Cover photo for Alvis Beethoven "A.B." Rutland's Obituary
Alvis Beethoven "A.B." Rutland Profile Photo

Alvis Beethoven "A.B." Rutland

September 15, 1934 — November 29, 2023

Gulfport

Alvis Beethoven "A.B." Rutland

 

Alvis Beethoven “A.B.” Rutland, age 89, of Gulfport, MS passed away on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 surrounded by his family in Gulfport.

A.B. was born September 15, 1934 in Mt. Olive, Mississippi. He was the son of the late Charles Lafayette Rutland and Mary Ellen “Mollye” Speed. A.B. graduated from Mt. Olive High School in 1953 and was a graduate from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1960 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Personnel Management. He served in the United States Army from 1960-1968, commissioned as a First Lieutenant.

As an Officer and Branch Manager at Hancock Bank, A.B. served for 14 years, a Real Estate Broker for over 50 years, Consolidated and Standard Life Insurance agent, Certified Appraiser and a Charter Member of Civitan Club of Gulfport.

A.B. devoted a large portion of his life to music. He started playing the piano at the age of 8 and was known to “play by ear’’: the ability to perform music without needing any form of sheet music using tonal memory. He was a skilled and intuitive musician and used his abilities to sing and perform with many groups and barbershop-style quartets as early as age 15. A.B. has been a Deacon and the Minister of Music at many Southern Baptist churches in Mississippi. One of his musical achievements was being part of The Bibletones Quartet having been a member of the Gospel quartet for 16 years. He was known by his pure southern baritone voice.

A.B.’s hobbies were genealogy and history. Some of his family roots can be dated back to the 900’s AD. He also coauthored a book, “Footprints lost in time”.  An  enduring characteristic as a historian and as a person was that he was interested in people.

A.B. was preceded in death by his siblings, Ann Helm (Boyd), Lawrence Rutland (Lena), John Rutland, Howard Rutland (June), Jerry Rutland (Sherry); and his grandson, Micah Sison.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Eileen Sparkman Rutland; his children, Angela Rutland Hudson, Diane Rutland Sison (William), and John Alvis Rutland; his grandchildren, Crystal Hudson, Cy Hudson, Levi Hudson (Amber), Christopher Sison (Shristi) and Sarah Sison (German); his great-grandchildren, Sadie Rose Hudson, Sophi Eckrich, and Rowan Hudson.

If you knew A.B., you might become his favorite person of the day if you brought him some collard greens and let’s not forget his love affair with boiled peanuts, cornbread and buttermilk. The TV remote became his favorite gadget. A.B. would turn the channels for hours to watch The History Channel, MASH and Wheel of Fortune simultaneously. Playing the piano and singing every evening was his way of releasing stress and the household’s way of knowing dinner is almost ready by his Saint of a wife, Eileen.  A.B. was “filled to the brim” with southern idioms, “too many to shake a stick at” to name. If you were a stranger he would ask, “that you come over, have a sit and pretend like we’re friends” and be related to you by the end of the day.
It was an honor to meet him, his word was golden and his family was everything.

The family would like to thank the following caregiver, Tracy Ladner and granddaughter, Crystal Hudson.

The funeral service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 7, 2023 at Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, 15th Street Gulfport. Friends may visit beginning at 10:30 a.m. Interment with U.S. Army honors will follow at Biloxi National Cemetery. Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, 15th Street, Gulfport is honored to serve the Rutland family.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you make a donation for a student to:
The Gospel Singers of America, P.O. Box 119, Pass Christian, MS 39571,
in his honor.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alvis Beethoven "A.B." Rutland, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, December 7, 2023

10:30am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home - Gulfport

1726 15th St, Gulfport, MS 39501

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home - Gulfport

1726 15th St, Gulfport, MS 39501

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Starts at 1:30 pm (Central time)

Biloxi National Cemetery

400 Veterans Ave., Biloxi, MS 39531

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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