Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
Robert  Rutherford Memorial
Robert  Rutherford Memorial

Robert Rutherford

Robert Rutherford

Friday, March 25th, 2022

Robert Dober Rutherford, born in Seattle, September 27, 1932, to Dr. Charles Alton Rutherford and Margaret Dober Rutherford, Bob passed away peacefully on March 25, 2022 at age 89.

He grew up on Alki Beach in West Seattle where he and his brother, Richard, spent many idyllic years enjoying numerous watersports, including waterskiing on homemade plywood water skis.  He graduated from Lakeside High School, attended Stanford University, and graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science in Math.  He earned his CPA while working on his Master’s in Business.

Bob then worked for Ernst & Ernst, before moving to G. Henbart Co., parent company of the Bartell’s drugstore chain, where he was VP of Finance, managing finances and corporate real estate for over 25 years.  He and his wife of 62 years, Rheta Whitman Rutherford, raised their two children in West Seattle.  In 2016, they moved closer to their grandchildren in Sedro-Woolley.  His sense of humor and love of sports, particularly tennis, pickleball, and golf, will long be remembered by his family and friends.  As a proud grandfather, Bob enjoyed supporting his grandchildren in their music, sports, and academics.

He is survived by his wife; their daughter, Lamar Rutherford of San Diego; son, Kyle Rutherford of Sedro-Woolley, Kyle’s wife, Sarah; their children, Calvin, Charlie, Kyle Joseph and Anna.

A Service will be held at 3:00, Saturday, April 2, 2022, at Lemley Chapel in Sedro-Woolley followed by a reception at the Rutherford home.  All are welcome.  Share your memories of Bob and sign the online guest register.


  • Scott & Karen Sharp

    Bob Rutherford was a joy to be around. Scott & I played tennis and golf with Bob. He was always laughing and enjoying life. Over the years we have enjoyed his family and his lovely wife Rheta. He will be missed.

  • Marianne Goff

    I have so many wonderful memories of Bob, Rheta, and their wonderful children. I met them when I taught Kyle and Lamar at Schmitz Park Elementary. They were very active volunteers and became very good friends over the years. My husband and Bob played tennis often. We enjoyed out time together. He will be greatly missed.
    Sending my love, hugs, and prayers to Rheta and the family.
    May Bob rest in peace.

  • Ed Tobey

    I met Bob and Rheta when Kyle was in my class at Schmitz Park Elementary. I enjoyed a dinner with the family at their beautiful home. Something about pie sticks in my eye! I didn’t know Bob well, but it was easy to tell that both parents were involved, positive people who valued education and who modeled strong values. My prayers are with the family.

  • Sally Backman

    What a joyous human being! My favored mixed doubles tournament partner and treasured friend. How lucky we all are to have had Bob in our lives.

  • George D. Bartell

    Bob worked for my family, especially my Dad, for many years. Outside of the operating business, Bartell Drugs, Bob was my Dad’s “right hand man.” He handled accounting and real estate issues for Dad.

    Just the other day, I was thinking about Bob. He was a very smart man, but most of all I remember his laugh. It was loud and joyful. You just had to laugh with him.

    I also recall, finding in old files, some of the analysis Bob did for Dad, in pencil on yellow legal paper. That, of course, was from an age before computer spreadsheets.

    One time, I was managing a Bartell Drugs store and Bob, on vacation, walked in. He looked like a vagrant, with a weeks worth of beard and in tattered shorts. Bob was no stuffed shirt!

    My very best wishes to Rheta, the family, and all of Bob’s good friends. God Bless.