Longtime business leader, councilman passes
Former local pharmacist and city councilman Frank B. Rutledge passed away May 12.
Rutledge, along with his father, Frank, Sr., were operators of F.B. Rutledge & Sons Drugs, which eventually led to F&F Drugs when brother Freddy joined.
“Mr. Frank was kind of an institution in pharmacy here in Demopolis. He was the man,” Demopolis pharmacist Stan Reeves, who purchased F&F Drugs from the Rutledge family, said. “Their dad started Rutledge Drugs here in Demopolis. They had Rutledge Drugs downtown and then they had F&F here on the highway.”
The Rutledge connection to pharmacy in Demopolis dates al the way back into the early 1900s. The first Rutledge-owned drug store in Demopolis opened its doors in 1912 when Frank Sr. founded City Drug.
“I went to Mr. Frank’s house and sat down with him back a few months ago and we just kind of went over the history of the drug stores here in Demopolis and how they got here,” Reeves said of a recent conversation he had with Frank Jr.
That conversation proved an extension of a relationship in which Reeves gleaned great knowledge regarding the drug store trade from Frank Jr. over the years.
“He was willing to share his knowledge,” Reeves said. “And he had a lot of knowledge of pharmacies and things that were sold in pharmacies years ago. I learned a lot from talking to him.”
Reeves also attributed a significant portion of F&F’s continued success as a staple business in Demopolis to the tradition that was established by the Rutledge family.
“If Mr. Frank and Mr. Freddy hadn’t started this business, I certainly wouldn’t be here. F & F was opened in 1957,” Reeves said. “They had built relationships just over the many, many, many years of being here. I have a lot of respect for the tradition that the Rutledges established here in the pharmacy industry in our area. I just hope that we can continue that for years to come.”
The Junior Rutledge was a graduate of Demopolis High School and Auburn University and served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-1945 and was the Commander of the LST 487 in the Pacific.
He was an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church, serving as senior warden several times, was president of the Demopolis Rotary Club and also served as a member of the Demopolis City Council.
There will be a memorial service at Trinity Episcopal Church on North Main Street in Demopolis, Saturday, May 19 at 5 p.m. The family will receive friends in the Parish Hall from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.. A private burial service will be held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Gallion.