Cecelia Marguerite Roberts Henry Rutherford “Marguerite” passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 15, 2023, in Winchester, Virginia at Blue Ridge Hospice Inpatient Care Center.
Marguerite was born in Elizabeth, West Virginia, daughter of the late Rev. Elisha Jackson “Happy” Roberts and Vera Gwendolyn (Thorne) Roberts. She was a licensed cosmetologist and practiced as a beautician, employed by FMC and was an Avon representative in Front Royal, Virginia. Mrs. Rutherford was a member of Front Royal United Methodist Church and a member of Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church. She was a member of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, Ladies Auxiliary VFW, Ballroom Dance Club Shenandoah, The Blue Ridge Round Dancers and various Square Dance Clubs, and the Ladies Flower Club of Clark County.
Marguerite embodied resilience from a young age as she faced many great obstacles throughout her life.
Marguerite was the third born of five children on a small farm in rural West Virginia. At the young age of 8, her mother passed. Her father was a schoolteacher and minister, in addition to working the farm and raising the children. He was committed to keeping his children together.
Marguerite and her siblings worked hard doing chores but found joy and hope in each other. Their voices sang in harmony as they washed dishes with water they carried from the well and heated on the wood stove. Playing musical instruments was a natural gift they inherited from their mother. Though she never had music lessons, Marguerite was a gifted piano player that could listen to a song and sit right down and play it. She could harmonize on the spot to any song. Her brother, known as Fiddling Perk, had a radio show where they performed and later recorded records.
From this childhood emerged a strong woman who looked on the bright side of life. By nature, she was sweet and kind. Marguerite lived to dance, sing, play the piano and eat ice cream cones. She was always on the lookout for her next dancing opportunity or to teach someone how to do the grapevine or the foxtrot. She took great pride in her appearance and was very artistic, winning State and National VFW Convention Hat Contest for consecutive years with patriotic hats she designed. She studied painting and took classes with Bonnie Chumley. Marguerite annually participated in the artistic/creative categories of the Warren and Clark County Fairs, winning many Blue Ribbons and Best in Show. Through her encouragement, her children and grandchildren continued this tradition.
Later in life she became a beautician. When she began making her own money, she embraced shopping, giving gifts and having nice clothes and shoes she was deprived of earlier in life. She loved to travel abroad and was grateful to have the opportunity to experience various cultures.
She chose to embrace the small joys that life offers; her family and her religion. She deeply loved her four children, 13 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren, all of whom she was so proud of. She remained closely connected to her siblings through-out her life and they continued to harmonize and play music every chance they got.
Marguerite created so many wonderful memories that now fill our emptiness. In all, she was a hard act to follow.
Marguerite was deeply loved and will forever be in our hearts.
Marguerite was preceded in death by her first husband and father of her children, Edward Delaney “Gonkey” Henry and her second husband, Walter Rutherford, Jr.
Surviving are daughters, Sandra Hansel of Martinsburg, West Virginia; Paula Henry Yost of Winchester, Virginia; Deborah Willis of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia; son, Ed Henry of Martinsburg, West Virginia; grandchildren, Cary J. Hansel, Matthew Hansel, Sarah Thorne Hansel, Dr. Jacob H. Yost IV, Cecelia Yost, Michelle Barnhart, Jay Johnson, Dean Johnson, Jacqueline Parsons, Amanda Sours, Zachery Crowley, Brandy Forsyth, and Joshua Henry; twelve great grandchildren; her beloved sister, Carolyn Jeannine “Chink” (Roberts) Mauck of Front Royal, Virginia; nieces and nephews, Jeannine Gordon of Front Royal, Virginia; Teresa Maley of Brightwood, Virginia; Belita Ford of Front Royal, Virginia; Kenny Shutts of Vienna, West Virginia; and Gregory Shutts of Belmont, West Virginia; and cousin, Donna Rich of Chester, Virginia.
Along with her parents and her husbands, Mrs. Rutherford was preceded in death by sisters, Dorothy “Gwen” (Roberts) Boyd Rutherford and Margery Claire (Roberts) Shutts; and brother, June E. “Perk” Roberts.
A visitation will be held on Friday, March 10, 2023 at 11am with a service to follow at 12pm, all held at Omps Funeral Home, Amherst Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of donor’s choice.