Marianne Wooldridge Rutherford, 103, of Claude, Texas, died Sunday, March 14, 2021.
A celebration of her life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, March 20, at the Claude United Methodist Church, 400 Trice Street, in Claude. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers at Claude.
Marianne was the 4th child of Bob and Willie Holsonbake, born on June 9, 1917, in Farmersville, Texas. After graduating from Farmersville High School, Marianne attended North Texas State Teacher’s College and later graduated from Texas Women’s University in Denton with a degree in Library Science. After graduating in 1938, she moved to Claude, Texas to become the librarian and Jr. High English teacher for the school. At this time, she met Bert Cavins Wooldridge, and on August 10, 1940, she and Bert married. The young couple left Claude during WWII while Bert served in the US Army. After WWII, they returned, and Bert re-joined his father in business and became vice president of the First National Bank of Claude. In December of 1947, Bert and Marianne had a daughter, Peggy.
Marianne earned her Masters of Education degree from West Texas State University in Canyon in 1955. She returned to teaching in Claude as a third grade teacher and later as a junior high school English teacher until her retirement in 1986. In 1979, Bert died suddenly and, in addition to teaching school, Marianne became the acting President of the bank until the business could be sold.
In the late 1980s, she re-connected with Roy Rutherford, one of her former students from 1938, and they married in April 1989. Roy and Marianne enjoyed an active retirement, traveling and participating in various community activities. Unfortunately, Roy died in August of 2020, at the age of 94.
Marianne was an active volunteer for many organizations including the Amarillo Art Center, Delta Kappa Gamma honorary teachers’ sorority, the Eastern Star, the Unity Study Club, the Methodist Women, DAR, and many more. She was one of the founders of the Armstrong County Museum and the Charles Goodnight House where she served as an officer and board member for many years. She received 2 Golden Nail awards and also a Women’s Forum Distinguished Volunteer Award. She was a loyal member of the United Methodist Church of Claude.
Marianne had a long and productive life. She was blessed with two wonderful husbands and many wonderful students whom she taught and enjoyed immensely. She was a Christian, a wife, a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, a teacher, an artist, a volunteer, and a friend. Many have benefited from her mentoring and her guidance and love.
She is survived by her daughter and Roy’s son and their families: Peggy Wooldridge Berg and husband, Dr. Howard Berg of Amarillo and step-son Tom Rutherford and wife, Diana, of Aurora, Colorado. Grandchildren: Christi Berg Floeck of Houston; Trent Berg of Austin; Heather Rutherford Hallman and husband, Josh, of Centennial, Colorado; and Andrea Rutherford of Los Angeles, California. Four great-grandchildren: Lizzie Floeck and Clay Floeck of Houston and Ella Hallman and Nolie Hallman of Centennial, Colorado, as well as many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to say a special thanks to Jill Benson and the caregivers of Hudson House Assisted Living in Claude. Their dedication and care for Marianne made the last years of her life, especially with the restrictions of COVID, a much more pleasant and secure time in a loving environment.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Armstrong County Museum, Claude, TX 79019 or the Claude United Methodist Church, PO Box 136, Claude, TX 79019, or your favorite charity.