Funeral services for Donnie Lee Rutherford, 81, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma are 10:00 am, Wednesday December 21, 2016, at Green Country Funeral Home. Officiating will be Reverend Buddy Hunt. Pallbearers are Duel Smith, Randy Gann, Ryder Gann, Kenney Diffee, Tuffy Thornton and Joe Don Thornton. Interment will follow in the Tahlequah City Cemetery under the care of Green Country Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at tahlequahfuneral.com.
Donnie Lee Rutherford was born to Calvin and Dorinda (Carter) West, on January 1, 1935, in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. He passed away on December 17, 2016, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Donnie was raised in the Gideon and Crittenden areas of Cherokee County. Donnie attended grade school at Pleasant Hill, Bagley Junior High School and graduated from Tahlequah in 1953.
During his high school years he was a boxer. Donnie entered the United States Navy in 1954 and continued his boxing during his enlisted years.
In August of 1957, Donnie married Ramona Kay Thornton and was honorably discharged from the Navy in December of 1957.
His family owned and worked a Grade A Dairy farm in the 1960's, and were the recipient's of the "Farm Family Of The Year" honor awarded by the County Extension Office. After the family sold the dairy, Donnie went to strictly beef cattle ranching where he made his career until his health prevented him from working any longer.
Donnie also was a member and served on the Board of the Cherokee County Cattleman's Association.
Donnie was preceded in death by his parents, Calvin and Dorinda West and Flora and Rubin Rutherford; a brother, Bill West; and sister, Louise Diffee.
He leaves behind his wife Ramona of the home; two daughters, Lisa Rutherford of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and Robin Gann and husband Randy also of Tahlequah, Oklahoma; a grandson, Ryder Gann; his brother, Jack West and wife Carol of Tulsa, Oklahoma; two nieces; a nephew, Kenny Diffee; his father-in-law and wife, Joe and Helen Thornton; and many other friends and loved ones.
Published on December 19, 2016