Mr. Rutherford B. Stabler, “Tete,” age 102, of Greenville, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 1, 2019, at Pine Needle Place.
Funeral services were held on Wednesday, July 3, at 11 a.m. at Walnut Street Church of Christ with Minister Charles Box officiating and Dunklin and Daniels Funeral Home directing. Visitation was held one hour prior to the start of the service. Burial followed at Magnolia Cemetery.
R.B. is preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd Napoleon and Mary Magdalene Pope Stabler; a brother, William Stabler, and sisters, Pauline Pope and Claire Williams.
His first wife, Mary Frances Gordon Stabler and their son, Douglas Stabler, also preceded him in death. He is survived by Doug’s wife, Peggy, and their daughter Darla Stabler Rogers (Anthony), and grandchildren Braxton, Gavin and Grayson; and son, Stephen Stabler (Deborah), their daughter, Della Killingsworth (Joel) and grandchildren Allen, Ember and Oren.
He is also survived by his wife of 33 years, Eleanor Davis Stabler, whose family he dearly loved: Patricia Hyatt (Darrell) and their children Angie and Derek; Ed Starkie (Patricia) and their children Ben, Hunter and Summer; Robert Starkie (Vickie, deceased) and their children Mollie and Jenny; and Sandra Barnhart (deceased/Barney, deceased) and their children Michele and Jennifer.
In addition to these family members, R.B. will be missed by numerous nieces and nephews, his church family at Walnut Street Church of Christ, his gang the Hardee Boys, and special friends and caregivers at Pine Needle Assisted Living and Alacare Hospice.
R.B. was born in 1917 in the Wild Fork Community in Butler County, Alabama, and grew up in Sand Cut and Forest Home. He entered the Army Air Corps in 1942, then was transferred to the 6th Army, 33rd Infantry Division, 130th Regiment, during World War II.
During his service in the Pacific Theater he was part of the occupation force in Japan until he was deactivated in 1946, following the end of the war. After his discharge, he worked for many years in Fort Deposit, Greenville, and Montgomery in vehicle maintenance.
A master mechanic, R.B. could name every truck and car he ever purchased, the make, model, color and purchase price. He always said his favorite car was the black ’29 Model A Roadster with a rumble seat, accessorized with curtains ordered from Sears-Roebuck that snapped over the window openings to keep out the weather. He paid $125 for it in 1939.
The family is accepting flowers, or in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Guyana Mission Fund, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, AL 36037, or to a charity of your choice.
Pallbearers were: Jimmy Jones, Bruce Cauthen, Wheeler Chance, Mike Bagents, Walter Johnson, and Dennis Lowery.