Cover photo for Philip Rutherford's Obituary
Philip Rutherford Profile Photo
1951 Philip 2021

Philip Rutherford

April 16, 1951 — July 15, 2021



Phil, as he was known to his friends, died July 15, 2021 unexpectedly at his home in Pembroke GA.

He is preceded in death by his parents Charles and Elaine Rutherford and his sister Rosemary Gagnon.

Upon graduation from Billerica High School, Phil joined the U. S. Air Force.  He proudly served stateside and overseas. Upon completing his military service he settled in Vermont, where he worked in the mental health field.

In 1999 he married Joy Bohannon and in 2006 they moved to Pembroke, Georgia, where Phil began a 16 year career at Georgia Pacific. During this time, Phil and Joy also established GARD (Georgia Animal Rescue and Defence) a non-profit animal rescue to pursue their joint passion for saving animals, he was a jack of all trades and he was the backbone of keeping GARD running on a daily basis, there was nothing he couldn't repair or build and he took pride in maintaining his beloved animal shelter.

While always active at the shelter, upon retirement, GARD became Phil's sole focus. He had a special affinity for displaced seniors and the misfits no one else wanted. Visiting them daily and bringing "nummies" as he made his rounds at the shelter. He and his legendary stories will be missed by all of the GARD family and staff.

He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Joy Bohannon, five sons, Joshua, James, Sky, and Shane. Joanne Ather, Mother in Law, and his extended Bohannon family. His brother Tom, nieces Jennifer Peterson, Stephanie Durgin and nephew Philip Gagnon. He is also survived and deeply missed by his GARD family and his beloved dogs.

Please join us in a celebration of Phil's life on Friday, July 23rd from 5pm-8pm at DRAGONFIRE HORSE RANCH, 1650 CC ROAD, ELLABELL GA.

In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations be made to GARD (Georgia Animal Rescue and Defence) to help continue the work Phil was so proud of.  Donations can be made at

To sign the online register, please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Philip Rutherford, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Friday, July 23, 2021

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)


1650 C C Rd, Ellabell, GA 31308

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