Cover photo for Jay Rutherford's Obituary
1933 Jay 2024

Jay Rutherford

June 2, 1933 — May 6, 2024


Jay Rutherford, 90, of Missoula passed away Monday, May 6, 2024 at the BeeHive Homes of Missoula.  A memorial service will be held on June 15, 2024 10am at the 1st Presbyterian Church, 235 S 5th St W, Missoula.  Online condolences may be left at

Jay Claude Rutherford, son of Claude and Kathryn (Pile) Rutherford, was born June 2, 1933 in Landcaster, Pennsylvania.  He graduated from Elizabethtown High School in 1951 and continued his education at Elizabethtown College.  Jay played baseball and basketball at Elizabethtown College and graduated with a bachelor's degree in business.  He was united in marriage with Margaret Stephens on September 11, 1954 and two sons were born to this union.  They remained married for 65 years until Margeret passed in November 2018.

Jay worked for Gulf Oil/ Chevron for 32 years  focusing on marketing and sales.  During this time he coached little league and his sons’ high school hockey team in Scarboro, Maine for three years winning three Portland city championships.  After taking an early retirement opportunity and age 52, he was able to pursue the things he loved full time.  Jay operated the batting cages and was a hitting instructor in the summer.  He spent his winters as a PSIA-AASI Level III ski instructor teaching a total of 28 years, three years at Snowbowl, 12 years at Big Sky, and 13 years at Deer Valley, Utah.   He retired from being a ski instructor at the age of 85.  Jay often hosted barbeques on June 21st celebrating the solstice indicating the coming of winter so he could pursue his life passion skiing and teaching people to ski. Jay also enjoyed tennis; he and Marge travelled and competed in many tournaments around Montana.  He enjoyed playing fantasy baseball for years during retirement and he took great pride in his yard and kept it looking pristine.  He cherished the time he was able to spend with his family and friends.   Above all else, he was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend who will be greatly missed.

Left to cherish his memory are his two sons, Gregory (Eileen) Rutherford; Steve (Jeanette) Rutherford; six grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; extended family and a host of friends.

Jay was preceded in death by his parents, Claude and Kathryn Rutherford; brother, Jerry Rutherford; and wife, Marge Rutherford in November 2018.

     Memorials can be sent to Snow Bowl Volunteer Ski Patrol at PO Box 7563, Missoula, MT 59807.  Jay took a fall, and they hauled in February 2022, sadly the final day for Jay on skis- age 88 just shy of 89.   Jay was in inspiration to us all, a life well lived.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jay Rutherford, please visit our flower store.


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