NAPLES, Fla. – Roland L. Sutton Jr., 94, passed away peacefully at his home in Bentley Village – Naples, Fla. on Friday, November 4, 2022 along with his 69-year-old wife Nancy and all of their children and grandchildren in celebration present in his life.
Roland, the only son of Roland Sr. and Louise Sutton, was born in Sanford, Florida. His early interests included playing the trumpet, wrestling, soccer, sailing and a passion for tennis which provided him with ‘therapy’ well into his 94th year. Active in scouting, Roland received his Eagle Scout and later the highest adult honor, The Silver Beaver.
Roland earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University and after graduating worked at Burgess Norton Mfg. Co. of Geneva, Illinois. Soon after, his job was put on hold as he completed a stint as 1st Lt. in the Army Ordinance Corps. in the Korean War. Through a chance friendship with David West while serving in Korea, he became aware of his future wife, Nancy, who happened to be David’s cousin. A blind date sealed the deal!
Shortly after their marriage and the birth of two of their four children, they moved to Maine, a longtime popular summer retreat for Nancy’s family. This move provided them with the ideal place to raise their growing family and for Roland to start the Maine Machine Products Company with his childhood friend, Bill Detert. Roland and Bill have run the business together for 25 years providing well paying jobs and supporting the local community. After buying out his partner, Roland, his three sons and a number of very talented employees continued to grow and lead the company for another thirty years before leaving the company in 2010. At this point the company numbered one hundred and sixty employees running business coast to coast and was well qualified and recognized for its contributions to manufacturing both locally and nationally.
Professionally, Roland has served on the boards and committees of the MMPA, SBANE, JMG, BTMA and the NTMA, the National Tool and Machining Industry Trade Association, where he served as Chairman from 1996-1997. He was also a longtime volunteer with SCORE.
Locally he was active in the First Congregational Church in S. Paris, Maine, participating both locally and nationally (NACCC), and when he moved to Florida he helped establish the First Congregational Church of Naples. He has served on many boards, including Stephens Memorial Hospital, as a trustee and chairman of the board, and has been a member of the Masons, Kora Temple, and the Maine Boy Scouts of America. In the early 1980s, Roland served two terms as a state senator in the Maine legislature.
Roland has been a lifelong learner, eagerly awaiting and embracing what comes next. He was a very compassionate, humble and private man. He made a positive impression on so many! I love you dad, grandpa and great grandpa!
The family would like to thank Bentley Village, Bonita Nurse, CG Services and AVOW Hospice for the care and comfort shown to Roland and the family over the past few months.
Roland is survived by daughter Meg Sutton and husband David Styrczula, son Jeff and wife Kim Sutton, son Dave and wife Kathy Sutton, son Ted and wife Judi Sutton; his grandchildren Ethan Sutton (wife Mary), Zach Sutton (partner Renee), Kaylene Sutton, Matt Sutton, Nick Sutton, Jami Hayden (husband Sean), Shannen Styrczula; and great-grandchildren Roczen Sutton, Elianna, and Ethan Sutton Jr.
Private memorial services and a celebration of life are planned in Bonita Springs, Fla., and South Paris, Maine, in the coming months.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to:
AVOW Hospice Inc.: https://www.classy.org/give/399367/#!/donation/checkout and/or:
Central Maine Community College – Roland Sutton Scholarship: https://www.cmcc.edu/foundation/donate/
Obituary: Margaret “Peggy” Louise Carmichael