Monday, January 25, 2016
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Someone once said that having somewhere to go is home, having someone to love is family, and that having both is a blessing. For Linda Rutherford, family was by far her greatest joy and blessing. For all that she was and more, Linda was the very core that held her family together. With unending love, limitless dedication, and immeasurable devotion, Linda was a loving example who taught her children to revere family as the ultimate gift. Although Linda will be dearly missed, she leaves a lasting legacy of cherished love.
By 1939, Americans were beginning to hope again as the U.S. began to slowly emerge from the Great Depression. “God Bless America” was introduced, and moviegoers enjoyed the premieres of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and “Gone With the Wind.” Yet nestled in the picturesque Michigan village of Union City, nothing could have made Clyde and Ada (Nichols) Rench happier than the May 14, 1939 birth of their little girl, Linda Lou. The second oldest of eventually five children in her family, Linda was raised alongside her brothers, Al and Butch, and sisters, Roberta and Marcia.
A child typical of her generation, Linda attended the area schools and enjoyed the friendships of many. Going to the local movie house and area dances made for enjoyable times even as news of the day included that of World War II. Linda spent her formative years growing up at a time when much was being done on the home front for the war effort which was on everyone’s hearts and minds.
Ever the hard worker, in the early 1960s Linda was working at the Riley Onion Farms when she met a handsome, fellow co-worker by the name of Grover Rutherford. They became fast friends, and eventually their friendship turned into a deep, abiding love. They were happily married on June 18, 1962, beginning their new lives together as husband and wife.
From the very beginning, family was at the center of Linda’s heart. She was the mother of six children who came to include David, Karen, Mark, Vickie, and Brenda. Sadly, she experienced the loss of her seven day old daughter, Kelly which left Linda heartbroken. Throughout her days, Linda took in the love of her children. They each brought her much joy, and although she was firm when she needed to be, Linda’s children respected and loved her just the same.
Linda made a good, loving home for Grover and their family. Raising her bustling household kept Linda quite busy, yet she always worked. In time she took a job as a nursing assistant with Metron in Allegan, and eventually she began working with the Life Care Center in Plainwell. A good fit, Linda’s nurturing nature and kind spirit was always reflected in her work. By the time Linda retired in 2007, she had attained her CNA for which she was proud.
Cooking came natural for Linda. An extremely good cook, her homemade macaroni and cheese was always a family favorite. It was so well loved and delicious it was always expected to be served at all their family gatherings and holidays. And if someone was late getting to the table, they ran the risk of not getting any! Sometimes fights were known to have resulted over her scrumptious dish!
Another area of Linda’s life in which she excelled was her handiwork in her beautiful gardens. She absolutely loved gardening and yard work, and it showed. Like a lovely masterpiece, her yard looked more like her own personal park.
Linda’s beloved pets became a part of her family, too. Her dogs Tiger, Megan and Chico were the favorites, and although Linda didn’t care much for cats, Isabel was the one and only cat ever allowed in her home. Unfortunately, Isabel did not know how lucky she was because one day she decided to just run off.
When Linda was chasing one of her grandchildren or chatting with one of her children, she was truly in her element. She loved having her family stop over for visits to share exciting happenings in their lives. No matter how busy they became with lives and families of their own, they knew they were always welcomed home. Linda encouraged her children in their endeavors. She also offered sound advice and a caring shoulder to lean on.
After retiring, Linda and Grover moved north. However, when Grover sadly passed away in 2001, Linda returned to the Otsego area where she and her daughter, Karen began living together. More than just mother and daughter, Linda and Karen became the best of friends and companions.
There was no greater blessing for Linda than having her family by her side. Her unconditional love for them was beyond compare, and her number one priority. A true matriarch, Linda instilled the importance of family values into the lives of her children and grandchildren. Each time she embraced one of her beloved family members, Linda reminded them of the faithfulness of family and that the love and closeness of family is the most important thing in the world. Linda especially loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and she enjoyed watching them grow and multiply. She was even blessed to have become a doting great-great-grandmother. Linda found so much joy in her family her heart could barely contain it.
Linda began having various health issues about three years ago. As these conditions progressed, Linda started to grow weary as they spiraled downhill. She never ceased in counting her blessings and she was so very thankful to have her close knit family there to help care for her. They were right there by her side which allowed Linda to remain in the comfort of her own home until she drew her very last breath.
It has also been said that “home is where your heart is.” For Linda Rutherford, home meant everything because home was family. Although she enjoyed friendships throughout the years, the shared company of family was Linda’s greatest passion. She exemplified everything good and loving, and for those who knew and loved her best, her loving heart lives on forevermore.
Linda L. Rutherford, age 76 of Otsego, died Friday, January 22, 2016 at her home. Visitation will be held on Monday, January 25, 2016 from 4-7 p.m. at Life Story Funeral Homes, Plainwell; 120 S. Woodhams where her funeral service will be held on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. Memorial contributions to West Michigan Cancer Center.
Linda was preceded in death by her husband, Grover in 2001; her infant daughter, Kelly; her grandson, Bryan Thomas; and by her two brothers and two sisters. She is survived by her children, David Casarez, Karen Robertson, Mark (Kelly) Thomas, Vickie (Rick) Hiemstra, Brenda (Greg) Lamb; her stepson, Ken (Becky) Rutherford, 13 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; one great-great grandchild, her brother James Rench as well as many nieces, nephews and other relatives. To share a favorite memory and photo of Linda and to sign her online guest book, please visit www.lifestorynet.com.