Graveside services for Jimmy Arnold Rutherford, 85, of Tulsa, OK, were held Saturday, February 6, 2021 at Floral Haven Cemetery in Broken Arrow, OK. David Jackson and Greg Ables officiated. Casket bearers were Steve Matney, Blaine Barger, Dan DeBell, Mike Rutherford, Joe Rutherford, and Don Rutherford.
Jimmy was born November 29, 1935 in Terrell, TX to Walter William and Emma Jewel (Hill) Rutherford. He went home to be with his Lord surrounded by friends and family on February 1, 2021 in Tulsa, OK.
Jimmy or “Jim” as he was known by his family and peers, was born into a large family which included his sister and six brothers, and the family resided in Terrell most of Jim’s early years.
Following graduation from Terrell High School in 1956, Jim began his first job in the Oil Industry as a Roughneck on an oil rig in Odessa, TX. That job was the launch of his career orientation in the energy industry. Jim’s work and professional life were very important to him as he always felt a deep conviction that a man was to work hard for his family in order to give them protection, security, and provision. His life was a testimony of this deep conviction.
Transferring from Odessa, TX Jim went to work on a well site in Kemmerer, Wyoming. After completion of work on this well site, he returned home to prepare for school at Bethany Nazarene College in Oklahoma City, OK. After completing one year of school at Bethany Jim returned to the oil business in order to save more money for college.
While working on an offshore rig in Cameron, La. Jim rented a room in a boarding house in Lake Charles, La. As a Christian believer he began looking for a church to attend in the Lake Charles area and he settled on the First Church of the Nazarene. He chose this church as (in his own words) “it was where the most girls attended”. First Church in Lake Charles is also where Linda “Sue” McGee attended, and after seeing her in the choir, Jim was smitten and vowed she was the girl he would marry. After several months of courtship with Sue, Jim was drafted into the Army during the “Bay of Pigs” invasion in Cuba. But, only nine months later he and Sue were happily married and were stationed in Fort Huachuca, AZ for two years. While stationed in Fort Huachuca, Sue gave birth to the couple’s first child, their daughter Pamela.
Following his discharge from the Army in 1961, Jim and Sue moved back to Louisiana. Eighteen months following they moved to College Station, TX where Jim attended Texas A&M University and completed his college education. He earned a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1965. It was also while at College Station that the couple’s second child, son Michael, was born.
After college Jim held positions with several major companies as an engineer beginning with Sun Oil Co., in Tulsa. It was during this period in Tulsa that the couple’s third child, daughter Melinda, was born.
Jim worked for various pipeline companies and engineering firms across his career such as Mid-Continent Pipeline, Explorer Pipeline, Williams Brothers Engineering, El Paso Pipeline, Co., and Oasis Oil Co. as well as conducting consultant work for many other companies. His work required a commitment to travel causing he and his family to commit to several moves as he worked in many states including Louisiana, Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, California, and Arizona. Jim also spent time working internationally as well. He worked in Ecuador and also spent a significant amount of time (thirteen years) working overseas in Libya.
As committed Christians, Jim and Sue were very faithful in supporting the ministry of the church wherever they lived. They were involved in building and supporting at least three different church plants from Arizona to Oklahoma and always heavily supported God’s work in a variety of capacities.
Jim is survived by his wife, Linda “Sue” of the home; daughters, Pamela Lyon and husband, Jeff of Bristow, OK, and Melinda Jackson and husband, David of Sand Springs, OK; son, Michael and wife, Rita of Duson, LA.; 8 grandchildren; 4 great grandchildren; brothers, Don Rutherford and wife, Maud of Mesquite, TX, Bob Rutherford and wife, Shirley of Forney, TX, Joe Rutherford and wife, Tommy of Coolidge, TX, and Paul Rutherford of Houston, TX; numerous nieces, nephews and many other relatives and friends.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, Walter W. Rutherford; mother, Emma Jewel Hill Rutherford of Terrel, TX, and Ferry Rutherford of Terrel. Jim’s older brother Carl was killed in action in France in WWII; sister, Jewel Luther of Olathe, KS and grandson Michael Kent Rutherford of Tulsa, OK.
Flowers may be sent to the family home at 8404 South Indianapolis Ave. Tulsa, OK 74137.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Devotion Church of Sand Springs, OK online at www.devotionchurchok.com or by mail to 5602 S.136th West Ave. Sand Springs, OK 74063.
Arrangements and services were entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home, Sperry.
Online condolences to the family can be made at johnsonsperry.com.
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5602 S. 136th W Ave, Sand Springs OK 74063