A native of Lee County, Va., he had made Harlan County his home. He was a 1965 graduate of Harlan High School and went on to attend Union College on a basketball scholarship. He became a sales consultant for the mining industry and served Southeast Kentucky and surrounding areas for 34 years. He was a man of God and a member of Sunshine Baptist Church. He was a standout athlete in high school and college. While in high school, he earned many honors in the areas of basketball, track and baseball, including playing in the Senior League World Series in Williamsport, Penn., as well as being a member of the Kentucky East basketball all-stars. While in college at Union, he continued his athletic career in the sports of basketball, track and baseball. As a strong competitor on the basketball court, he was selected to the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) all conference team and was a starting forward for the 1968 Union Bulldogs as they competed in their NIAI National Tournament, the only team to achieve this status in school history. He also remains one of Union's career point leaders and is a member of the 1,000 point club. Charlie also had great success as a member of the track team, competing in the triple jump and the broad jump, for which he was the silver medalist at the KIAC tournament. On the baseball field, he split duties of shortstop and left fielder for the Bulldogs. He was nominated for the 1968 Player of the Year in all three sports, earning him the achievement of the 1968 Athlete of the Year at Union College. He continued his love of sports by coaching area children, including his own children in Little League baseball, Junior Pro basketball and AAU basketball.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Rutledge Sr. and Ruby Williams Rutledge.
Survivors include his wife of 39 years, Imojean Rutledge, Harlan; four children: Kimberly Ray and husband, Michael, Middlesboro; Crystal Potter and husband, Brett, Jacksonville, N.C.; Charles Rutledge III and wife, Beverly, Grayson; and Timothy Rutledge and wife, Ashley, Nicholasville; eight grandchildren: Xavier and Amber Ray, both of Middlesboro; Katelyn, Courtney, Hannah and Micah Potter, all of Jacksonville, N.C.; and Makayla and Ridge Rutledge, both of Nicholasville; a sister, Ruth Purely, Indiana; one niece, Kathy, Indiana; his step-mother, Nora Rutledge, Shalimar, Fla.; a sister, Mary Lou Baker and husband, Terry, Florida; a brother-in-law, Wayne Crawford, Florida; and several other relatives and friends.
Visitation is today from 5 to 8 p.m. at Mount Pleasant Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be conducted today at 8 p.m. at the funeral home with the Rev. Roy McNeil and the Rev. Eddie Estep officiating.
Graveside services will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Resthaven Cemetery at Keith.
Deacons and members of the Sunshine Baptist Church will serve as pallbearers.
Honorary pallbearers will be members of the 1968-1969 Union College Men's Basketball Team.
Mount Pleasant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.