Jack Sutton would grin and say that positive things happened to positive people. He was a one-of-a-kind presence in the lives of his friends and family. He connected with people because he was genuinely interested in who they were and what they were doing. These connections led him on adventures to World Series games, as pit crew at historic car races, “co-pilot” in small planes, and “first mate” on fishing trips, and to Camp Seymour to teach his kids the thrill of a pinewood derby car gliding down the track.
Jack’s sense of humor was legendary, whether he was making a funny face for a photo, planning April Fools’ pranks (for months), joking with his family or laughing with his friends at breakfast Wednesday mornings. You never knew what would happen when you spent time with Jack, but you would either have a good story or joke to tell later or a sincere conversation that left you feeling supported. People will laugh out loud for years to come as they tell the “Jack Stories”.
After graduating from Queen Anne High School in Seattle, Jack enlisted in the US Army where he proudly wore the Green Beret as a member of Special Forces. He was assigned to a detachment in West Berlin. It was there that he met his future wife, Susie, who was visiting with Jack’s twin sister. After his Army years, Jack graduated from the University of Washington, became a lifelong Husky football fan and enjoyed bellowing the Husky Fight Song.
Jack said he was fortunate to have found a job that let him work with his partners, customers, and their families. He had the capacity to embrace them in all aspects of their lives and was a dedicated and faithful friend to them. He worked at The Aetna Insurance Company in Seattle before joining Bratrud Middleton Insurance, now Propel Insurance, in Tacoma in 1979.
Jack could not sit still long. Between work, hobbies, and friends, he never had much downtime. Jack enjoyed playing golf regularly and took an annual golf trip to California every year for 27 years. Over the years, he spent many hours on the water fishing with friends and family. The time spent on the water with the people he loved outweighed the fish he caught (or the big ones that got away).
Jack loved classic cars. He was so proud of the 1946 Chevrolet farm truck he restored that he memorialized it on a t-shirt. He was an enthusiastic and active member of the Gig Harbor Cruisers Car Club. Among other capacities, he served as the Scholarship Co-chairman for several years.
Most recently, Jack started wood working and wood turning. Initially, he fed most of his projects to the fire pit, but he worked up to creating interesting bowls, rolling pins and other household items. He even created a wooden ferry boat for his grandson’s toy cars.
The Gig Harbor community was Jack’s home. He served on the Harbor History Museum Board of Directors and was immensely proud to see its new facility open in 2010. He participated in the development of the Gig Harbor Waterfront Association with its goal of developing a strong downtown business community, although he always wondered where all the visitors would park!
Jack was born in Bremerton, Washington on December 20, 1945 just 18 minutes before his twin sister, Jill. He left us on July 4, 2018 in Gig Harbor, Washington. He will be deeply missed by scores of friends and his wife, Susie of Gig Harbor, daughter Leslie Sutton (Michael Grieser) and grandson Miles Grieser all of Portland, Oregon, son, Mike Sutton, of Nampa, Idaho, sisters Suzi Chase (Dustin) of Locust Valley, New York, Sally Garmon of Woodstock, Vermont and Jill Natalini (Ernie) of Plymouth, Michigan as well as nieces, nephews and their children.
In lieu of flowers, donations in remembrance may be made to the Harbor History Museum Jack Sutton Memorial Fund (4121 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor, WA 98332). There will be an informal celebration of Jack’s life to tell some “Jack Stories” on Sunday, August 12th at 2:00 pm at the Sutton home in Gig Harbor. All are welcome.