HELPER - Lee R. Rutherford, age 72, passed away peacefully at his home in Helper on Dec. 9, 2012 while surrounded by his family.
He was born Feb. 26, 1940 in Price to Junius Holt and Lowell Lavina Pendleton.
Lee was raised in the shadows of the great sandstone cliffs in the little mining town of Castle Gate. He joined the U.S. Army at the age of 17. He was stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., and was later transferred to Germany during the Cold War. After leaving the Army Lee joined the U.S. Navy and served as a flight mechanic on the USS Hancock during the Vietnam War. The USS Hancock was the first aircraft carrier to launch planes against the communist North Vietnam forces.
After leaving the Navy he worked for over 40 years at New Method Printing and Engraving as a printer where he became a master of his craft. Lee loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing and shooting. After retiring Lee moved to Helper. He took great pleasure in helping his elderly neighbors. Though he pretended to be gruff he was kind and giving. Lee was always there to lend a hand to anyone in need. He and his best friend Johnny Kosmack would help each other on every project while always arguing politics.
Lee loved his family and of course, his little dogs. He had a strong belief in God, and in his last days he trusted Christ as his personal Savior.
Survived by his sisters, Evelyn Eaquinta, Carla (Tom) Letteer; brother, James (Lori) Pendleton; his special nieces, Candy Howard and Ivy O'Brian; many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews who he loved dearly.
Preceded in death by his parents; Junius Holt and Lowell Lavina Pendleton; sister, Kitty King; and niece, Misty McKibben.
Funeral service, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 11 a.m. Mitchell Funeral Home. Family will receive friends Wednesday one hour prior to service. Interment, Mt. View Cemetery, Helper. Arrangements entrusted to Mitchell Funeral Home of Price where friends are welcome daily and may share memories of Lee online at www.mitchellfuneralhome.net.