Gene Raymond Rutherford, 76, of Marion, Iowa, died Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, at Grandview Heath Center in Oelwein following a nine-month bout with Alzheimer's. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Cedar Rapids. The family will greet friends one hour before the service. Inurnment will take place at Linwood Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.
Gene was born Nov. 16, 1943, in Des Moines, Iowa, to Nadine Rutherford. He was raised in the Grinnell area by his grandparents, George and Nona Rutherford. When his grandfather became ill, he moved to California with a relative and returned to Iowa a few years later. Gene started working at a young age in a variety of jobs. He retired at age 72 from AutoZone on Mount Vernon Road in southeast Cedar Rapids.
Gene married Roberta Dayton in May 1968. The couple divorced in 1979. They had three children together: Tammy Rutherford, Chris Rutherford (Stephanie Huston) and Carrie (Kevin) Witt. Gene married Bonnie Talbot. The couple later divorced. He married Thelma McGuire Ash on Sept. 18, 1999, sharing in the lives of her four children: Eric (Kimm) Ash, Jeffery Ash (Jeannie Hinricks), Jason Ash (Holly Dingman) and Monica (Stephene) Ash Moore-Boozell. Gene had 23 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Gene loved his dogs, especially Bullet from his childhood, and Molly and Peanut in the past 20 years. He liked his steam engines and spending time with his friends and family. Gene looked forward to his trips to Branson, Mo., with his favorite couple and best friends, Judy and Alan Rathji. He loved to try and make anyone laugh or at least smile. Gene tried to find the good in everything. He will be missed by many and remembered by all who knew him.
Gene was preceded in death by his grandparents, George and Nona; his mother, Nadine; a brother, in infancy; son-in-law, Victor Doonan; and several aunts and uncles.
Please share a memory of Gene at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.