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WPCA Saddened By The Passing of Longtime Active Supporter Keith Rutherford

Keith Rutherford 
May 19, 1940 – April 24, 2021

The World Professional Chuckwagon Association was saddened by the passing of longtime active supporter William “Keith” Rutherford on Saturday, April 24, 2021 after a short but determined battle with cancer at the age of 80.

Around 1970, Keith was asked by a friend to volunteer with the set up and livestock handling in a Rodeo College program that provided aspiring young Rodeo competitors with professional bull riders’ instruction. That experience led to a volunteer position with the Stampede Rodeo and Chuckwagon Committee. When the committee split into two separate committees, Keith was an original member of the stand alone Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon Committee and was very instrumental in the building of the new iconic committee.

Over the next 50 years, Keith was a not only a highly dedicated member of the Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon Committee, but a mentor to the hundreds of individuals who volunteered their time to the committee over the years and a champion for the sport of chuckwagon racing as well. His specialty was hosting international groups where he would narrate the history and evolution of Chuckwagon racing to people from all over the world in the Infield suites at the Calgary Stampede, and behind the scenes in the Chuckwagon barns. In 2016 at the 54th annual Calgary White Hat Awards, Keith was honored with the award for the Best Volunteer in Tourism and/or Hospitality. This prestigious award  celebrates inspiring Calgarians in the tourism industry who go above and beyond and strive to make their guests' experience a memorable one. Along with Suelin Richards of the First Nations Events committee, they were the first two Calgary Stampede volunteers to win a Calgary White Hat Award. In 2020, Keith received the gold pin and awarded the prestigious title of “Stampede Life Member” for his 50 years of volunteer service to the Calgary Stampede.

Keith is survived by his loving wife of forty-seven years Marilyn, his children, Neil, Jill (Don), Ian (Lisa); and his grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Claire Stewart, and Emma and Arthur Rutherford.

Due to Covid restrictions, at this time there will only be a gathering of immediate family. If desired, memorial tributes may be made to the charity of your choice in Keith’s name. Condolences, memories and photos may be shared and viewed on Keith’s obituary at
In living memory of Keith Rutherford, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

Keith's impact on the sport of chuckwagon racing reached far beyond the borders of Calgary and the ten days of the Calgary Stampede. He will be missed by all in the WPCA, and we extend our sincere condolences to the Rutherford Family.

Billy Melville

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