Mr. Virgil Sutton, 85, of Rochester was surrounded by his loving family when he passed away at 3:35 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 at Peabody Retirement Community of North Manchester.
On Oct. 29, 1931, Virgil was born in Elmer, Missouri. He was a treasured son of Rev. Elmer E. and Rosa Fennewald Sutton. Growing up he shared his childhood as the second youngest with five sisters and two brothers. During his formative years, spending his youth in the post depression era, Virgil established a strong work ethic. This initiated a life-long passion for farming. With great Zebra pride he graduated from Rochester High School with the class of 1949.
In Rochester on December 17, 1950 Virgil married the love of his life Erma L. Rock. They shared 55 years of life's adventures. From their union came six wonderful children Bob, Ron, Karen, Connie, Roy and Kristie. The family tree continued to grow with the added blessings of 17 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
In 1961, Virgil began a career with Dean Foods spanning 34 years. During this time he served the Rochester plant as foreman for 30 years retiring in 1995. His daily shift began at 5:00 a.m. Erma had breakfast on the table at 4:30 and Virgil's lunch packed that included his favorites a honey loaf ham sandwich, apricots and Twinkies for dessert.
Returning home just after 1:00 p.m. Virgil's routine included a short nap then on with the farming operation, working most days till near mid-night. This allowed time for him to complete chores, fine tune the garden and repair the equipment. A talented man working with his hands Virgil maintained the farm with his abilities as a mechanic, plumber, electrician, carpenter and of course as a vet for the livestock.
Farming over 700 acres annually, Virgil planted corn and beans with some occasional hay. He also oversaw the hog operation that included 80 registered spot pig sows producing up to three times annually. They also raised four bucket calves at a time marketing three and butchering one when they attained full growth. He and Erma planted multiple gardens. A huge family garden with a variety of produce used for the family. This was accompanied by truck patch gardens filled with sweet corn and pumpkins for use to be shared.
Sharing his knowledge and passion for agriculture, Virgil served Fulton County as 4-H leader of the Richland Clodhoppers for two decades. An avid woodworker, he built many gifts for his family and special friends. When visiting the Fulton County Museum you will see the custom display cases built by Virgil. For many years he was a vibrant member of the Richland Center IOOF Lodge.
Left to cherish the memories of Virgil are five children: Robert Sutton and wife Kathy of Rochester, Ronald Sutton and wife Cindy of Hartford, AL, Karen Gladden and husband Doug of Morris, IL, Roy Sutton and wife Martha of Rochester, Kristie Amos and husband Alan of Rushville; 17 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren; a sister-in-law Rosie Sutton of Rochester; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Preceding Virgil in death are his parents, beloved wife Erma, Nov. 12, 2005, daughter Connie Sutton on May 14, 2015, fiver sisters Mabel Nieder, Naomi Van Meter, Effie Epperson, Ruby Thompson and Lora Kern, two brothers Eugene Sutton and Murrell Sutton.
A celebration of the life of Virgil Sutton will be at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, in the Good Family Funeral Home, 1200 West 18th St., Rochester. Pastor Phil Pratt will officiate. Friends may visit with the family from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and one hour prior to the services in the funeral home. Interment will be in the Rochester IOOF Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Bethlehem Baptist Church 3516-N 650-E, Rochester, IN 46975 or Fulton County 4-H thru the Northern Indiana Foundation 715 Main Street, Rochester, IN 46975. Electronic expressions of sympathy may be made to his family at www.goodfamilyfh.com.
Published on December 12, 2016