Peaceful 09

Karen K. Rutherford

1942 ~ 2020 (age 78)


Karen K. Rutherford of Brighton, Colorado passed away peacefully on December 21st 2020.

In loving memory of Karen K. Rutherford, born on August 16th, 1942 in Ames, Iowa. Karen was the daughter of Earline Rucker and Roger Killius. After living in Iowa, Karen and her family moved to the Denver area. Karen was the oldest of three children. Karen, at the time, was of the Catholic faith and was educated in the Catholic schooling system and later went on to graduate from Wheat Ridge High School. Karen became a mother at an early age having two sons, David and Michael Hilton. She was a home maker for many years and then went on to work for IBM Corporation. Karen flourished here and eventually worked her way into the accounts receivable department, where she excelled exceptionally. Karen met the love of her life, DuVerne E. Rutherford (Dee) at IBM. Karen and Dee were married on January 27th, 1979 in Steamboat Springs, CO with the closest of friends by their side. Karen and Dee shared a variety of interests and hobbies. One of their most favorite past times was spending time at Lake Powell surrounded by friends at their time share houseboat. Many great times were had by all on their summer adventures. Karen and Dee travelled many places like Mexico and various places within the states such as Kentucky, Indiana, Wyoming and Oregon. Dee somehow convinced Karen to become a racecar driver. Yes, this is when this little lady became a hell on wheels drag racer at Bandimere Speedway, from 1982-1984. Those were some great times in her life. In Karen and Dee’s later years of marriage they took up camping and travelling with their class C motorhome, eventually graduating to a truck and a fifth wheel trailer. They enjoyed long summer camping trips with their grandsons Zach and Tyler.  After the driving years were over, Karen and Dee became snowbirds for the winters, staying three months out of the year in Arizona. It was there they met new friends and enjoyed spending time with the dogs at the park as well as spending the evenings soaking in the hot tub. Karen alongside Dee greatly enjoyed having get togethers with their neighbors. After Dee passed away in 2014 Karen hooked up with a fun loving group of ladies that met once a month to play Bunco, which is a fun dice game. Karen looked forward to showing her wild side to this fabulous new group of friends. Unfortunately, Karen contracted a Staph infection that left her requiring two surgeries, ultimately leaving her paralyzed. Most people would be down due to this, but not her! Karen then had to move into a nursing home where hated living. Her family rebuilt her home to make it accessible for her return. Her quality of life was so much better as she had two wonderful in home caregivers taking care of her (Theresa and Kim).  The story doesn’t stop there. Karen was fortunate enough to have a miracle physical therapist (Amy) come into her life. She then started an amazing Rehabilitation journey. Through many hours and lots of determination she was able to stand and walk again. Her therapist made her believe and proved that walks around the block were achievable. Thanks to Amy, Karen went from being paralyzed and wheelchair bound to walking and seeing her friends in the neighborhood.

 The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 was the cause of her passing. Karen left this world, God Bless her soul, on her own terms and wishes stating she was tired and wanted to be reunited with her beloved husband. Karen was and always will be received as a wonderful Wife, Mother, Sister, Grandmother, Great Grandmother and Friend to many people that she cherished. Karen is survived by her Son David L. Hilton, Michael B. Hilton and Wife and Daughter in-law Shelley, Dane Rutherford and Wife and Daughter in-law Phyllis, Sister Kristine Hyatt and Husband Doug, Grandchildren Zachary M. Hilton and Wife Taylor, Tyler M. Hilton and Fiance’ Kendra Huyard, Annie Rutherford, Adam Rutherford, Janelle Groce, Jena Schmidt and Husband Don. Great Grandchildren Hopelyn Hilton, Blaize Hilton, Zoe Morton, Kaylin Heller, Remington Rutherford, Maverick Rutherford, Jagger Rutherford, Kaden Groce, Kamden Groce, Ella Schmidt, Carly Schmidt, Great-Great Grandchild Ivy Heller.


Due to COVID-19, a celebration of life for Karen will be held at a later date in the Spring/Summer. The date is TBD and we will be sending invite out individually. Please contact son Michael Hilton for more information regarding this.

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