Pat Rutherford

July 11, 1934 ~ October 12, 2020 (age 86)


Pat Rutherford, oilman and rancher, passed away peacefully in Houston on the 12th of October, 2020 due to complications from congestive heart failure. Pat had a joy of life, was outgoing, generous and kind. With the wink of his eye and a smile, his wonderful sense of humor would come shining through.


Pat was born on July 11, 1934 in Houston, Texas, the second child of his father Pat Rutherford Sr. and his mother Elizabeth (Betty) Traylor Rutherford. He attended: The Kinkaid School in Houston; Schreiner Military Academy in Kerrville, Texas; The Arizona Desert School in Tucson, Arizona; The University of Arizona; and The University of Texas. At The University of Texas, Pat met Jeanne Norsworthy of Dallas. They later married and raised their 6 children in Houston.


Pat learned the “oil business” from his father at Rutherford Oil Corporation, an oil and gas exploration and production company started by his father, Pat Rutherford Sr., a renowned wildcatter. Pat succeeded his father becoming Chairman of Rutherford Oil Corporation in 1976, continuing exploration and production, in Texas, Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico.  Pat will be remembered as a man with a strong work ethic, who sought out business opportunities worldwide, as a risk-taker, adaptable, determined, and beloved by his employees. He was still going to the office, until mid-summer.


Pat’s international oil and gas operations included the drilling business with ownership in Field International Drilling: in West Africa, South Africa, and Southeast Asia. He also pursued oil and gas exploration in Morocco and Tunisia with Pogo Producing. He was the founding member of Rutherford Moran Oil Corporation, who along with Pogo Producing and Maersk Oil & Gas, explored and developed the highly successful offshore oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Thailand.


A lifelong rancher, Pat had significant cattle ranching operations in Buda, Texas and Pearsall Texas. He had a love of the land, the livestock, and the wildlife.  He always enjoyed reviewing the ranch operations with his friend and foreman Bill Crain.


Pat married the love of his life Susan Repetti Robinson in 1989. They first met when Pat was walking his Black Labrador down the street where she lived. They were delighted to learn they were both avid overseas travelers. Happily during their marriage, they traveled the world far and wide for business and pleasure. Upon becoming engaged, Pat insisted his fiancé Susan learn to shoot. She received a shotgun, rifle, and a custom made gun cabinet for wedding presents! The message was clear. Pat was a demanding instructor, and she was a willing student, resulting in decades of great fun hunting together.


Being an active rancher and noted wing shooter, Pat especially loved the days spent at his cattle ranch in South Texas. Pat enjoyed many years with his wife, family, and friends wing shooting in South Texas, Mexico, South America and the United Kingdom. Pat’s favorite shot was the high double bird and to the astonishment of all, he rarely missed.


Pat was highly involved in his community. He served as a director for numerous public corporations and private philanthropies including: founder, Rutherford Moran Oil Corporation; founding director, Field International Drilling; founding director, Southwest Airlines.  He was a member of the boards of: The University of Texas Health Science Center Development Board, Chemical Bank, Board of Regents, West Texas State University, Texas Commerce Bancshares, OKC Corporation, Center for Hearing and Speech, St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, and First Interstate Bank.  He also served as a member of River Oaks Country Club, the Argyle Club, and a proud member of the All-American Wildcatters Association.


Pat was preceded in death by his father Pat Rutherford Sr., his mother Elizabeth (Betty) Traylor Rutherford, his sister Patsy Carothers, grandson Chance Rutherford, and his cherished daughter Kathryn Rutherford.


Pat is survived by his wife of 32 years, Susan Repetti Rutherford; his children: Patrick Rutherford and wife Linda of Rangely Colorado, Paul Rutherford of Dallas, Maidie Rutherford of Houston, David Rutherford of Utopia, Stevan Rutherford and wife Phoenix of Houston; his grandchildren: David Rutherford Jr, Devon and husband Aaron Roberts, Wyatt and Isla Rutherford; his great-grandson Nathan Roberts; his brother Mike Rutherford and wife Florence; and his nieces and nephews: John Rutherford and wife Ellen, Mike Rutherford, Jr. and wife Terri Lynne, Sally Anne Rutherford Skarke and husband Gary, Patty Kearns, Betsy Griffin, Mary Susan Richter, and Carlos Richter and wife Erin.


Serving as honorary pallbearers are friends: Bob Allison, Walker Cain, Mike Chadwick, Morris Foster, Jim Justiss, Dick Jukes, Keith Mosing, Bill Pfeiffer, Jay Pryor, and Leighton Steward.


The family is extremely grateful for the excellent care Pat received over the decades from Dr. Philip Johnson; along with caregiver Chris Barnes.


A private family service will take place at Forest Park Cemetery.


In lieu of flowers, and for those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to: The Houston SPCA, 7007 Old Katy Road, Houston TX 77024; The University of Texas- Houston Health Science Center, 7000 Fannin St #1200, Houston, TX 77030; or the charity of your choice.


Private Interment

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