In Memoriam: George A. Rutherford

AGC Past President George A. Rutherford passed away on March 7, 2012. He was 98.

A charter member of the New Mexico building contractors’ association when it became an AGC chapter in 1948, Mr. Rutherford was a major contractor in New Mexico for many years. He completed some of the state’s largest commercial and institutional projects of his era, including University football stadium, a large addition to Bernalillo County Medical Center (now University of New Mexico Hospital), the first major addition to University Area (the “Pit”), a major addition to the City/County Building in downtown Albuquerque, Albuquerque Dukes Sports Stadium, projects for St. Joseph and Presbyterian Hospitals, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, and many others.

He served as president of AGC in 1959, the same year the chapter was incorporated in New Mexico as “New Mexico Building Branch, Associated General Contractors”.  During his term of office, the general contractor membership of the chapter grew to 40, the largest to that date.

Mr. Rutherford attended the University of New Mexico. He started his construction career fulltime as a carpenter. He moved into supervisory positions and was a superintendent for leading New Mexico building contractors. He later became a general contractor and formed George A. Rutherford, Inc. Among his many clients were Mountain States Telephone, Sandia Base (which included a mile-long rail for impact testing), Los Alamos National Laboratories, and Kirtland AFB.

Throughout his career, he had a strong interest in the development of skilled workers. He actively supported apprenticeship programs by hiring apprentices and serving as an AGC management representative on Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees.

He was a longtime member (and often chair) of the AGC Labor Relations Committee (later named AGC Collective Bargaining Committee). In that capacity, he played a major role with other AGC signatory contractors in the development of terms and conditions which have long been part of AGC Collective Bargaining Agreements.

In addition to building major projects, he did extensive work for his community as a leader in the United Community Fund (now United Way) and the Albuquerque Community Council. He served, at different times, as president of the Albuquerque Country Club and Four Hills Country Club. He was one of the founders of the Four Hills subdivision.

Memorial contributions in Mr. Rutherford’s name can be made to United Way of Central New Mexico or to a charity of your choice.

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