July 21, 1918 -- Oct. 18, 2012
WHEAT RIDGE, Colorado -- Donald I. Sutton was born in Stratton, Nebraska, to James Lyle and Mabel Sutton, he is survived by his daughter, RuthAnn (Gary) and son, Jim (Sheree). He was preceded in death by his wife Irla, his son Don, Jr. and his brother, Gerald. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Tammie, Wendy (Ron), Holly, Michael (Jennifer), and Nicole, his seven great-grandchildren: Laci, Seri, Kaitlyn, Cyle, Jesse, Skylar, and Shalie and his siblings: Hazel Bryce, Ellis Sutton (Ruth), Warren Sutton, Morrison Sutton and Janice Cheeves (Harold).
Don was raised on a homestead north of Stratton, Nebraska, and attended school in town, where he first met his childhood sweetheart, Irla. They were happily married for over 72 years. While serving in the Army Air Corps, he was sent to India where he suffered a back injury and malaria. After his discharge from the service, Don moved his family to Denver, having fallen in love with Colorado while on leave there. He began working for a trucking company, which led to his career in the labor unions. He was Secretary Treasure of the Denver Teamsters Local 452 for more than 35 years, then briefly worked for the State of Colorado Department of Labor. During his years with the Teamsters he ran the Denver Teamsters Credit Union.
He was involved with many charities, one of which was the Jewish Histadrut. Don and Irla traveled to Israel, where they were honored for their contributions to the many scholarships provided by Histadrut. Don loved politics and was active in many of the Presidential campaigns; one memory he treasured was meeting President John F. Kennedy in the White House.
Don and Irla loved to travel and in their retirement, spent winters in Florida and summers in Denver. They also enjoyed travelling the US with their camper trailer, and vacationed in Hawaii many times.
Don was a life-long member of the Masonic Lodges in Nebraska and Arvada, Colorado, Scottish Rite of Denver, Colorado and an active member of the Meeters Group at the El Jebel Shrine of Denver. Don loved volunteering for The Shrine Circus, working until he was no longer able to climb the stairs selling souvenirs.
Don and Irla were active members of the Methodist Church in Englewood, Colorado and in Applewood.
When Don quit smoking, he used the money he saved to buy camera equipment. Over the years, he filmed wonderful family movies, and took beautiful photographs, many of which were the inspiration for Irla's oil paintings. He also enjoyed working with stained glass, creating Christmas angels and other gifts for friends and family, and playing pool with friends at the Arvada Senior Center.