Walter E. "Walt" Sutton Sr.

22 entries | 1 photo
  • "I will miss you so much. I know you are charting new waters..."
    - Lynda Sutton
  • "We were so deeply saddened to learn of Uncle Walt's..."
  • "My deepest sympathies for your loss. I never worked for..."
    - Fred Fague
  • "Helen and family, I want to express my heartfelt sympathy..."
  • "I wanted to send my prayers to the Sutton family! I never..."
    - Kari Brandt
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April 9, 1925 ~ January 15, 2011

Walter E. Sutton, Sr. was born two months prematurely, in Glendive, Montana on April 9, 1925. He was the 2nd of 7 children born to Earnest and Hazel Sutton. He passed away at his home in Amboy, WA on January 15, 2011. His family moved from desolate eastern Montana to the "promised land" of western Washington in 1936. He attended Green Mountain School and Woodland High School.
Walt enlisted in the Navy in 1943, serving his country as a member of the Armed Guard from the Aleutian Islands to the Philippines and points in between.
After being discharged in 1946 he returned home to Amboy. He met a pretty little gal from Woodland named Helen Hannah and they were married in 1947.
Walt invested $2000 in a flat bed truck and started hauling railroad ties. With hard work he was able to trade up and in 1951 bought a Mack log truck. With brother-in-law Norm Wilson, he started Wilson & Sutton Logging Company. The early years were tough, but they built a successful business, logging for several large mills and building Forest Service roads. They earned a reputation for being fair and honest employers and businessmen. In 1986 they sold all their equipment and retired.
Walt earned his pilot's license in 1953. When business got better he and Helen built a new home near Amboy where he could have a private airstrip. He flew far and wide, from Acapulco to Anchorage, and as far east as Louisiana. They bought a second house in Long Beach in 1963 and took his boat The Timber Queen out of Illwaco for many summers of salmon and tuna fishing. To satisfy his urge to see more, he captained his boat to Alaska for summer halibut fishing. Walt and Helen also took trips to Ireland, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Retirement winters were spent RVing in Mexico.
Besides fishing and flying, Walt was an avid hunter, enjoyed clam digging, snowmobiling, and serving his community. He was a member of Twin Falls Lodge #180 F & AM, Al Kader Shrine, North Clark Lions Club, the American Legion, Columbia River Yacht Club and Kalama Yacht Club. While serving as Master of Twin Falls Lodge, the Yacolt Masonic building was dedicated. That building is now Yacolt City Hall. He took an active part in Shrine Clubs - the Flying and Yachting Nobles and the Flag Patrol. Over the years he cooked hundreds of eggs at the Lions Club Mother's Day Breakfast. On Memorial Day he placed flags on veterans' graves.
Walt is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Helen; brother, David Sutton; sisters and their spouses, Kay and Roy Munsell and Marie and Kenny Downing; sister-in-law, Velda Sutton; and brother-in-law, Norm Wilson; his children, Tom and April Reichstein, Walt Sutton Jr., Tom and Cindy Sutton, and Lynda Sutton; grandchildren, Tony and Valerie Reichstein, Andy Reichstein, Tim and Kristin Reichstein, Heidi and Cris Armbruster, Dr. Louis and Tami Sutton, Sam and Andrea Sutton, Mike Sutton, Hannah Sutton Hafner, and Travis Sutton Hafner; great-grandkids, Stacy and Sterling Sutton, and Blake and Ava Reichstein; also Helen's extended family including her sisters and their families, Elva Dobbins, Iris Jensen, and Frances and Gene Tangen; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Earnest and Hazel; his brothers, Earnest Sutton, Jr. and Keven Sutton; his sister, Enid Wilson; and daughter, Trudy Sutton.
Services will be held at Pleasant View Community Church, 14756 Lewis River Rd., Ariel, WA, at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 22, 2011. Interment will follow the services at Yale Cemetery. Private viewing will take place at Layne's Funeral Home, Battle Ground, WA on Friday, January 21, 2011 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Please direct donations to Shriners Hospital for Children, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, North Clark Historical Museum, or North County EMS.
Please sign Walt's guest book at:


Published in The Columbian on Jan. 19, 2011
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