Helen Rutherford, a former social worker and longtime member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., died on July 9, 2019, after a long illness. She was 87.
She was born on Feb. 3, 1932, to Ruth McKinney and Moses Rutherford in Albany, Georgia. The family later moved north and settled in Darby, where she attended public schools.
Rutherford went on to Howard University where she received a bachelor’s degree that signaled a career in social work. She also pursued graduate studies in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Rutherford devoted her profession to public service, aiding seniors, families and youth in a range of areas from job training to juvenile probation services.
A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for nearly 75 years, she was active in the sorority’s family service committee and volunteered in several community social service organizations in Philadelphia and Delaware County.
She was known as a giving soul with a huge heart.
“Anyone in her presence would feel special, simply because they were there,” her family said in a tribute. “Even as her health and memory faltered, an empathetic nod and confiding smile were always at her command. She lived to give.”
She is survived by: her lifelong friend, Valaida S. Walker, and cousins from the McKinney and Rutherford families.
Services will be held July 16 at 11 a.m. at Flemuel Brown Jr. Funeral Home, 701 60th St. Burial is in Mt. Zion Memorial Cemetery in Darby.