends and community. He dedicated himself to purposes and projects that made a worthy difference for others. He was a dedicated Christian and a true patriot. He was the longest serving active member of the Board of Armstrong County Museum, with 28 years of volunteer service (1990-2018). His helping hand of service, along with that of Marianne, can be seen throughout the Museum, the Gem Theater, the Board Room, the Goodnight House, and much more. Roy will be missed yet always appreciated, remembered, and loved.

  2. My name is DJ Stubben . I tried to leave a comment but the website left a message it was having issues. Roy contacted me about 10 years ago or longer, wanting me to come visit the Gem Theater and see how to market all the properties he oversaw in Claude through Welcome Pardner. I toured and he joined for the Armstrong Museum, etc. He subscribed to our free weekday Eblast and surprised me 2 years ago last week with a phone call, thanking me for always remembering his and Marianne’s birthdays online, and continuing the membership for the Museum, promoting it. I assure you, it was our honor. I appreciated Roy, his professionalism, heart and talents. What a treasure you shared with all of us in Roy! Thank you and God bless you all! DJ Stubben

  3. Tommy,
    Esther and I send our heartfelt condolences to you and your family. As I was reading this to Esther, she shared many good memories of your Dad. I can remember being at your house for holidays when I was a child and your dad was always smiling and laughing. Many prayers, Robin Criswell and Esther Harold

  4. MS. Marianne, I was never able to meet Mr. Roy, but knowing you he was a wonderful person. My prayers are with you & your family. Sincerely, Michele “Williams” Willingham (Claude Class of 1984)

  5. So sorry to hear the news of Roy’ death. Roy and Marianne welcomed me as a new resident and close neighbor. They made me comfortable. We spent a lot of time working in the museum and the Goodnight project. A BIG gape for all of their time and energy show the importance of the historical value of this small community. God bless you, Marianne and your family. He will wrap His arms around you for comfort and Peace. I love you.

  6. So sorry to learn about Roy’s death. he will certainly be missed. GOD bless you, Marianne and family. He will wrap His arms around you for comfort and peace in the coming days. I love you.

  7. I am so sorry to hear of Roy’s death. He will be missed. He and Marianne were “CLAUDE”. we spent a lot of time with the gift shop, working with the theater. GOD bless you, Marianne and the family. He will wrap His arms around you, to comfort you and give you peace in the coming days. I love you and miss you.

  8. Marianne and Roy were best friends with my grandparents Henry and Koma Beryl Fields. I loved going over to their house when I was a kid. Roy was an amazing man!!!! He was a great asset to Claude and the museum!! He will be missed!!!

  9. Roy will be missed dearly in this community, he worked so hard on all of his endeavors and made many improvements to our town. With love to Marianne, I was their housekeeper for several years and she is the most gracious woman and was a joy to be around. My heart goes out to the families 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

  10. So sorry to hear this news of Roy. He was a great man and will be missed by many. He did so much for the community of Claude and was proud to call Claude his home. I was always so impressed how he kept up with me and my family on FB at his age. Our deepest sympathy Renee Rutherford Weitz and family

  11. Tommy I have so many great memories of Uncle Roy as a child. Your folk’s always made me feel so special. They had a way of making me feel like I was their favorite. I guess that’s what makes good aunts and uncles huh! I have always tried to be that kind of Aunt. Even though I haven’t seen Uncle Roy for years I have thought of him often. As you know our family is not as close as I would wish. I would love to see you and yours. Maybe after our world settles down. Love to always! Patty and Mike

  12. My heart breaks and I lift up many prayers for the family. I have very fond memories of Roy and Aunt Marianne visiting them every summer on our way through Claude with my granny Elizabeth (Marianne’s sister) and also coming to Farmersville for family events. Love everyone and so sorry I can’t make the journey there to pay respects in person.

  13. Roy and Marianne walked over to introduce themselves to me in 2006 the very day I moved to a little house across the street from their big beautiful home. They’ve been wonderful neighbors. He was a kind, gentle man that has been a joy to know.

  14. I had the great pleasure of getting to know Roy while working at the Hudson House.He was a Sweet Man with a kind heart.Alway a smile on his face.He will be missed.Prayers for his Family.

  15. Roy will be missed by many in Claude and the Panhandle. He gave so much to his home in Claude. Time at the United Methodist Church, Armstrong County Museum and Board of Directors, bringing many opportunities for musical art to the Claude Theater through grants from the Texas Historical Commission and working behind the scenes on many projects including the Charles Goodnight Historical Center. He was always available for a kind prayerful pick me up with anyone he came in contact with around town. I have especially enjoyed seeing and visiting with him at the Hudson House with his beloved Marianne. He will truly be missed in Claude. Blessings to all who knew Roy. You will be missed Sir.

  16. Roy was a good man with a lot of character traits to be emulated. He was a solid community member and church member. He loved the preaching of God’s Word and was supportive of the Kingdom. I always enjoyed seeing and visiting with him and Marianne

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