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Richard D. Sutton, 1939-2006


January 20, 2006 | bpfna

The Rev. Dr. Richard D. Sutton, 1939-2006

Rev. Sutton, known to friends and family simply as Dick, died from cancer while in the care of his family at home in Norristown, PA, on January 11, 2006. Dick embraced life, traveling extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad feeding his lifelong love of the outdoors, national parks, and photographing nature. He climbed a number of the tallest peaks in the Western U.S., hiked and camped across the country, skied, fished, hunted and seemingly enjoyed nearly every sport at one time or another. But most of all he showered his family, friends and strangers alike with love and friendship, his passion for life, gift of humor and talent for listening and counseling. 

Dick's professional life extended across the country. Prior to his ordination, he assisted churches in his home state of Indiana and spent a summer in Sequoia National Park, CA, working for Christian Ministries in the National Parks. Following seminary, Dick pastored churches in Delores, CO, Astoria, OR, and Lewiston, NY, and as associate minister for Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC. While in Charlotte, Dick also worked as a mediator for United Family Services and served as an institutional chaplain for Charlotte Memorial Hospital. Dick spent the last 13 years of his career as a home missionary for the Board of National Ministries of the American Baptist Churches USA in Valley Forge, PA. There he served in various capacities including Director of Family Ministries and initiated a pilot project for transformation of small churches.

Following his retirement in 2003, Dick served on the Board of Children's Aid Society, Montgomery County, PA. At Calvary Baptist Church of Norristown, PA, he chaired a task force studying the viability of the church's Children's Learning Center and he also chaired the church's Stewardship Team. 

Dick was born on March 14, 1939, in Columbus, IN, to Tom and Velma Sutton (both deceased). He is survived by his wife Carol; his son Nathan of Washington, DC; his brother William Sutton of Clayton, GA; and his sister Wanda Wold of Lakeland, FL. His first wife, Ilga M. Leyasmeyer, died in 1996. 

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 21, at 3:00 PM at Calvary Baptist Church, 801 W. Marshall Street, Norristown, PA. 

The family requests that those interested in honoring Dick through a contribution make a donation in his name to Children's Aid Society, 1314 DeKalb St, Norristown, PA 19401. Contact Ms. Ray Stevens 610 279-2755 or visit for further information. 

Family service by Boyd-Horrox Funeral Home of East Norriton, 610-277-7000.
This announcement was published in the Charlotte Observer on January 18, 2006.

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