Posted by eileen on March 13, 2010, 7:28 am
I am posting this for the Rutherford Family; it is the obituary written by Mark for the Gauadajara Reporter. |
Fisherman and environmental activist Steven Leslie Rutherford died Tuesday in La Manzanilla, Jalisco. He was 54.
Born in Long Beach, California in 1955, Rutherford moved with his parents to Ajijic, where he attended the Saul Pina elementary. He first visited and fell in love with La Manzanilla as a child in 1965. At that time, Highway 200 from Melaque to Puerto Vallarta was a partially completed, dirt track.
After living and traveling in the United States, Europe and the Middle East, Rutherford returned in the early 1980s and settled in La Manzanilla, where he worked as a fishing guide.
Rutherford grew increasingly concerned over the environmental deterioration of what is known today as Costa Alegre. He campaigned tirelessly to close the smoldering dumps that fester on the outskirts of many coastal towns and to educate the community about the hazards of burning plastic.
He was especially devoted to raising local awareness to the perils posed by rampant development to local fauna. He was forever nursing crippled pelicans and frigate birds and it was not uncommon to find him at night ferrying crabs in a bucket across the highway that blocks their ancient migration to the surf.
Rutherford planted the trees that shade La Manzanilla’s primary school and took a lead in rebuilding the town’s main plaza. He fought complacent and some say clueless regional bureaucracies responsible for public health until he forced a modicum of change – at least in La Manzanilla.
Rutherford was recognized on March 6 by the local ejido and Mexico’s Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) for his contribution to “ecological preservation.”
He is survived by his wife Maria Guadalupe Cervantes Gonzalez and his three children, Marlyn, Steven and Kevin Rutherford Cervantes.
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