Obituary: John Wiley Rutherdale Jr.


A memorial celebration of the life of John "Jack" Wiley Rutherdale will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 13, at Alpine Hills Tennis Club, 4139 Alpine Road in Portola Valley.

Mr. Rutherdale died peacefully at his Ladera home of brain cancer on Feb. 3, surrounded by his family. He was 86.

Born in San Francisco, he grew up in San Carlos, graduating from Sequoia High School and junior college before studying at Stanford Law School. In 1943 he was drafted into the U.S. Army and assigned to the Second Signal Service Battalion in Washington, D.C., where he translated confidential shipping messages from Japanese to English.

During this time, he met his future wife, Alice Bassett. After the war, Mr. Rutherdale earned a degree in economics. In 1947 the couple returned to California, where they settled in Los Altos and raised five children. They were amicably divorced in 1974 and remained friends.

Mr. Rutherdale was employed in an executive capacity at Pacific Bell in San Francisco for 32 years. Upon his retirement, he was involved in regulatory work for the phone company and the Public Utilities Commission.

In 1978, he met Anne Johnston on a Sierra Club hike. They were married soon after. Between the two of them, they had 10 children.

After retirement, the couple traveled extensively. He also enjoyed volunteer work for the community committee for international students at Stanford and for Mended Hearts (an advocacy group for heart patients) at Sequoia Hospital.

He will be remembered for his integrity, his gentle nature, and his great love of children and family, say family members.

Mr. Rutherdale is survived by his wife of 32 years, Anne Rutherdale; sister Catherine Carriere of San Clemente; his children, Nancy Griffith of Sacramento, Martha de La Soujeole of Fairview, Texas, Jan Rutherdale of Juneau, Alaska, and Jay Rutherdale of Sacramento; stepchildren Jean Rinaldo of Portola Valley, Michelle Fortnam, Kenneth Rinaldo of Coumbus, Ohio, Catherine Rinaldo of Oakland; 20 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his son, Larry Rutherdale, and his stepson, Brian Rinaldo.

Donations in Mr. Rutherdale's name may be made to the Peninsula Open Space Trust (, Pathways Hospice ( or Mended Hearts (

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