Albert G. (“Ab”) Rutherford, II, a lifelong resident of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, died on January 31, 2022 at Ellen Memorial Health Care Center.
The son of the late James and Dorothy S. Rutherford, Ab was born in Honesdale in 1941. He graduated from Honesdale High School, and attended the Virginia Military Institute before graduating from the University of Scranton (B.S.) and the Dickinson School of Law (J.D.).
He is survived by his true life partner and wife of 63 years, the former Sally Nuttycombe. The two met in elementary school and were married in 1958. They are the parents of five children, Sarah Hiller and her husband Vern of Honesdale; Wallace (“Wally”) and wife Rose of Richland, Washington; James (“Jamie”) and wife Dawn of Honesdale; Sherry and husband Bill Krokowski of McLean, Virginia; and Albert (“Bert”) and wife Allie of Falls Church, Virginia; fourteen grandchildren, Jason and Matthew Williams; Jeremy and Megan Rutherford and Alexis Begalka; Lauren Palmer and Audrey and Wyatt Rutherford; Katherine and Will Krokowski; and Sarah, Margaret, Emily, and Grace Rutherford; eight great-grandchildren, Piper and Callum Williams; Maya Williams; Malachi Rutherford; Kazimir Hoffart; Lila Begalka; and Louis and Boyd Palmer. He is also survived by his brother, Bailie Rutherford of Honesdale, along with many cousins, nieces, nephews, and extended family. He was preceded in death by his brother, James B. Rutherford, and his grandson, Brian Hunt Rutherford.
A fourth-generation attorney, Ab practiced for over fifty years in the family firm which at various times over the past century has included his grandfather, U.S. Congressman Albert G. Rutherford; his uncle, District Attorney Ira Rutherford; his father, Judge James Rutherford; his daughter, Sherry Rutherford; and his wife, Sally Rutherford. He was an accomplished and widely-respected lawyer among his clients and peers, and his expertise in the areas of real estate and estate law was particularly well regarded. In addition to his professional pursuits, he was committed to community affairs, serving as chair of the initial Honesdale Zoning Hearing Board for three terms in the 1970s and also as the mayor of Honesdale from 1990 to 1998. An avid reader and writer, he published numerous essays and articles as well as three books exploring local history, the most recent of which, “A Wayne County Kaleidoscope”, was published in 2021 by the Wayne County Historical Society. For many years he provided historical lectures on the Stourbridge Line excursion trains, an experience he enjoyed immensely as it combined his loves of history, trains, and storytelling.
He shared a lifelong passion for sports with many members of his family, and he was particularly committed to supporting youth athletics. In 2018, he called his final play after serving 50 years “in the booth” at Honesdale High School football games. For many years he also announced Honesdale boys’ basketball games, and was widely known during that era as “The Voice of the Hornets,” a moniker he very much enjoyed. He will be also remembered for attending countless athletic events of his children and grandchildren, home or away, good weather or bad. While he enjoyed a wide range of sports, he had a special affinity for baseball, instilled in him at an early age by his grandfather Frank “Sherry” Schuerholz, who himself played with many legends of the late 1800s and early 1900s, including teammate Christy Matthewson. Ab’s love of the game was recognized by the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, who presented him with a gold-plated lifetime pass to the Hall in 2015.
Ab actively served on the AAA North Penn Board of Directors and was an Associate Director of the Wayne County Fair Board, and was a former board member of the Wayne Highland School District, Wayne Memorial Hospital, Wayne County Historical Society, Dorflinger-Suydam Wildflower Music Festival, and served on and was inducted into the Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame. He was a past master of the Honesdale Masonic Lodge No. 218, a lifetime member of Honesdale Volunteer Fire Company #3, and was actively involved in community theater for many years with Center Stage. And he was, with great devotion, a faithful Christian. Over the past sixty years he served as trustee and elder, as well as Sunday school teacher, choir member, soloist and organist at both the Honesdale Presbyterian Church and Bethany Presbyterian Church.
The Rutherford family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the numerous friends and colleagues that have reached out with their prayers and kindness over the past several weeks, and in particular wish to acknowledge the dedicated and compassionate care Ab received from Dr. William Dewar and the staff at Ellen Memorial Health Care Center.
A memorial service will be held at a future date.
Arrangements are entrusted to Edward R. Howell, Funeral Director, Jenkins-Howell Funeral Home, Inc. 269 Belmont Street, Waymart, PA 18472. www.JenkinsHowellFuneralHome.com