CHILLICOTHE - Gary W. (Kidd) Sutton, 55, of Chillicothe, Ill., passed away on Thursday, May 23, 2013, after a long three and one-half year battle with esophageal cancer.
His favorite response to people when they would say it was good to see him was "it is good to BE SEEN."
Born Gary Wayne Kidd in Kewanee, Ill., on May 31, 1957, to his birth father, Ronald Dean Kidd, and his mother, Carolyn Ann (maiden name Buchanan), he was raised by his parents, Harold E. and Carolyn A. Sutton.
He married Lisa Mae Cothren in July 1979 in Rome, Ill., and later married Avis Ann Rimington on Oct. 10, 1987, in Peoria, Ill.
He graduated from the Chillicothe Illinois Valley Central High School, class of 1975. He was happy to be connected with many former classmates, who provided love and support through Facebook during his cancer journey.
He graduated from Illinois Central College in 1978 with an Associate of Arts & Science Degree in architecture. He studied architecture at the University of Arkansas, received a Certificate in Small Business Management from Bradley University and studied Organizational Leadership at Eureka College.
During high school, Gary started working for the Chillicothe architectural firm of Tom Landes & Associates, which later became Landes-Benson-Parkins, P.C. He was employed there for nearly 20 years, after which he started his own company for a time and then became co-owner of Landes-Benson-Parkins, P.C., for nearly 10 years.
At the end of 2005, Gary left LBP to practice architecture as a sole proprietor and to also do church consulting work. After working over 38 years in the field of architecture, and due to cancer and health issues, Gary retired from being a licensed architect at the end of 2012.
Gary had been a member of the professional organizations American Institute of Architects (AIA), Association of Licensed Architects (ALA) and the Construction Specification Institute (CSI). He was also a long time member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
He was a true believer in volunteering and giving back to the community and to helping others. Some of his civic associations included the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce, Jaycees, Thermal Imaging Camera Committee for the Chillicothe Fire Department, several local historical societies, past Chillicothe Library Board Trustee, past secretary and 12 year member of Chillicothe Plan Commission, chairman of Chillicothe Riverfront Development Committee, lifetime member of Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois, past member of Three Sisters Park Advisory Board, past recipient of the Three Sisters Park Volunteer of the Year Award and he also sat on many committees for Three Sisters Park, past officer of Three Sisters Antique Tractor Club, past member of U of I Extension Council, U of I 4-H & Extension Foundation Board member and creator/founder/co-chairman of the Central Illinois Renewable Energy Expo. This annual event was also a fundraiser for University of Illinois 4-H and Extension Foundation.
Gary was a member of and former church treasurer for Rome Baptist Church in Rome, Ill.
Gary's last volunteering efforts were joyfully giving of his time to the Methodist Hospital, volunteering and working on the Surgicare Floor helping the nurses and doctors who provided such wonderful care to him during his many operations and medical procedures received during his cancer battle. He was so very appreciative of the relationships developed during this time, with many resulting in very meaningful and lasting friendships.
Gary enjoyed and greatly loved his family and friends. He was known as "Gramps" to his twin grandsons, whom he adored. He also enjoyed working and playing with his skidsteer and dump truck, many times jokingly stating "it is work, not play."
He was a Corvette enthusiast, having owned three in his lifetime. He also owned several antique tractors and loved driving them in parades. Gary's friends often referred to him as the "Bacon King" or "Bacon Man" due to his love of bacon. Mostly, he truly loved people and being a help to them.
He is survived by his parents, Harold and Carolyn, and his wife, Avis, all of Chillicothe, Ill.; one daughter, Lacey (Travis) Ritchart of Bloomington, Ill.; two sons, Kenyon (Lenna) Sutton of Jacksonville, Fla., and B. Tyler (Carolyn) Sutton of Normal, Ill.; two brothers, Ed (Paula) Sutton of Mishawaka, Ind., and Matt (Darlene Whiteman) Sutton of Peoria, Ill.; five sisters, Kathy (Tony) Kidd of Peoria, Ill., Teresa (Ed) of Metamora, Ill., Lenae Kieser of Phoenix, Ariz., Judy (Bruce) Johnston of Quincy, Ill., and Rhonda (Dave) Manthe of Geneseo, Ill.; three grandsons, Cooper Ritchart and twins, Tobias and Eli Sutton; one nephew and eight nieces; and also a special stepsister, Jeanne (John) Groy of St. Petersburg, Fla.; and stepbrother, Rob Stankowski of Iowa.
He was preceded in death by his birth father and grandparents.
Visitation will be held Monday, May 26, 2013, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Rome Baptist Church, 5104 E. Stevenson Ave., Chillicothe. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at the church. Pastor Phillip Taylor will officiate. Cremation will be accorded after the service.
Memorial contributions may be made to Rome Baptist Church or www.ecan.org, an esophageal cancer network.
Weber-Hurd Funeral Home in Chillicothe is assisting with arrangements and online condolences may be made to www.weberhurdfuneralhome.com.