Obituary: Susan Kay Rutherford

Susan Kay Rutherford. (Courtesy)

Susan Kay Rutherford. (Courtesy)

It is with broken hearts we inform you of the passing of Susan Kay Rutherford. Sue was born in Oklahoma City on August 14, 1956. She passed away at home in Prescott, Arizona, on November 1, 2022.

With her family Sue moved to Phoenix in 1960. Sue attended Madison Park Elementary school in Phoenix, Central High School in Phoenix, and Yavapai College in Prescott. Sue married the love of her life, Steve Rutherford in 1981 and they promptly moved to Prescott Valley.

Sue is survived by her loving husband Steve, her sons Jeremy, Jason (Ashley), Adam (Mary Ann), grandchildren Indie, Jacob, Lillian, and Haven, her mother Janice Hood, siblings Steffi Jo Parachou (George), Sharon Bentley (Cliff), Jay Peck (Deann), step-sister Deborah Kelly (Jeff), nieces Samantha Peck, Nicole Peck Gation (Jeff), nephews Phillip Simpson (Sharice), Dustin Wolff, nieces Ambre Phillips (Ryan) and Jessica Covarrubias (Gabriel), and Kara Kelly, sister-in-law Julie Van Arsdale, brother-in-law Bob Rutherford (Claudia), mother-in-law Arda Rutherford, and longtime brother-in-law and friend Karl Kern. Sue is also survived by great-nephews and nieces, many cousins including her “favorite cousins” Sheila and Albert Hammann. Sue was predeceased by step-father Ralph Hood, father-in-law Robert Rutherford, brother-in-law Bob Van Arsdale and nephew Tucker Kern.

Sue was a great contributor to the community for many years. Sue loved her time with her great friends “The Poker Gals”. Sue loved the mystery and puzzle solving nature of “escape rooms” which she shared with anyone who would accept the challenge. Her favorite roles were wife, mother, and Mema Sue. Sue had a special relationship with her grandchildren.

Sue had a love for Walt Disney, Disneyland, and the old Disney companies. This started when she was 12 years old and chosen to play Mary Poppins in a school production at the Walt Disney Elementary School in Levittown, Pennsylvania. She shared her love of Disney with one and all, delighting in helping anyone who asked, plan the best Disneyland trip. She passed her Disney passion to her sons, grandchildren, and extended family.

Sue’s frequent trips to Disneyland were a welcome respite from the sometimes difficult reality of her work passion, helping others get through life’s most traumatic events. Sue was the founder and Executive Director of Arizona Crisis Team of Arizona (ACT). Prior to that she was the Executive Director of Trauma Intervention Program of Arizona (TIP). Borne of her career as a Registered Nurse working in high risk Labor and Delivery, Sue saw the need for families to have an advocate to guide them through the worst moments of their lives. Sue’s empathy and outstanding organizational skills led her to build these amazing organizations starting in 2000. Sue received the 2010 Arizona Leadership Award from the AZ Attorney General’s office for serving victims of crime.

Sue loved and appreciated her volunteers, dispatchers and all her colleagues in the first responder community. Through her work in TIP and ACT Sue became very close friends with Christine, Laura, and Monica who have all stepped up to make sure ACT will continue smoothly.

What drove Sue most was her love of family. Sue was the “family concierge” who put together trips, cruises, and adventures that included any and all under her large family umbrella. It was an annual affair for Sue to plan a trip or adventure for twenty loved ones and make everybody’s reservations for airfare, accommodations, events and it always went smoothly under her well thought out plan. Sue’s family trips varied widely from trips to Europe, Disney cruises, and jumping out of airplanes at 11,000 feet. No adventure was off limits for Sue. Sue and Steve had wonderful times traveling the world, visiting over 60 countries. Sue loved going to new places.

Sue will be remembered as a kind, empathetic, fun-loving woman, a community leader but most of all as a beloved, devoted, and loving wife, mother, Mema, and friend. We will miss her tremendously.

Final arrangements handled by Hampton Funeral Home in Prescott.

There will be a Celebration of Life Memorial on Saturday December 10 at 10 a.m., at Heights Church, 2121 Larry Caldwell Dr., in Prescott.

Reception immediately follows at Prescott Vibes, 6200 N. Highway 89, in Prescott (near the entrance to the airport).

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to ACT at P.O. Box 27076, Prescott Valley, AZ 86312.

Information provided by the funeral home.

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