James C. “Jim” Sutton

James C. “Jim” Sutton

James C. “Jim” Sutton, age 89, of Dubuque, was called home peacefully at 9:00 p.m., on Saturday, October 27, 2018, at home, surrounded by his loving family. To honor James’ life, funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., on Friday, November 2, 2018, at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 1199 Main Street, with Rev. John Taylor officiating. To celebrate James’ life, family and friends may visit from 3:00 p.m., until 7:00 p.m., on Thursday, November 1, 2018, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street. Burial will be in Linwood Cemetery.

James was born on September 4, 1929, in Lexington, Mississippi, son of William “Billy” and Gertrude (O’Neal) Sutton.

James was born and raised in Mississippi, where he developed a strong work ethic, that would lead him to devote 45 years of his life to the Illinois Central Railroad. He began working at work at age 15 and it would take him from Mississippi to Springfield, Illinois and then to Galena, Illinois and on to Dubuque in 1958. It was here that he and Ruby chose to stay and raise their children. James retired from the railroad in 1988, at age 60, never missing a single day of work. He was united in marriage to the love of his life, Ruby Richmond, on May 31, 1952, in Lexington, and he and his bride would be blessed with 63 years together and 8 adoring children, before Ruby was sadly called home ahead of him on September 18, 2015. James was an extremely social person, with an expert degree in the “BS” department, which made him loveable and irresistible to everyone around him. He was also well known, but not quite as loved, for holding up traffic on his 10 mph car rides around town to check out everything that was going on in the area, while stopping to visit family and friends along the way. When some welcomed free time around the house made its way into his day, James could easily be found out in the bright sunshine, putting his “green thumb” to work in the garden, tending to his flower beds, or simply sitting on the front porch chewing on one of his favorite cigars. James never shied away from a hard days work, and could do anything from carpentry projects to electrical and plumbing jobs, as long as someone was willing to show him how to do it just once, he truly was a “Jack of all Trades”. We are deeply saddened at the loss of such a loving, kind, excellent example of what a father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother should be, but we will do our best to carry on his tradition of hard work and taking time to really get to know people, and use those skills to make the world around us a little better place for everyone.

Those left to cherish James’ memory include

his children,
David (Excelsa) Sutton,
Kathy Sutton,
Lynn Sutton,
Allen Sutton,
and Daniel Sutton, all of Dubuque, IA;

his 6 grandchildren,
Maria (Suzette) Sutton, Jay (Melissa) Sutton, Vanessa L. Williams, Jessica Sutton, Kevin Williams Jr., and Nathan Williams;

his 13 great-grandchildren,
Tayah, Mason, J.J., LaTrease, Ezeikel, Elijah, Ja’Kam, Namir’rah, Lakelyn, Landon, Jordan, Zariah and Kobe;

and a sister,
Gertrude Torrey, Lexington, MS.

James was preceded in death by his parents; his adoring wife, Ruby Sutton; a daughter, Connie Sutton; and two sons, James Sutton Jr. and Gary Sutton.

James’ family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped care for James, especially Dr. Cao, and the nurses and staff of Above and Beyond Hospice, their kindness, compassion and professional attention was greatly appreciated.

Memorials will be accepted by the family to be distributed among James’ favorite charities.


View local florists here.


Behr Funeral Home
1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
November 1st, 2018 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Funeral Service

St. Luke's United Methodist Church
1199 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
November 2nd, 2018 at 10:00 AM

5 condolences for James C. “Jim” Sutton
  1. Debra O'Neal Benton says:

    To the family of James Sutton. The O’Neal family office Freeport IL send their deepest sympathy to the family. May he rest in peace.

  2. Cindy Oberfoell says:

    I will never catch a whiff of a cigar again and not think of your Dad Sudsy & Big Al. I am so sorry for your loss that words just don’t seem to be enough to tell you during this time of mourning. He always laughed at my craziness when we were goofing off during a study hall. (Which just so happened to be in a kitchen on Airplane Hill)….I’ll cherish those memories.

  3. Tracy Brown says:

    To the Sutton family I love u all and we will miss u pape Sutton u was the friend of my family and the to the brown family as well I miss the talks and jokes thank you Tracy l. Leslein brown

  4. Ernestine Moss says:

    To the Sutton family, we send our condolence to all the family members. Mr. Sutton was a give to many in the community especially us (Melvin and Ernestine). We enjoyed all the long conversations we had with him throughout the years. Now God has called him home to rest in peace.

  5. John Fisher says:

    Hello, Lynn —-
    John Fisher here.
    We knew each other from Senior High back in the early 80’s. I graduated in 1981.
    I’m now a finish carpenter and living in Michigan.
    My mom is still in DBQ and told me about your dad’s passing last fall.
    I had met your whole family way back when Kathy’s accident happened.
    I read about your extensive hard work in DBQ’s local government.
    Well done, Lynn.
    I’m glad for this opportunity to tell you I’m thinking about you and your family and I hope you’re all doing as best you can after losing your dad.

Leave a Condolence:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *