Charles Rutherford, 2nd Society President

In its nearly 40 years of existence, the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society has had only four presidents. On May 11, 2024, we lost our second president, Charles “Charlie” Rutherford.

Charlie’s full obituary can be found here and it’s a remarkable summarization of a remarkable life.

Charlie joined the Historical Society in 1988 and served on the Board from the start. In 2015, when Wallace D. Riley stepped down, Charlie took the helm. Three years later, he memorialized his longtime friend in the newsletter, which was fitting as Charlie had introduced Riley to the State Bar of Michigan in 1972 when latter was elected State Bar president.

When Charlie himself stepped down from Society leadership, one of his recruits was elected president.

President Emeritus Carl Herstein, when informed of Charlie’s passing said

Charlie was a wonderful man; a good friend to many and a pillar of so many organizations. He was instrumental in recruiting many members of the Board, myself included. He was the right man to succeed Wally Riley as President, and an inspiration to all who have followed him.

We here at the Society will miss Charlie.

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