Edward G. Rutherford, a Toledo schoolteacher and an organist for his church and for baseball and hockey games who was an organizer and publicist for multiple groups, died Saturday in the Sacred Heart Home in Oregon, where he’d lived for six months. He was 82.
He had diabetes and was losing his eyesight, his brother Joe said. Because of his health, he had to move about five years ago from his lifelong home on Clark Street in East Toledo.
Mr. Rutherford retired from Waite High School, where he taught English and math in the occupational work experience program; helped students find jobs, and supervised their academic and workplace progress, said his brother, who is a retired Toledo Public Schools administrator.
“He loved English and math,” his brother said. “As a matter of fact, he always corrected their grammar, along with everyone else he met. My kids today have perfect grammar because of Eddie.”
He also was equipment manager and bowling coach at Waite.
“He just loved the kids,” his brother said. “He had a sense of humor, and he kidded around with the kids a lot too. He just went above and beyond. When kids had trouble, they came to Eddie, and Eddie helped them out.”
Earlier, Mr. Rutherford taught at Sacred Heart School and at Lagrange, Lincoln, and Oakdale elementary schools.
He was long active in youth sports. For the Catholic Youth Organization, he scheduled officials and venues for basketball games. He also was an assigner of basketball officials for high schools in the City League, said Ed Scrutchins, longtime league commissioner. One snowy day, when all the games were canceled, Mr. Rutherford put in 13 hours reassigning all the officials who’d been scheduled to work.
“He was very diligent. He helped a lot of people,” Mr. Scrutchins said. “He was just that type of person, always willing to help."
Mr. Rutherford coached a youth baseball team to a championship season and made sure young volunteers at CYO basketball games who took their responsibilities to heart had a chance to learn officiating.
He was a lifelong member of Good Shepherd Church and played organ there. He also played organ for the Mud Hens at Ned Skeldon Stadium and for the former Goal-diggers at the Toledo Sports Arena. For several years, he was teaching, volunteering in youth sports, playing organ, and working on his master’s degree while caring for his ailing parents in the family home.
“I don’t know how he could do it,” his brother said.
He was born Edward G. Rutherford — he’d say the G was for “Gorgeous” — to Mary and Albert Rutherford on Jan. 28, 1931, the ninth of what would be 10 children. He was a 1948 graduate of Central Catholic High School and began studies at the University of Toledo before entering the Army and serving in the Korean War. He was a first sergeant and later a warrant officer in the Reserve.
He received bachelor's and master's of education degrees from UT.
Not long after a local chapter was formed in the 1990s of the Korean War Veterans Association, he was elected to lead public relations. He was spokesman for the Waite Alumni Association and handled publicity for the Northwest Ohio District Basketball Officials’ Association Hall of Fame. He was a 2000 inductee. “Eddie was an organizer,” his brother said. “His fun was doing things for other people, organizing the basketball programs and so forth.”
Mr. Rutherford did not marry.
Surviving are his sister, Rita Krall, and brothers, Albert D., Jr., Charles, and Joseph Rutherford.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. today in the Hoeflinger-Bolander Funeral Home, Oregon. Services will at 11 a.m. Saturday in Good Shepherd Church.
The family suggests tributes to the Little Sisters of the Poor in Oregon; Central Catholic High School, or the Rutherford fund at the Toledo Community Foundation, which awards an annual scholarship to a Waite High School student.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: email@example.com or 419-724-6182.
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