David H. Sutton
Birth: Abt Nov 1908 - Morris County, New Jersey 7481 Baptism: Death: 16 Feb 2005 - Parsippany, Morris County, New Jersey 68 Burial: 19 Feb 2005 - East Hanover, Morris County, New Jersey 68 Cause of Death:
• He appeared on the census on 19 Jan 1920 in Randolph Township, Morris County, New Jersey.
• He worked as an a banker in Apr 1930.
• He resided at East Fillmore Street in Apr 1930 in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona.
• He appeared on the census on 5 Apr 1930 in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona.
Father: George Sutton Mother: Fannie Scudder
Spouses and Children
1. *Audrey S. Marriage: Abt 1929 Children: 1. George Sutton 68 2. William Sutton 68 3. Audrey Sutton 68 4. Gail Sutton 68 5. Sandra Sutton 68 2. Elizabeth Marriage: Abt 1945 68
David H. Sutton, 96, pillar of Parsippany
Saturday, February 19, 2005
BY AL FRANK
Raised in a Parsippany that was mostly farms and dirt roads, David H. Sutton never regretted the changes that transformed the township into Morris County's most populous community.
As a longtime member of the township governing body, he helped prepare for the growth that came after interstate highways and thousands of homes and apartments gobbled up pastures and woods.
"He liked the progress," said Betty Sutton, his wife of 60 years. "He never wanted to leave."
Sutton, 96, died Wednesday at the Troy Hills Center/Genesis Elder Care in Parsippany. His funeral is this morning at St. Christopher Church.
Mrs. Sutton met her future husband when he operated the Esso station at Cobb's Corner, directly across Route 46 from the present Town Hall. It was during the rationing years of World War II, but somehow there always was gasoline for the girl from Madison.
That her husband would get into politics was hardly a surprise. In addition to a grocery and two apartments upstairs, the gas station housed Town Hall and the police department and served as an unofficial community center.
One day, when friend Anthony Mara stopped by on a search for candidates for the township committee, Mr. Sutton told him he had found his man.
He won the 1948 election and, except for four years from 1954 to 1958 after the form of government changed, he served until the next government change in 1966.
They were the years before routes 287, 80 and 280 would foster the development that would see Parsippany's population grow to 50,000 from 15,290 in 1950.
Mr. Sutton helped promote the growth, buying property and building homes -- including one for his family near Manor Lake, just 1 1/2 miles from the municipal building that opened in 1961 and he helped plan.
In addition to a real estate business, he also managed a Boonton auto dealership. But he would spend many night hours in meetings with his fellow members on the township committee and, later, the township council, mapping roads and locating wells for the burgeoning community.
As the years went by, just about everyone considered him Parsippany's mayor, although township records show he never formally held the title.
"He was a wise counselor to me," said Henry Luther, who became the township's second full-time mayor in 1966 after the death of John Walsh.
"I always regarded him as a knowledgeable elder statesman," said Frank Priore, mayor from 1982 to 1994.
Born in Budd Lake, Mr. Sutton was orphaned at age 9 when his parents died in the flu epidemic of 1918. He was brought to the Morris County Children's Home, across from the Jersey City Reservoir, about 10 years before what was then part of Hanover would be incorporated as Parsippany.
Mayor Mimi Letts said she recalls a dapper Sutton showing up for the township's 75th anniversary celebration two years ago in top hat and tux.
"He was a perfectly charming man," said Letts, who ordered municipal flags flown at half-staff yesterday in Sutton's memory.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Sutton is survived by two sons, George of Texas and William of Boonton; three daughters, Audrey Bradley of Florida, Gail Bangiola of California and Sandra Sutton of Parsippany; 19 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
A Mass is to be held at 10:30 a.m. today in St. Christopher Church on Littleton Road, followed by entombment in the Gate of Heaven Chapel Mausoleum in East Hanover.
Buried in the Gate of Heaven Chapel Mausoleum.