Cover photo for Richard "Dick" Louis Rutherford, Sr.'s Obituary
Richard "Dick" Louis Rutherford, Sr. Profile Photo
1940 Richard "Dick" 2017

Richard "Dick" Louis Rutherford, Sr.

October 8, 1940 — September 22, 2017

RICHARD “Dick” LOUIS RUTHERFORD, Sr. October 8, 1940 – September 22, 2017    Richard “Dick” Louis Rutherford, Sr. age 76, a lifelong Park Rapids resident, entered the peaceful splendor of eternity on Friday, September 22, 2017 surrounded by his loved ones at the Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND.    Dick was born on October 8, 1940 in Bemidji, MN to Claude and Bertha (Fuhr) Rutherford. As a small boy he moved with his parents to Park Rapids, MN where he attended public school and grew through his boyhood years. As a young man, Dick ventured to Minneapolis where he attended the Chicago School of Welding. In 1959, he entered the United States Air Force where he proudly served as a civil engineer operating heavy equipment at the Turner Air Force Base in Georgia. Dick met the Base Commander, General Russell who asked him to serve as his special assistant, where he was transferred to Kinley AFB in Bermuda. After some time, Dick transferred back to Turner AFB and then after a short time was transferred to Sondrestrom Air Base in Greenland where he assisted in flying supplies. Dick rounded out his military career serving at the AFB in Mountain Home Idaho, where he met and fell in love with the prettiest gal in all of Boise, Idaho, Nancy Lillian Needles. The young couple was married on April 14, 1962 at the Cathedral of the Rockies United Methodist Church in Boise. In May of 1962, Dick returned to Minnesota with his new bride and settled in Minneapolis for several years where work was plentiful. In 1965, they returned to Park Rapids where they would settle to raise their family and devote their lives and energy into the community. Their marriage was blessed with five children: Deb, Becky, Rick, Ted and Courtney. Like his father before him, Dick was an ambitious businessman who enjoyed the challenges and rewards of owning his own companies. Throughout his lifetime, Dick was a co-owner of the Rapid Stone Company, P & R Parts Unlimited and Toys for Boys. In addition, he was very involved in his community where he proudly served as a current member of the Park Rapids City Council. Since 2009, he has been a member of the Park Rapids Downtown Business Association, he was a lifetime member of the Otto Hendrickson American Legion Post #212, a lifetime member of the Minnesota Street Rod Association where he served on the board of directors for 18 years, an active long time member of the Toppers Car Club of Fargo/Moorhead, and the Northern Knights Car Club of Park Rapids; and he was a former longtime member of the Park Rapids Jaycees. Dick was also a long time member of the Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids where he loved to worship. Dick loved children and had especially enjoyed playing Santa for over 40 years bringing the Joy of Christmas to many local families and the community. Above all, Dick devoted his life to his precious wife, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who he loved with all his heart.    Dick will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Nancy who has fulfilled his life for these past 55½ years; his five children: Debra (Todd) Zick of Rapid City, South Dakota, Rebecca (Kelvin) Maninga of Menahga, MN, Richard Jr. (Charlene) Rutherford of Park Rapids, Theodore (Isabel) Rutherford of Frazee, MN and Courtney (Rachel) Rutherford of Barnesville, MN; his twelve dearly loved grandchildren and five great grandchildren; his sister, Judy White of St. Cloud, MN; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.    Dick was preceded in death by his parents and one grandson, Timothy Zick.    Funeral services are set for 11 AM Saturday, September 30, 2017 at the Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids with the Rev. Chip Nielsen officiating. Linda Szuzitsky will be the organist. The Star of The North Marine Corps League under the command of Mr. David Free will provide full military honors. The casket bearers will be the Toppers Car Club. Visitation will be held from 5 PM to 8 PM Friday, September 29 at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids and will continue at the church beginning one hour prior to the service on Saturday. A luncheon will be hosted by the church for all following the service. Interment will be made at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred.
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