Cover photo for Howard Rutland's Obituary
1942 Howard 2023

Howard Rutland

April 4, 1942 — February 18, 2023


Charles Howard Rutland, age 80, of Gulfport passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 18, 2023.

Originally from Mount Olive, Mississippi. Howard was preceded in death by his father, Leff Rutland and mother, Molly Speed Rutland; brothers, John, Lawrence and Jerry Rutland; sister, Ann Helm; and beloved wife of 58 years, June Kahler Rutland.

He is survived by his daughter, Larissa Nordstrom; son, Charles (Natasha) Rutland; grandchildren, Jonathan (Shannon) Rutland, Deven Rutland, and Samantha Rutland; great-grandchild, Zoe Rutland; brother, A.B. (Eileen) Rutland; and sisters, Gloria Sue Allen and Linda (James) Ladner.

Howard was retired from Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Homes where he worked as a funeral director and pre-needs salesman. He loved his family and enjoyed spending time with them. He never met a stranger and always had jokes “one-line zingers” to make you laugh.

Howard loved singing Southern Gospel Music throughout his life. He began singing as a young boy. He was with the Gulfport Melody Boys, The Tall Men Quartet, and later member-owner of Bibletones Quartet. Howard will be remembered by his lasting legacy and love of Southern Gospel Music through his music and accomplishments over the years. He was awarded the 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from Emerald Coast Southern Gospel Music Association, 2013 Mr. Southern Gospel Music for Mississippi from Phil Bryant, and 2015 Living Legend Award presented from Grand Ole Gospel Reunion.

The family would like to thank the following Kare In-Home nurses and staff; caregiver, Ms. Joann Burdine; Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Homes; Bibletones Quartet and Dixie Echoes.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at First Baptist Church of Lyman. Friends and associates may visit from 10:00 a.m. until service time. Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, O'Neal Road, Gulfport, is honored to serve the family of Mr. Rutland.

The service will be live-streamed on First Baptist Church of Lyman's Facebook Page.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Bibletones Quartet via PayPal (



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Howard Rutland, please visit our flower store.


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