Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Joshua Thomas Rutherford

Blaine County Sheriff's Office, Montana

End of Watch Thursday, May 29, 2003

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Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Joshua Thomas Rutherford


Wanted to stop by and let you know that you will never be forgotten. You are truly a hero and are missed very much by your family. You mom is a true hero as well, I understand where you got your strength and wisdom from. May you and my little girl have a very happy holiday season, continue to watch over us all.

Deb Azure
Mother of Deputy Renee Danell Azure
EOW 08/06/02


November 28, 2010

Thought about you tonight! I was taking to a friend tonight and he was telling me about a young police officer from Riverside California who will be joining you up there in heaven. You take good care of him Josh, he is going to need some friends, love and support up there to get him through the rough times as well. Even though you are gone you're never forgotten. Happy veterans day tomorrow!!


November 10, 2010


Son, you must of seen seen us down Pony Hill. We went to clean your grave and saw the huge eagle flying overhead. I am getting to ready to go to parents retreat. I will honor the parents who helped me so much over the past seven years. I didn't think I could make seven minutes past your passing. Your strength and our family carry me through. Your grand daughter and my great grand daughter Harley is growing leaps and bounds. When she puts her hands on her hips when she is frustrated with me puts joy in my heart.

I know you must have met Lily when she reached you and now Jen's grand mother. I miss you so much

I am one day closer to you
Love, Mom


October 6, 2010

just thinking of you and missing you


October 5, 2010

Josh, I know your mom. She is a remarkable lady. She misses you dearly. I will see her next month. I know you are as proud of her as she is of you. What a great childhood you must have had with a mom like her. Keep watching over your family. You will never be forgotten. Say hi to my son Hal Baird. I hope you have met each other up there in heaven.

Sharon Dickerson

September 28, 2010

Hey bud Im ashamed that has been so long since I have written something on here. I guess I dont think about it much since I talk to you everyday. I love telling people all the wild and funny stories of our whacky adventures. My son Josh is now old enough to listen and understand what an important person, he is named after. He asks me to tell him our stories over and over. Someday he may follow in our footsteps and I know that you will watch over him as well as you watched and continue to watch over me. I love you friend.

Friend and former partner

September 25, 2010

My deepest sympathy to the family of Deputy Rutherford and now the family of Deputy Loren Janis, the other deputy shot in this incident, who recently succumbed to cancer. Some of our deputies attended Josh's funeral. I was unable to.

Becky Warner, dispatcher
Jefferson County Montana

August 29, 2010

hey uncle,

i havent been on here in a longtime, a lot has changed since you left. Sometimes i wish things could be different for the better. I am now a senior and decided where i am going to college. My mom disagrees with it but in the long run it will benefit me. i am pretty excited considering that it is out of state.i love you so much and miss you like crazy. Please watch over mom,sis,my dad and the rest of the family.

all my love, r.r


July 29, 2010


Miss you son. Please watch over Matthew and Michael.



June 8, 2010

Josh another year has gone by. Hard to believe that it has been 7 years since that horrible night. You and Loren are together again. We had his funeral last week and it was well attended and a very nice service. I saw your son Thomas there and gave him my memorial band that I wore in your honor. He is a big man and you would be proud of him. I think he could take you now. LOL Watch over us down here and show Loren the ropes up there. Love ya man your friend "POPS"

Deputy Alan L. Guderjahn

May 29, 2010

Today it is seven years since you took the fateful call to respond a domestic disturbance. Oh, how I wish you would of ignored the ring, spent your time with your son on his first day of summer. So much has happened since you left. I miss you so much. I miss your laugh and that grin of yours. I miss seeing your dimples flash when you smiled. I miss your tears. I miss listening to the sound of your voice. But most of all I miss the unconditional love. I know that love endures because I will carry you in my heart until I join you.

I talk to Jennifer from time to time. We are finding a new relationship. I'm going over to see her and your sons on the first of July. We will participate in a hero's walk in honor of all officers who have joined you.

I will end this with "I am one day closer to you"

Love, Mom


May 29, 2010

Josh, you and Loren are partners once again. Please continue to watch over us and keep us safe. I love you and miss you every single day.

Melody A Zuhoski
Aunt of Deputy Joshua T. Rutherford

May 22, 2010

This is the Dedication speech that I wrote when the city of Harlem dedicated a play ground in memory of Josh. I hope you all enjoy this. gudercop


I first met Josh Rutherford in 2000 at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy. He was one of our Defensive Tactics Instructors. My first impression of Josh was that he was arrogant, a smart aleck and liked to give people (me) guff. I did not care for him at this time. But that changed.

Josh and I both went to Defensive Tactics Instructors School at the Academy and I got to know him. I found that we had the same ideals on Law Enforcement and family. I came to respect Josh for his professionalism and strength of character both in his career and his family life towards his sons. From that point on we would keep in contact with each other via telephone and our meetings at the County line to visit and share information.

Josh and I along with Brien Galt, Jeff Kraft, Travis Breuyer, and lead instructor Howard Webb would meet at the academy and instruct the students in Defensive Tactics and Officer Survival. Josh and I also taught the Fort Belknap Tribal Police in Defensive Tactics and Use of Force. My wife would laugh at me as I would call and try and setup times that all of us instructors could be at the academy at the same time. This was our time to help new students and to catch up on each others lives. We were a strong core group of instructors that fed off of each other and made each other better.

If things were getting to tense it could be assured that Josh would make some remark to make everyone laugh. Josh would be right in there with his wit and sense of humor. Josh would be the first to laugh at himself or others, especially me. I remember one time Josh was telling us that he was going to Great Falls to buy a big screen TV. The next day I asked him if he got the TV. He got a funny look on his face and told me that he bought the TV and placed it in his truck. The people at the store told him that it should ride there just fine and he did not need to tie it down. He was driving from Great Falls and a gust of wind caught the TV and blew it out of his truck and shattered it on the highway. The look on Josh’s face was priceless. He did get the TV replaced and his home owners covered it for him.

Josh and I shared a room the last time we taught together at the academy. He told me about his boys and how proud he was of them. We also talked about Officer Safety and remembering to always wear our vests. Josh told me that he always wore his and would continue to do so.

The night I got the call about Josh being shot, I was at the academy instructing Defensive Tactics. Josh was to come to Helena the following week to help teach the class. I along with the other instructors could not wait for Josh to get there as this was a great bunch of students and were fun to teach.

I got the call around 0300 Hours, my department and wife had been trying to reach me for several hours. Once I talked to my wife and she told me Josh had been shot I could not believe it. NOT JOSH!! Josh was and is one of the smartest and toughest cops I had ever met. There was no way he could have been killed.

I remember sitting on the steps to the gym where we had taught Defensive Tactics in shock that not only a fellow Law Enforcement Officer and Instructor had been murdered but a good friend as well. I could not believe that I would never hear his laugh or see that smirk on his face ever again.

Josh was gone, but his legacy lives on. His boys are growing big and strong and look and act like their father. Josh’s legacy also lives on in the Law Enforcement field as well. There is an award at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy for the Student that has the best proficiency in Defensive Tactics.

The greatest acknowledgement to Josh is this. We were instructing at the Academy and we told the students that when they get into an altercation and they were hurt or shot that they could never stop and never quit. If they wanted to stop or quit they would have to call Josh or I and ask for permission and we would never give it to them.

One of our students had got into a gun fight in Western Montana and was wounded. I called this Officer up and spoke to him and told him that he did well by fighting and surviving the altercation. Bernie told me, “when I got shot it hurt so damn bad that I wanted to curl up into a ball and cry”. But I remembered what Josh and you said about calling for permission to stop and I knew you guys would not let me. I continued to fight and got the bad guy to back off. I have Josh and you to thank for me coming out of this alive. What better testament or legacy than this. A fellow Officer lives because of the training and experience that Josh had and that he willingly shared with others.

Josh, the State of Montana owes you a thank you for the Officers that you helped mould and for giving the ultimate sacrifice, your life so others could live. I owe you thanks for being my friend, mentor and helping me to become the Officer that I am today.

Alan “Pops” Guderjahn

Deputy Alan L. Guderjahn
Phillips County Shefiff's Office

February 5, 2010



January 26, 2010

Josh, the time has flown by these past 6 years. I read that Jackson got his appeal denied. This is a God send to both your family and all of Law Enforcement. With him being locked up for life we can all breathe a little easier. You are a HERO and are sorely missed by all of us. My son is now a Deputy Sheriff in Chouteu County and I am proud of him. I hope and pray that he takes care each and every day to be a great Officer. I have told him your story since it happened and he will not forget the lesson that we all got that day. Remember to say I love you to your loved ones each and every day and before each shift. None of us know when our time will come. Saying I love you to your loved ones is the last and only thing they will have of you once you are gone. You and I used to talk about this and I know that you told your loved ones this that night you left us. Josh be proud of the men your sons are becoming they are strong and good. Always your friend Alan.

Deputy Alan L. Guderjahn
Phillips County

January 2, 2010

Josh, we were in Helena on Christmas and went to the memorial at the Capital. Auntie Mel had a tough time when she cleaned your name. Not a day goes by that she does not think of you. Watch over us and protect all. You are a special angel and will be in our thoughts and prayers forever!!!!

Mike Zuhoski
Retired LPD Sergeant

January 1, 2010

Josh guess I'm feeling sentimental. I don't look here much i hate to think about your loss. I keep up with very few of the old group. I miss you and hope your watching out for us still here. Keep guiding us to do what needs to be done. God bless you and your family.


January 1, 2010

Well Joshman another holiday has come and gone and it was a white one. Soon it will be the beginning of a New Year. I wished I knew how time flies by so fast. Still missing you and thinking of you. You are still dearly missed



December 27, 2009


Yvonne was here this afternoon. She said that Montana Supreme Court upheld Jackass's conviction. He will never see the light of a free day. Just wish I could see your smile.

Love and miss you


December 16, 2009

Miss you more today than yesterday. Please help me through the holidays. Lot of deaths here on the reservation, please keep those families in your prayers. Love you, Mom


December 13, 2009


Today is your 35th birthday and I am so grateful for the time you spent here. I think of all the happy memories that you have left and I am grateful for the years that the Creator blessed me with you. I miss you ever so much. I am angry about all that I have lost but I am so grateful for Harley. Her smiles bring me so much happiness.

I am one day closer to you


August 16, 2009

Truly hard to beleive it's been six years. Happened upon some old photos the other day. It was the halloween party at the Townhouse Inn. You were the clown... What a hoot! We had SO much fun! Sure miss ya.

A friend
Havre, mT

August 13, 2009

Josh was a very good friend to me...we were on several coroner calls together..investigating the scene, etc. but shortly before his untimely death..i was in a remote area..south blaine county and was in a dangerous situation of spousal abuse..Josh called me every few miles out to where i was to make sure i was ok..i had locked myself in my house for protection..he drove out there at a high rate of speed and got there fast..he came to the door and escorted me out to his sheriff's vehicle and held my hand while i regained my composure..and then without asking..he loaded up all my daughter's belongings..she was just a baby at the time...into my vehicle..followed me all the way back to town and then told me how to file a complaint, get a restraing order..etc..i remember feeling embarrased at the time because it was hard to have to call for assistance to the same agency i work for and expose my abuse by my spouse..i thought that maybe Josh would see me as a victim and feel sorry for me..or think i was incompetent to do my job and to work with him...and somehow he sensed how i was feeling...and he gave me a hug and reassured me that i was a smart, competent woman who happened to be in a bad situation and he was glad he was the one to respond and that he was looking forward to working with me again....i think of him from time to time and sure miss him!

Camia Edwards
Blaine County Deputy Coroner

August 11, 2009

Hello Josh you have really been on my mind lately.
And your granddaughter is a very beautiful young lady
love jody


August 6, 2009


I miss you so much. Its a month till your birthday. I remember what happened on this day in 1974.

Love, Mom


July 17, 2009

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