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Ralph L. Sutton

Died: Thu., Jan. 1, 2004

- Service details not available -


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Ralph L. Sutton, 86, a resident of Davenport, Iowa and formerly of Rock Island, Illinois, passed peacefully on Thursday, June 2, 2005 at Trinity Medical Center-West Campus, Rock Island. Funeral services will be 10:00 A.M., Tuesday, June 7, 2005 at McGinnis-Chambers Funeral Home, Bettendorf, Iowa. Visitation will be from 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., Monday evening at the funeral home. Burial will be in Davenport Memorial Park, Davenport. Memorials may be made to The American Cancer Society, South Park Presbyterian Church, Rock Island, or Ridgecrest Village, Davenport.
Ralph was born July 24, 1918 on the family farm near Grand Ridge, Illinois, the son of Ralph I. & Laura (Gebhardt) Sutton. He attended the University of Illinois, College of Engineering in Urbana, Illinois. During World War II, Ralph served in the U.S. Army. Prior to his military service, he had accepted a position with International Harvester Company, East Moline, Illinois and moved to the Quad-Cities. This is where he met and married Helen J. Hamann in Davenport. June 22 would have marked their 59th wedding anniversary.
Ralph’s passion was his family and his engineering work for International Harvester. While working for 39 years as an engineer for IH, he received numerous government patents for corn head designs. He retired from IH in 1980 as the Chief of Test Engineering at the Combine Plant. His proudest accomplishment was the development of the IH 234 Corn Picker which he often proclaims as the “best machine of its kind.” While the majority of IH 234 pickers harvested field corn, it had the capability to harvest sweet corn with little or no damage. Generous U.S. farmers documented this with a steady supply of sweet corn to the Sutton family during the testing.
After retiring, he continued a woodworking hobby by building tool cabinets for his sons, scale model farm sets for his grandsons, and kitchen sets for his granddaughters. These items are unique for their precision and detail, and remain heirlooms for the family. Ralph was a long time member and elder at South Park Presbyterian Church, Rock Island.
Those left to honor his memory include his wife, Helen; his daughter and son-in-law Patricia & Hugh David, of Michinhampton, England; his sons and daughters-in-law, Robert A. & Mary Lynn Sutton, Peoria, Illinois, and James W. & Constance Sutton, Racine, Wisconsin; eleven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren, the most recent born May 18; and his sister Betty Newtson, of Tucson, Arizona.
Currently his namesake, Ralph R. Sutton, is serving with the U.S. Army, 27th Engineering Battalion in Baghdad, Iraq as a demolition expert. He is expected to return home from his second tour of duty later this month.
Ralph was preceded in death by his sisters, Marge Thomas and Joyce Sutton; and his brother, Russell Sutton.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting Ralph’s obituary at www.McGinnis-Chambers.com.

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Condolence Booklet

Sutton Family
   Posted Mon June 06, 2005
DEAR HELEN, BOB, PATTI AND JIM,
I WAS SADDENED TO READ OF RALPHS PASSING. YOU WERE SUCH GOOD NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS. I AM SORRY THAT I WILL BE UNABLE TO ATTEND THE VISITATION OR THE SERVICES, BUT I ILL BE IN IOWA CITY FOR SOME EYE SURGERY. I KNOOW THE DIFFICULT DAYS AHEAD OF YOU AND KNOW YOU ALL HAVE THE STRENGTH TO COPE WITH THEM.
PETER AND TOM JOIN ME IN EXTENDING OUR SYMPATHY. FONDLY, MARGE BENSON

Rebecca & Robin Drechsel
   Posted Mon June 06, 2005
Patty and family,
We were saddened to hear about you dad. Please know that our thoughts are with you.
Rebecca and Robin

Art & Diane DeVooght
   Posted Mon June 06, 2005
Helen and family, Please accept our sincere condolences. Our families have been connected for a long time and it has been very good for us. I remember Sunday School at St. Paul's in Davenport, your transporting me to ISU, Patty studying Carlton in Iowa City, our friendship with Bob and Lynn in Peoria as well as Jim and Connie; Andrew and Beth in the same class at Richwoods, etc. I especially treasure the memory of our supper last spring in your home. May God be with all of you. Our prayers are also with the young soldier. Art and Diane

Harold-Helen Heiland
   Posted Mon June 06, 2005
Mrs. Sutton,
I don't know if you remember us, but we talked quite a bit at Gary Drayer's Christmas party and I worked with Ralph. He was a great man and a very intelligent man. It was such an honor to know him. I can only imagine how much you will miss him. Our sincere sympathy goes out to you and your family
Helen and Harold Heiland

Ralph R Sutton
   Posted Tue June 07, 2005
To my family and friends, I am so sad to know that my granfather passed. He was a great man, that I got to know very well over the 22 years I knew him. He has shaped my life and my actions in unmeasurable ways. I will not be able to attend the funeral, but my thoughts and prayers, as always are with you. I will always have the memories of happy times together- mainly Triple R Contruction- Ralph, Robert, and Ray. from the construction of the garage in Davenport, to the numerous projects and arguements over the years. I loved him so much. He will never be forgotten, his memory lives on in us all, daily.

Pamela Richards
   Posted Tue June 07, 2005
To the Sutton Family: I have become friends with Mr. Sutton's grandson, Ray, through the Adopt-a-Soldier program. He has told me of his family and the love that you all share as well of his grandfather. I empathize with your loss as I lost my father in January of this year. Ray's grandfather and my Dad were men of a very special generation. We are all fortunate that Ray has followed in their footsteps. My deepest condolences. Pam Richards

Donald and Beverly Murray
   Posted Wed June 15, 2005
Sutton Family, I enjoyed working with Ralph for several years. He was the best. We wish you all the best and are sure you will forever enjoy your memories of that fine man.

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