SARATOGA SPRINGS - City native, educator, businessman and public servant, Rod O. Sutton, 91, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, at his residence, surrounded by his family.
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Born Nov. 10, 1921, in Saratoga Springs, he was the son of the late William and Cornelia Cameron Sutton and he was a twin sibling of the late May Hodgson.
He graduated from Saratoga Springs High School with the class of 1940, attended Albany Business College and was then drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942. He was assigned to the 825th Ordnance Co., served at the internment camp for Japanese Americans in Santa Anita, Calif., and was promoted to sergeant Dec. 23, 1943. He was sent overseas to the European Theatre Operation as part of Headquarters under General Eisenhower.
Following duties in England, France, Belgium and Germany, Rod was discharged Dec. 24, 1945, and then attended Siena College, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics.
On June 15, 1947, he married the love of his life, the former Mary Maglione, and they were happily married for more than 65 years.
He operated the Five Points Grocery store for 12 years, returning to school in Oneonta and receiving his teaching credits. He taught at Corinth central schools for 27 years, retiring in 1984. Since the late 1940s, Rod could be found during racing season parking cars on Union Avenue across from Saratoga Race Course and worked well into his '70s before passing it on to his children and grandchildren. Mr. Sutton remained active in his hometown community throughout his teaching career and during his retirement.
A member of the Saratoga Springs Zoning Board for 12 years, followed by three terms as commissioner of Finance from 1968 to 1974. He also served as a member of the Urban Renewal Agency and Saratoga Springs Planning Board.
Rod spent much of his life dedicated to the Saratoga Springs B.P.O. Elks Lodge 161. Initiated in 1953, he was Exalted Ruler from 1964 to 1965. In his many years with the Elks, Rod was chairman of the Northeast Scholarship Committee; a member of the State Bowling Committee; three-time chairman of the State Bowling Tournament hosted in Saratoga Springs, which brought thousands of bowlers to the city during the tournament; a Northeast District trustee; and treasurer of the State Elks Association. He was selected Old Timer of the Year in 1979.
An avid bowler at the Elks Club, he was best known for bowling a 300 game - one of only two ever bowled there.
A recipient of a Hometown Hero award presented by the Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau for his efforts in bringing tourists to our community, he was a longtime member of Gurtler Bros. Post 420 VFW and American Legion Adirondack Post 70.
In addition to his parents and his twin sister, he was predeceased by his brother, William, and his sister, Minna.
Survivors include his wife, Mary; two sons, Rodney J. (Amy) and Mark (Kimberly) Sutton, and his daughter, Cameron (Keith) Simons, all of Saratoga Springs, his beloved grandchildren, Brian, Patricia, Kristin, Jenna, Keith, Katherine and Jonathan; and his great-granddaughter, Addison May.
Relatives and friends may call from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, at William J. Burke & Sons/Bussing & Cunniff Funeral Homes, 628 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 584-5373.
Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 7, at Bethesda Episcopal Church, 41 Washington St., with the Very Rev'd. Marshall J. Vang, interim rector, officiating.
Burial with military honors will follow at the family plot in St. Peter's Cemetery on West Avenue.
Members of Saratoga-Wilton Elks 161 will meet at 5 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home for services.
Memorials may be made in his name to the Elks Scholarship Fund, Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge 161, P.O. Box 3111, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866; to Community Hospice of Saratoga, 179 Lawrence St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866; or to Bethesda Church, Flower Fund, 41 Washington St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
Online remembrances may be made at www.burkefuneralhome.com.
William J. Burke & Sons - Saratoga Springs
628 North Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Published in The Saratogian on Jan. 4, 2013