Claudia Matson Rutherford
1948 - 2013
Published: August 7, 2013
Claudia Matson Rutherford, born April 17, 1948, Culver City, Calif., left this world to be with her heavenly father on Aug. 2, 2013, Fayetteville, Ark.
Claudia made her family the most important aspect of her full and rich life.
Before marrying Chuck in 1967, she was the loving sister to her five other siblings. Often teased as being her parents' "favorite," it was undisputed that she was someone very special, so special her high school sweetheart, from Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, Calif., swept her off to the altar shortly after graduating high school.
Even as a teenager, Mrs. Claudia Rutherford embraced her role as wife and mother to two darling children, Brent Rutherford and Beth Rutherford Woessner. While Chuck worked tirelessly to provide for his family, Claudia worked equally hard creating a warm and happy home filled with excitement and events happening every day. They raised their family in the horse town of Norco, Calif.
Beginning with very little money, she brought her creative spirit to every occasion and family gatherings. She hosted neighborhood parties, planned camping trips with campfire songs and impromptu games at her table was always encouraged. She started the Second Sunday Adventure (SSA) where friends and family gathered, you got it, every second Sunday for a picnic and games in local parks, where she was hard to beat at horseshoes. Easter wasn't Easter unless you ran around her backyard hunting for hundreds of eggs. And nary a Halloween would come without her adorning a costume, even up to the end.
After camping on their weekend property for 10 years, Chuck and Claudia built their beautiful dream log cabin in the California Mountains in Big Bear, or better yet, their community of friends and family built the cabin. Every weekend for two years, family and friends gathered to help out with the construction which was carefully designed, supervised and photographed by Claudia. At the end of the day, she fed the hungry while Chuck got the fire pit blazing for everyone to talk about life and good times. As Chuck so famously would say, “It don't get no better than this.”
In 1991, Chuck and Claudia left the California shores to blaze a new life in Arkansas. It was tough for Claudia to leave dear family, the ocean, and their dream cabin in the mountains. Eventually her children followed them to Fayetteville as did many of her siblings and friends who once lived in California. Yet again Claudia embraced her growing family of grandchildren and great-grandchild and it was always an adventure at the Rutherford house. Their home, always a favorite "hang out" for many.
Claudia was a talented artist, designer, and loved singing harmony. At one time she was president of the Sweet Adeline chapter in California. She was active in her community, traits her children and grandchildren have embraced. She will be missed terribly by her friends and family and heaven has been given a gift: her arrival. She might possibly even get teased as being the favorite behind those gates of gold.
She is survived by Chuck D. Rutherford (husband) of Fayetteville, Ark., Charlene Rutherford (mother-in-law) of Gentry, Ark., Brent Rutherford (son) and his wife, Nancy, Beth Woessner (daughter) and her husband, Joe, all of Fayetteville, Ark.; her grandchildren, Brittney, of Whitefish, Mont., Lori and Kyle Rutherford of Fayetteville, Ark.,Tyler, Beverly, Trent and Brooke Woessner, of Fayetteville, Ark.; and great-grandson, Evan Hamburg, of Whitefish, Mont. Surviving siblings are Richard Matson of Fullerton, Calif., Lois Matson of Fayetteville, Ark., Steven Matson of Corona, Calif., and John Matson of Fayetteville, Ark.
Claudia is preceded in death by her parents, Dick and Beverly Matson; and her older sister, Marlis Roper.
She is buried at Springtown Cemetery, Ark.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorials may be sent to Alzheimer's Research and/or
Washington Regional Hospice.
All are invited to her memorial/celebration of life gathering to be held at The Garden Room at 215 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville, Ark., on Aug. 18 at 2 p.m.