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Gary Lee Sutton

March 6, 1935 ~ August 5, 2019 (age 84)
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Gary L. Sutton, age 84 of North Branch Michigan, died August 5, 2019, at Lapeer Transitional Care Facility. Gary was born on March 6, 1935 in Scottsburg, Indiana.  His parents were Vern Sutton and Freda (Lyles) Sutton.  He graduated from Scottsburg High School, attended Indiana University where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree, and completed his Masters of Music at Michigan State University.  

On August 7, 1955 he married his childhood sweetheart and the love of his life, Lillian (Adams) Sutton. Gary began teaching music in 1957, and was the music director at North Branch High School for 29 years. His hobbies included playing Dixieland music with the Dixieland Express, New Reformation Dixieland Band, and numerous other bands. Gary loved to hunt and fish with his friends and family.  He loved reading, especially United States history. He loved to photograph his family and grand-kids.

Gary is survived by his wife Lillian; his brother Gene Sutton (Jan); children Tonja Sutton (Jim Jagodzinski), Lisa Sutton, Todd Sutton (Annette); grandchildren Kimberly Danhoff (JD), Amanda Ludwig (MJ), Tiffany Dentchev (Stefan), Kristy Burch (Josh), Jamie Swears (Greg), Erin Parsons (Joel), Jeremy Sutton, Emily Sutton, Josh Sutton; and ten great-grandchildren, and his dearly loved 4-legged friend Lucky. He was preceded in death by his parents Vern and Freda Sutton, and his son-in-law Cliff Ball (Lisa).

During his teaching career he led many bands to District, State and National Championships. Gary initiated a tour program and traveled nationally and internationally with has bands and students. He was a judge for music competitions in the state of Michigan, and he taught music clinics to numerous bands as well.  Following his teaching career, he and Lillian started a travel company leading high school band tours with hundreds of students to several national and international locations. Most importantly, Gary shared his love of music and life lessons as a gift to the many students he taught and the colleagues he played with over the years.  Gary was inducted into the North Branch Community Hall of Fame in 2017.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Gary Sutton Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Family will be present for visitation on August 9 at Blackburn Chapel-Martin Funeral Home, 4216 Huron Street, North Branch MI 48461, from 1 to 8 pm.  A second visitation will be held August 10 at North Branch High School auditorium, 6600 Brush Street, North Branch MI 48461 from 10-11 am, followed by the Funeral Service at 11:00 am.

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Arrangements by Blackburn Chapel-Martin Funeral


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