Joseph Walter Sutton

Alton | Saturday, July 2 2011

Joseph Walter Sutton, 91, passed away July 2, 2011 at Alton Rehabilitation and Nursing Center after a lengthy Illness.

He was born on March 9, 1920 to Joseph S. and Anna (Jones) Sutton in Flat River, MO.  He had three sisters, Helen Maxson, Nadine Berghoefer and Irene Shannon, who all preceded him in death.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corp during WWII from 1941 – 1945.  After the war he graduated from Southeast Missouri State Univ. in Cape Girardeau, MO, and began teaching school shortly thereafter.

Surviving include his wife of 58 years, Welda R. “Sue” (Matthews) Sutton of Alton, his son and daughter-in-law, Christopher and Julia Sutton of Godfrey, a daughter, Jan Harmon, of West Hollywood, CA two grandchildren, Emily and Max Sutton and many nieces and nephews.

He was a teacher at Western Military Academy until its closure in 1970 and in the Alton School District until he retired in 1985.  In retirement he substitute taught until he was 82 years of age.  He was an English teacher who truly loved introducing literature and poetry to his many students.  He enjoyed playing tennis, jogging, bicycling and was a jazz music enthusiast.  He was a loving and attentive husband, father, and grandfather and was a good friend to many.

He was very active at the First Unitarian Church of Alton as a member and he served as church board president on more than one occasion.  Passionate about social justice, he was often involved in political and grass roots efforts to bring about a better world.

A Celebration of his life will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, 2011 at the First Unitarian Church of Alton, with Rev. Khleber Van Zant officiating.  There will be refreshments and memories shared after the service.  In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Staten-Fine Funeral Home in Alton is in charge of arrangements.

Online tributes and guestbook may be found at

Obit Provided By:
Staten, Fine & Burke Funeral Home

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