Obituary: Sister Lizabeth Rutherford Dec. 13, 1946 – Dec. 17, 2021

On Friday, December 17, 2021, Sister Lizabeth Rutherford surrendered herself totally to her Maker.

Elizabeth Ann was born in Flint, Michigan on December 13, 1946, to Perry and Rita (Tacekens) Rutherford.  She was the fifth child in a family of seven brothers, Tom, Pat, Joe, Don, Bob, Ken, and Victor. In 1950, the family moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico where Perry worked at the National Laboratory.

 Liz was preceded in death by her parents and three brothers, Tom, Joe, and Ken. She is survived by four brothers, Don (Liz) of Grand Rapids, Pat of Los Alamos, Bob of San Francisco, and Victor (Ann) of Los Alamos. Sister Liz was very close to all her family including nieces and nephews. 

She received the Franciscan habit on August 12, 1967 and pronounced final vows on July 19, 1975. Liz received a BA degree in Speech and Hearing, a MA degree in Special Education, both from  UNM and a MA degree in Therapeutic Recreation from UNCO.

Sister Liz ministered as a teacher at St. Anthony Child Care Center in Albuquerque from 1971-1974, and as a Special Education teacher in Denver from 1974-2000. During this time, she also volunteered in The Victim Outreach Information Center for Jefferson County. Sister Liz was a strong advocate for women and peace and justice issues.  She was an avid hiker, loved nature excursions, music, and an avid reader. 

In 2000, after the Los Alamos Cerro Grande Fire, she and her mother moved to Oppenheimer Place where she became the Operations Manager until her retirement, when she moved to Mount Saint Francis in Colorado Springs in August of 2020. Sister Liz served on the Provincial Council from 2014 until she was admitted to Mount Saint Francis Nursing Center in March of 2021. 

Sister Liz had been experiencing symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease for a number of years with gradual and progressive acceleration of symptoms. Complications from a recent fall contributed to her death.

Services for Sister Lizabeth are tentatively planned for late-January when family members will be able to attend. Memorial contributions can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis, 7665 Assisi Heights, Colorado Springs, CO 80919, Attention Sr. Marietta Spenner, Provincial or to the Parkinson’s Foundation.