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Virginia Louise Rutherford

January 2nd, 1921 - February 6th, 2024
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Virginia Louise Rutherford (Doyle) lived a full and very long life that few of us will be as fortunate to achieve. The longevity  she achieved must run in the family genes as Virginia and her sister Mary were both centenarians and her mother Emma Mae was ninety seven. If not the family genes then maybe it is the soil on a Saskatchewan farm that is responsible for growing their longevity, because as we all know , kids eat dirt, or maybe it was ingested with a juicy carrot fresh from the backyard garden or possibly they breathed in some Saskatchewan dirt while going to or coming home from school in a famous prairie dust storm.

Life on the prairies was tough, but so were the kids. Virginia was born on January 02, 1921 on a farm three and a half miles from Hoosier, Saskatchewan. She joined her sister Mary 4 and her brother Bud (Henry John) 3 for what was to become both hard work and fun on a rural prairie farm for the next fifteen years.

Virginia grew up with more farm animals as close friends than school friends due to the homesteads being so far apart. With 13 horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, cats and a dog to look after along with a long list of various chores she had little time left for fun. Virginia and her siblings did however enjoy extra-curricular activities such as skating, skiing, sleighing, and especially curling which she enjoyed playing and watching on TV right through her final days. Virginia also enjoyed summer activities such as softball, gardening and lawn bowling. Gardening turned out to be a big part of her life at her home at 4821 Shepherd Street in Burnaby and again at the Mulberry Parc assisted living facility in Burnaby. Virginia and Bob were lifetime members of the Burnaby Garden Club and won many prizes and accolades for the "Best of Burnaby Backyards" program and garden club shows.  

Virginia's early years were not easy ones. At the age of six she was diagnosed with rheumatic fever that resulted in a fused hip, several hospital visits, orthopedic surgery, one leg shorter than the other, and a resulting life long limp. Virginia lived through the great depression 1929 - 1933 at the tender age of ten but the family was able to produce almost everything they needed to get by. Milk, cottage cheese, eggs, meat, flour, butter, lard, soap, vegetables, horseradish, and some soft fruits were all produced on the farm.

In 1940 Virginia left the farm to enroll in secretarial school in Saskatoon, graduated in 1941 and went to work at a lumber company for the next two years before moving to Vancouver in September 1943 to take up a nursing career at the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH).  After years on the prairies , the move to BC was a move to God's Country which is where she spent the rest of her life. Virginia worked as a registered nurse (RN) at VGH, Montreal General and a short time in a Catholic Hospital in Saskatoon and one year later was back in Vancouver. Virginia continued to work in the Private Ward Pavilion at the VGH until she met Robert (Bob) Rutherford.

Virginia got engaged on Bob's birthday (March 17, 1948) and married on April 13, 1948. Virginia and Bob remained together until her passing on February 06, 2024. Virginia and Bob celebrated their 50th  wedding anniversary with family and friends at Newland's golf and country club in Langley, BC in April 1999. Another milestone that very few of us will ever achieve. Seventy - five years of marriage  - almost 76 Wow.

Just like the show  "My Three Sons" (for those that remember that far back) Virginia and Bob had  three boys, Stephen Allan, Philip Conway and Randall Gordon in fairly rapid succession along with building their first home, a move to      

Edmonton and back to Vancouver. Virginia's life was action packed.

Virginia's most vital career choice was by far to be a stay at home Mom. Virginia excelled in all of the following:

Hotel manger at 4821 Shepherd Street.

Financial advisor and bank manager - GIC's, stocks, bonds ,ETF's and accounts balanced to the penny.

Chef - Virginia's meals were better than going out to an expensive fancy restaurant and many still refer to her recipes today.

Hostess with the most - Virginia loved to entertain friends and family with excellent meals and appetizers during afternoon and evening get togethers.

Florist - Virginia did all her own flower arrangements as good or better than the local florist.

Landscaper and Gardener - Virginia and Bob sculpted the entire property at 4821 Shepherd street  into a masterpiece.

Secretary - Virginia was still conversing with her sister Mary via email daily until   Mary's passing and was using the internet, email, filing documents and running the household daily business well past 100.

Mother, grandmother, wife and the list goes on and on to include everything she touched on a daily basis that you would today class as a career.

Virginia is survived by her husband Bob, sons Stephen and Philip, daughter-in- law Zoria, grandchildren Heather and Kevin and far too many nephews and nieces to mention here. Virginia was predeceased by her youngest son, Randy. Virginia will be greatly missed by all of us and all the friends she made along the amazing 103 years that we had the privilege to be part of.

It was Virginia's wish to have a simple farewell by cremation, no flowers or service and  donations to a charity of the donors choosing.

Please feel free to add your own comments regarding:



John and Maria McCavour
March 28th, 2024

Virginia was a wonderful person and it is very special that she lived such a long life. We knew Virginia and Bob through their son Randy who I (John) had gone to high school with together. Randy was the best man at our wedding and after he passed away at too early an age we kept in contact with the Rutherfords over the years. When we visited, we were always served home made goodies and we knew if we came with flowers they would be greatly appreciated. When Virginia was still in good health and we visited at the Mulberry we had trouble keeping up as she showed us around. We were always amazed that she kept up with technology and was using email and was always so complimentary of pictures we sent to her of our young grandson. Our condolences to all of the family and especially to Bob.
Love, John and Maria and family

Kathy Flood (nee Andrew)
March 16th, 2024

Mrs. R was such a big part of our family as we grew up just across the lane. She was a dear friend to my mom and they enjoyed such good times together from many coffee and gab sessions, to pitch and putt golf that they did together for years, to bridge. They had so many shared interests, including gardening and cooking. A large portion of the recipes in my recipe box have your mom’s name on them! I always enjoyed time with your mom and loved to go over for tea at her house. When I lived out of town, I would try to get to their house in the spring or summer to check out the garden. Even as recently as last year when we visited her at the Mulberry, she was still so vibrant and interested in everything. She will always hold a tender place in my heart. My heartfelt condolences to all of you.

Reed MacWilliam
March 15th, 2024

It was my good fortune to not only have Virginia as my neighbour in Burnaby but to have had the pleasure of teaching her boys.
Virginia was one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I have ever know.
My late wife and I benefitted grealtly by having Virginia and Bob ag great neighbours and friends.
My condolences to the family for their loss.

Gail Miller
March 14th, 2024

Sending most sincere condolences to all the family. I was introduced via my brother to Bob and Virginia. She was a true lady. Loved by all who had the privilege of knowing her. All of us are richer by having had Vivian touch our lives and hearts. Gail and Joe Miller

Lucette Wesley
March 11th, 2024

Virginia was such a very loved member of our garden club. I met her more than 20 years ago and admired her since then. She was a whirlwind of energy even in her 80s and I loved visiting her garden. I have an artist's wooden carrying case she no longer needed, and a number of plants that she graciously shared with me and many others in our club. Even when she and Bob were not actively gardening, she would still come to our plant sale with cookies for everyone. And they were delicious.

I visited several times when she and Bob moved to Mulberry and she still had that spunk that she always demonstrated, and continued to spend her time using her artistic abilities.

She will be greatly missed but is in our hearts.

Glenys Hughes
March 10th, 2024

I have such wonderful memories of visiting with Auntie Virginia and Uncle Bob in their Burnaby home. The house would be filled with arrangements of fresh flowers; the hanging baskets on the deck full of bright fuchsia blossoms. Auntie Virginia would whip up delicious meals in the blink of an eye. I still have some of her recipes! I felt like a spoiled kid when I visited.
Virginia was perky, practical, and clever.
I send heartfelt condolences to family and friends,

Janet Walter
March 7th, 2024

Mrs.Rutherford was such an important part of my childhood. Growing up across the street from The Rutherford’s I remember fondly visits with Rags , learning about baking and making jams and peaches and enjoying her delicious cookies.
I remember her telling me stories of nursing ( while I was going through nursing school) as well as her kindness in opening her home for my bridal shower.
When I think of Mrs.Rutherford I can’t help but see her infectious smile and hear her infectious giggle.
My sincere condolences to all of the family.
Love Janet Walter

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