Walter John Sutton, age 65, of Moncton, Brantford, Hamilton and Toronto, died of pancreatic cancer on May 30, 2023 at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton.
Born in Calgary, Alberta on January 1, 1958, Walt was the first child of Joan Sutton Straus (nee Treble) and Walter John “Pete” Sutton.
Predeceased by his mother and his stepson Colin Buckley, he is survived and will be dearly missed by his beloved wife, Lori (nee Buckley) of Moncton; his father Pete Sutton of Wilmington, North Carolina; his sister Deborah Sutton of Kingfield, Maine; his nephew Leon Sutton Straus Robie of Winslow, Maine; his loving and lifelong friend Livia Curti of Toronto; his friends Douglas Cogswell, Shelley Cogswell Lee, and Michael Roussel; his aunts and uncles and cousins; and his devoted dog Morag.
A hardworking man all his life, Walt grew up and attended schools in Toronto, later moving to Hamilton and then Brantford, before marrying Lori in 2017 and settling in Moncton NB, where he devoted himself to remodeling and updating their home and building a married life with her. A skilled carpenter and handyman, Walt could fix just about anything, and in his limited spare time, over the years, he built a wooden boat, fine furniture, and model ships, for which he patiently lathed tiny brass cannons and tied rigging by hand. He was a resolute champion of the working man and stood up against injustice whenever he encountered it. A plaque in a business in Dundas, Ontario commemorates the time that he risked his own life, while driving a truck whose brakes had failed, to avoid injuring or killing pedestrians.
A devotee of all things Celtic, Walt was an enthusiastic and ardent bagpiper, and a proud member of the RCMP J Division Pipes and Drums band, which in May 2023 received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal; the Brantford Pipes and Drums; and formerly a member of the Moncton District Pipe Band. One of his recent projects was to transcribe the Ukrainian national anthem into musical notation for the bagpipes. He was also knowledgable about history and current affairs and enjoyed a good political debate.
He cared deeply about his family, and despite the geographic distances among all members of his family of origin, he was always willing to travel to lend a helping hand. During his final days, Walt’s truly good soul shone bright and strong. His greatest worry was that he had not sufficiently shown his love and appreciation to the people he cared about. He talked about this at length and wanted to be sure that this would be known. So if his life touched yours, please know that he loved and valued you, even if he wasn’t able to tell you that himself. He was not ready to leave, he thought he would have more time, and he left this earth reluctantly. Despite that anguish, he was unfailingly polite and courteous to those around him, always answering “Yes, please” when offered a drink of water, and thanking the nurses and staff for their efforts on his behalf.
Walt’s wife and family would like to extend special thanks to the nursing team and staff in Section 3F of the Georges Dumont Hospital, whose kindness and attention to him was moving and much appreciated; also to the Rev. Canon Chris VanBuskirk, whose guidance was extraordinary, as well as Louise Boissonnault and Father Damien, all of whom helped Walt and his family accept and understand what was happening.
A graveside service, officiated by Father Chris VanBuskirk, will take place on Friday, July 14 at 1:00 p.m. at Black River United Church Cemetery (1101 Route 825. Black River, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2S 1Y7), followed by a reception at Seaview Community Club (17 Bayview Rd., Black River, NB E2S 1Z8).
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Walt’s memory to the Community Outreach Program of St George’s Anglican Church (51 Church Street, Moncton NB E1C 4Z3 Canada. Telephone: 506-855-5209. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The family invites you to sign a book of condolences at: www.funerairepassagefuneral.ca.
Arrangements under the professional care of Passage Funeral Cooperative and Cremation Center (625 Mountain Rd, Moncton, NB, E1C 2P1, 506-855-1145).