Phyllis Rutledge Obituary
 
In Memory of

Phyllis Jean Rutledge

March 11, 1932 - May 1, 2015
Obituary

The Honorable Phyllis J. Rutledge died at Dunbar Health Care Friday, May 1, 2015. She had turned 83 years old on March 11th of this year. Phyllis first started her political career as a Committeewoman in the early 1960’s. She later was elected as an Honorable WV House of Delegate from Kanawha County from 1968-1972, and again from 1988-1994. She was Speaker Pro Tempore during the 71st Legislature (the first female to do so), and Chairwoman of the Banking Committee, 70th Legislature. She served on numerous committees to include the Banking and Insurance, Health and Welfare, and Finance Committees. She was the first female...

The Honorable Phyllis J. Rutledge died at Dunbar Health Care Friday, May 1, 2015. She had turned 83 years old on March 11th of this year.



Phyllis first started her political career as a Committeewoman in the early 1960’s. She later was elected as an Honorable WV House of Delegate from Kanawha County from 1968-1972, and again from 1988-1994. She was Speaker Pro Tempore during the 71st Legislature (the first female to do so), and Chairwoman of the Banking Committee, 70th Legislature. She served on numerous committees to include the Banking and Insurance, Health and Welfare, and Finance Committees. She was the first female Kanawha County Circuit Clerk, serving from 1972-1984. Phyllis was the recipient of the West Virginia Humanitarian of the Year in 1994, and is on the list of Famous West Virginians, due to her many accomplishments for the people of West Virginia.



Phyllis retired most recently from her job as a Lobbyist at the West Virginia Legislature, where she represented such groups of the American Cancer Society and Respiratory Therapists. She was responsible for getting many pieces of legislation passed for the people of West Virginia, both as a legislator and through her efforts as a lobbyist.



In 1960, when Phyllis heard John F. Kennedy say, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” she felt he was speaking to her, thus beginning her political career. As the Circuit Clerk, she was responsible for greatly reducing the backlog of old civil cases and modernizing the record system into the computer age. While serving her second stint as a Legislator, many members were taken under her wing, and “taught the ropes.” She was one of the most respected members, and it was once heard on the floor of the House, that when Phyllis Rutledge speaks, everybody listens! Another of Phyllis’s proud accomplishments was being named the Kanawha County Coordinator for Hillary Clinton. She was responsible for orchestrating the now famous “Honk and Wave” campaign which helped give Hillary her victory in West Virginia.



Preceding her in death were her parents, Roger and Inez Lewis, her beloved husband of twenty-six years, Ralph J. Rutledge, brothers Roger, Harold, and Robert Lewis, and sister Vida Branham. Her precious grandson, Jeff Scheirman, will be waiting to welcome his grandmother into Heaven, too.



Surviving are her daughter, Jeannie (Joe) Scheirman of Mt. Pleasant, SC, son, James Rutledge of Chas., WV; Grandchildren- Mark Rutledge, Jennifer (Dave) Mason of Mt. Pleasant, Jo Ellen (Jay) Carpenter, Matthew Rutledge, Kortnie Workman, and Kristine Lovejoy of Chas.; Great-grandchildren-Jeffrey, Caitlin, and Caleb Mason, Dolen, Nathan, and Lawton Rutledge of Mount Pleasant, Jaylen Carpenter, Liam, and Aubree of Chas., daughter-in-law, Sally Rutledge of Mt. Pleasant, and several nieces and nephews.



Funeral services will be Tuesday, May 5, 2015at 11A.M. at Wilson Funeral Home 420 Lee St. West Charleston with Pastor Frank Thomas officiating. Burial will follow at Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.



Visitation will be Monday, May 4, 2015 from 5:30-8:00P.M.



The online guestbook may be accessed at www.wilsonfuneralandcremation.com



Wilson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Pastor Frank Thomas will be officiating at the service.



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