James Milton “Jim” Sutton - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

James Milton “Jim” Sutton

February 14, 1937 - November 8, 2023

James Milton “Jim” Sutton, age 86, of Elkton, MD, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.

Born in Arbovale, WV on February 14, 1937, he was a son of the late Herbert and Vada (Gum) Sutton. Jim completed his high school education at Greenbank High School in 1955. Following this, he pursued further studies at Potomac State. After his time at Potomac State, Jim worked with the Naval Academy in Annapolis. His passion for engineering led him to return to academia, where he earned a master’s degree in mathematics from West Virginia University. Not stopping there, Jim furthered his education in statistics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He later pursued obtaining his Certified Financial Planning certification at University of Delaware.

Jim met the love of his life on a sailboat in the Caribbean they later married and were together for 55 years. He epitomized the wedding vow ‘of in sickness and in health’ by having been his wife’s primary care giver for several decades.

For 20+ years, Jim worked at Hercules. Jim also taught Statistics as an adjunct professor for many years at Widener University, Wesleyan, Wilmington College and Del Tech.   Employment with Hercules is what brought Jim and his wife Marge to Elkton from Frostburg, MD in 1976 with their two young children Nicolette (b. 1969) and Nicole (b. 1971). After his career with Hercules, Jim worked for the State of Delaware in DHSS, Information Resource Management (IRM) and one of the IT applications he designed is still in use today.

Jim spent his life giving back. It was his love language, as a man of few words, he selflessly volunteered probably tens of thousands of hours. He started his work in the Outreach Program at Newark United Methodist Church in the late 70’s and continued through the 90’s. During this time, Jim sponsored refugee families from Southeast Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. He worked one weekend a month with Contact, a crisis hotline in Delaware. Jim volunteered with Prime Immigration Ministry, an organization which provides affordable or free services to ensure safe and legal services for non-citizens seeking citizenship. He was also involved with Love Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps to meet unmet needs in the community, by moving furniture every weekend for the newly non homeless.

In 2008 Jim was one of 5 recipients in Delaware that was nominated for the Jefferson Award. The award is given annually in the United States for extraordinary public service.

Jim’s love for numbers led him to volunteering with AARP in helping prepare taxes. He also did this for many family members and those in his local community.

Jim is survived by daughters, Nicolette Shuhart, and Nicole McClelland; grandchildren, Amanda Finley, Marqueritta Shuhart, Kyle Dixon, Madeline Shuhart, and Alexis McClelland; great-grandchildren, Sophia Finley, Aubrey Anne Collins, and Avianna Collins, who he considered his great grandchild too.

Jim came from a large family his brothers and sisters include, Alan Sutton (d.2010), Judy Maxwell (d. 2009), Mary Ruth Sutton (d. 2003), June Hoyt (d. 2007), Alice Guire (b. 1929) (94), Clara Smith (d. 1999), William “Bill” Sutton (b. 1933) (90), and Ivan Sutton (b. 1935) (88).

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 10 am until 11 am on Thursday, November 16, 2023, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE, where a memorial service will begin at 11 am. Inurnment will follow in Head of Christiana Cemetery, 1104 West Church Road, Newark, DE.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in James’ memory to the Prime Immigration Ministry, please make checks out to Prime, PO Box 5, Lansdowne, PA 19050.


Leave your condolences

Condolences will be posted within 24 hours pending approval.

5 Condolences for James Milton “Jim” Sutton

  • I am so sorry for your loss. Pop Pop was a great man.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. I always remember Mr. Sutton as a calm gentle man with few words when I would come over to the house in Appleton Acres to play with Nicolette. He was always kind to me and his family. Praying for you all in this difficult time.🙏🏻❤️

  • Jim was always the kind of person who knew of a need and rolled up his sleeves to tackle the issue. It may have been due to his West Virginian upbringing in a family with lots of children to be loved and cared for. He told me how they used to fill up the family tub once a week and then one by one they all got bathed. Perhaps not the best hygenic care, but it gave him a sense of being part of a community that took care of each other.

    Jim started out as a sponsor of one refugee family for us at PRIME through his church, and then he didn’t hestitate on his own to assist many other refugees from so many different parts of the world. Decades ago, perhaps in the 1990’s, he agreed to be part of our small board, and later when the president of the board moved away, he agreed to take on those responsibilities. He was there for us during very lean years and also during years when we began to take Haitian asylum seekers up to Canada so that they could apply for asylum there (since they were being turned down in the US). He must have accompanied 20 or 30 vanloads of Haitians whom we lawfully presented to the Canadian government as asylum seekers. Finally when he risked being arrested, we had to find a different way to bring Haitians to the border. Through everything, he supported PRIME’s mission. He also became a US Department of Justice Accredited Representative and went each week (before Marge became too ill) to our Lancaster office. There he assisted our clients get their close relatives to the States, or helped people, who were legally here but didn’t have the funds for a fancy lawyer, so they could get work permits or citizenship. But Jim was not the kind of person to theorize about people’s needs, he just understood the need and went about helping. He didn’t mind manual labor and took sacks of clients’ old documents to be shredded – loading the bags up in his own car and paying for the shredding, I know he often helped our clients get furniture or go to the DMV. He did this because he saw the need. not because it was necessarily part of PRIME’s mission. After Marge became ill, he would find an hour or two to come up to my house just over the PA state line and we would go over the budget, discuss strategies, and sign whatever documents he needed to, but he never asked to be relieved from his duties as president of our board. He knew we needed his wise counsel.

    Jim will be missed. For us at PRIME he embodied our mission. He was very generous, attuned to other’s needs, and always pitched in where needed. He cared about our clients. He cared about us who were staff. He was always there for anyone who needed something. He listened to our needs, and now we will really miss being able to turn to him: it’s hard to think of not being able to ask him for advice any more.

  • Jim will be greatly missed by all of the board at Circle of Love in Christ Ministry where he served as our faithful Treasurer for many years. He will also be missed by the many people in Maryland and Delaware that he has served as our Furniture Outreach Leader. Jim saw our need for volunteer help in his church bulletin over 20 years ago and called immediately to volunteer his help. We had people in need of good used furniture calling us for help. Jim answered that need immediately and offered his help. This was just the beginning of years in using his own pick-up truck and paying young inner city boys to work with him on weekends. There were hundreds of people through the years calling us in desperate need of furniture and household items. There were many people receiving Section 8 housing in New Castle County, but did not have any furniture or household items. Jim’s passion was to pick up good used furniture from donors and to deliver the items to the families in need without any cost to them. He did this as a volunteer and paid his own expenses. Thousands of beds, couches, chairs , tables etc. were delivered to those families over the years. When our Treasurer moved out of the area, and we needed a new Treasurer on our board, Jim stepped up to the plate. He also served as our Treasurer for many years and now will be greatly missed. Jim’s passion was to serve those in need and he was a man of few words. It was only a short time ago, that he had to stop the furniture ministry due to the changes in health and strength. But he continued as Treasurer up until now. We will truly miss him. But we know that he is in a better place and reunited with his dear wife of many years. Jim we love you and are so thankful for the years we were so blessed to know you. We are grateful for all of your compassionate ministry to so many families in our community. Now Rest in Peace until we meet again in that heavenly home!

  • Nicole, I am so very sorry to hear of your and your family’s loss. Your dad will always be with you in spirit; I hope that happy memories of him will comfort you in this time of sadness. Sending love!