In Memory of





Obituary for Charles E. "Charlie" Rutherford

Charles E. “Charlie” Rutherford, 90, of Altoona, passed away at UPMC Altoona on Friday.

He was born on March 1, 1933 in Altoona, son of C. Frederick Rutherford and Margaret (Ritchey) Rutherford.

Charles married Donna Hample on April 4, 1954.

He was preceded in death by his father, Fred; mother, Margaret; sister, Norma; first wife, Donna; and daughter, Dianne Apple.

He is survived by his wife, Cornelia (Bassler-Harris); daughters, Julie Coltrin and Glenda Rutherford; stepsons, James and John Harris; seven grandchildren, Nathan Apple (Kristen), Zachary Apple (Kimberly), Jenna Taylor (Josh), Jordyn Conrad (Jordan), Devon Kester, Sarah Harris, Dorothy Harris; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Charles graduated from Altoona Area High School in 1952. While in school, he studied carpentry and became skilled in fine cabinetry construction. Following graduation, he joined the Navy and was stationed on the USS Fessenden during the Korean War.

He attended the Altoona and University Park campuses of Penn State studying engineering.

He was employed by J.C. Orr & Sons for 30 years. As a Construction Superintendent, he led a variety of projects, including the Edith Davis Eve Memorial Chapel at Penn State Altoona. He worked as the Regional Manager for HBE Corp., St Louis, MO, supervising the construction of hospitals throughout five states.

In the early 1990s, Charles joined the Patt Corporation, supervising the construction of a hotel in Harrisburg where he met his wife-to-be, Cornelia, and discovered she lived less than a mile away from his home in Altoona.

In retirement, he began collaborating with his wife, Cornelia, for her business, Marketing & Design Service. Cornelia often described Charlie as the best engineer and design consultant she ever had on her team. Charlie and Cornelia were worldwide travelers. They enjoyed traveling to Europe and Australia, touring the countryside by train and car. They often took to the water on their adventures, cruising on their boat by river, canal, or coastal waterway. Using their carpentry skills and common love of design, they renovated many properties together.

His carpentry and construction skills were often employed in acts of love and generosity, building toys for his children and grandchildren and completing projects for the community. However, his most loved construction project was the home he built for his wife Donna and his three daughters, where you could often find him on his front porch whistling and watching the birds.

Charlie lived a full life and left behind a wonderful legacy through his construction projects that will stand for many years, and also through his family, who will carry on his memory for even longer. As a man of few words, he conveyed his wisdom and many life lessons through his actions. Those around him naturally gravitated to his leadership by example.

As we reflect on the life of such an amazing person, Charlie’s kindness, integrity, quick wit, dry sense of humor, sweet disposition, and beautiful blue eyes are just a few of his many qualities that will be greatly missed.

A public visitation will be held for Charlie on Wednesday, December 27th from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM at The Good Funeral Home, Inc, Alto-Reste Park. A funeral service with full military honors, will take place at the funeral home immediately following the visitation.

Internment will take place at Alto-Reste Park.