John Claire SUTHERLAND
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Age 84 Of Minneapolis Passed away November 18, 2012 after a difficult illness. John was born February 27, 1928 in Chatfield, MN to Irene and Claire Sutherland. He attended Washburn High School in Minneapolis, where he developed a passion for music and drumming, which continued throughout his life. He served in the Army in Japan from 1946 to 1948. He attended Macalester College and the University of MN, studying political science and philosophy. John worked as a social worker for Hennepin County, a position he held for three decades. In 1968, John and his former spouse, Sylvia, traveled West by motorcycle, alongside their friend Robert Pirsig, and his son, Chris. Pirsig chronicled the trip in his book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. John's many passions included photography, travel, pottery/art, music, poetry, politics, religion, sharing moments with family & friends, seeking beauty in life, and of course, his drumming. He was a lifetime member of the Twin Cities Musicians Union. He most recently played with the group "Jazz by Fosse" up until the time of his illness. John was also very passionate in his support of peace and social justice issues. John was very grateful for his 33 years of sobriety. He will be deeply missed by his family, including former spouse, Sylvia Sutherland; daughters, Madeline Sutherland, Simone (Dana Holm) Sutherland, Zoe (Charles) Major, and Lily (Corey) Sutherland-Topel; grandchildren, Zachary, Tatum, Forrest Major, and Olivia Pinales; brother, Jim (Joyce) Sutherland; niece, Laura (Denny) Harpestad; nephew, Stephen (Beth) Sutherland; and many longtime friends. A Memorial Service will begin at 11:00 AM Saturday, December 8, 2012 at Saint Stanislaus Catholic Church, 398 Superior Street, St. Paul (651) 292-0303. A reception will follow the service at Summit Manor in St Paul. Memorials preferred to a social justice, non-profit organization of your choice. Peace be with you.




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Published in Pioneer Press on Dec. 2, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
December 11, 2012
I'm so sorry to hear of John's passing. I have so many fond memories - from visiting your family in my childhood; to him sitting in with the band at my wedding; to looking through his photos with him; and to recent visits. He was a warm, kind, and humorous man. I hope you find peace.
Megan Rowe
December 5, 2012
Laura and family, our deepest sympathies for your loss. Brett and I met John at a family function, and he was playing the drums of course! A delightful man. He will be missed.
Sandra Flier
December 5, 2012
John- we will miss you and your wonderful music
Ruth Cain
December 3, 2012
Lily so sorry for the loss of your dad, you are in my thoughts.
Melissa Steuben
December 2, 2012
Sylvia and Family, Sorry to read of John's passing. Hope memories and the love & kindness of family & friends give comfort & support.
Cindy Swan Henderlite
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