SUTTON, Clifford Lamar "Cliff," age 85, of Orlando, passed away December 25, 2012. A sixth- generation Floridian and member of the Florida Pioneers, he was born February 26, 1927 in Auburndale, Fla., to Charles A. Sutton and Loretta Clifton Sutton, and graduated from Plant City High School in 1945. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill at the end of World War II, and returned to play football at the University of Florida from 1946 to 1949 under coach Ray "Bear" Wolf - a loss-heavy period self-dubbed "The Golden Era" by the players, who remained friends for life. A "60-minute" man, Sutton played entire games, alternating between offensive and defensive tackle. Fast and fit, he lettered four years and was named All-SEC tackle in 1948. He graduated with a degree in Horticulture in 1950 and entered the citrus business, working for 20 years as a salesman and Southeast Regional Manager for Chevron Chemical. He married his high school sweetheart Barbara Ann Covington in 1951 and together they formed Sutton & Sutton Realty, Inc., in Orlando's College Park neighborhood, in 1975. For most of his adult life, Sutton owned citrus groves. He managed them himself, spending many a cold winter's night lighting fires and smudge pots, protecting his crops from the cold. He treated his citrus trees like family, naming the groves for his children and even the family dog. An avid outdoorsman, he spent as much time as possible surrounded by nature, hunting or working in his groves, and gathering regularly with friends from the citrus business at the Red Wing Restaurant in Groveland. A Rotarian and former vice president of the Florida Horticultural Society, he was a member of College Park Baptist Church. He is survived by Barbara Ann Covington Sutton, his wife of 61 years; daughters, Dusty Sutton and Missy Craig (Matt), both of Orlando; two sisters, Violete Massey and Claudia Griffis; and four grandchildren, Casey and Whitney Cummings, and Cary and Chloe Craig. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., January 8, 2013 at College Park Baptist Church, 1914 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to Hospice of the Comforter, 480 W. Central Parkway, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714; or College Park Baptist Church, 1914 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804.
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Published in TBO.com on Jan. 6, 2013