George H. Sutton, Jr., local iris man extraordinaire, went home to be with the Lord on May 29, 2013. He passed away in Visalia, Ca. after a lengthy illness. He was born February 20, 1933, in Hackensack, N.J. He lived in California much of his life, settling in Porterville in 1988.
George was most well-known for his world-renown Sutton's Iris Gardens, a beautiful, local tourist attraction. Together with his wife, he traveled the world, teaching and giving talks about iris and judging competitions. He made friends everywhere and his loss will be felt internationally.
George was also instrumental in establishing the Porterville Iris Festival and was most recently the delighted and surprised recipient of the title of Porterville Small Business of the Year award.
As a young man George served his country in the Air Force. He served during the Korean conflict and was stationed in Alaska.
George was the devoted husband of Margaret Sutton who predeceased him by only five weeks. They married in Redlands, Ca in 1957, making their first home in Rialto. They moved to Ukiah, Ca in 1963 where George practiced as a speech pathologist and taught emotionally challenged children for the Ukiah Unified School District. He also coached the Ukiah Dolphin Swim Team for many years and was fondly called "Coach" by his swimmers.
George was a devoted father and will be deeply missed by his children. He is survived by his daughter Peggy Vest and husband Dave of Redwood Valley; grandsons David Vest of Ukiah and James Vest of Vacaville, and great-granddaughter MacKenzie; son Michael Sutton and wife Connie, grandchildren Brandon Sutton and wife Chelsea; Shelby Meek and husband David; Andrew Sutton, and great-granddaughter Cassady. He was predeceased by his wife Margaret and daughter Barbara Miranda.
George was a faithful servant of the Lord and served Him in many ways. He was active in his beloved church. He persevered in his faith through many trials of life including his long and difficult illness. He is now at peace, free of sorrow and pain, in his eternal home with Jesus.
A service will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church in Tulare on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 9:00 AM. Interment will follow at Exeter Cemetery.
To sign the family guest book or send condolences, go to www.myersfuneral.com.
Myers Funeral Service & Crematory in Porterville is in charge of arrangements.
Published by The Porterville Recorder from May 31 to Jun. 1, 2013.