Odessa Everette Sutton was born Feb. 22, 1922, in North Little Rock, Ark., to Henrietta and Herbert Smith and passed away on Nov. 1, 2019, at Summit Hospital in Oakland.
Odessa Everette married Paul Sutton in Little Rock on July 12, 1943. They moved West, finally settling in Oakland. Known for his culinary skills, Mr. Sutton was a cook for a UC Berkeley fraternity, and he and Odessa opened a sandwich shop near the old Oakland train station.
For 35 years, Mrs. Sutton was transportation supervisor for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service at the Pacific Transportation Center in Oakland (former Oakland Army Base). During that time, she received several “Excellent Service” and “Superior Accomplishment” awards and numerous letters of commendation praising her for her dedication and “professional knowledge, skill and competence” as well as her cheerfulness and ability to get along with others.
She retired in 1982.
Her community involvement included work as a tutor at Madison Junior High School in Oakland. For 60 years, she volunteered, supported and subscribed to Today’s Artists Concerts/Four Seasons Arts, traveling with them to Europe and the Yachats Music Festival.
She was a transportation coordinator for their senior transportation program until she was 94 and an active church member of the Church For Today until her death.
Her church family helped realize her wish to remain in her home with ongoing care. She had the use of only one arm due to lymphedema and eventually hired a part-time caregiver, Maritess Tano, who became her beloved friend.
Mrs. Sutton had an amazing mind. When doctors asked her companions for a med list, they would nod to her and she would list them all, (and the list was long) including exact dosage. On the night she passed at Summit Hospital, she was recalling the history of the hospital, remembering Samuel Merritt University. etc.
A proud citizen who believed in the Constitution of the United States, Mrs. Sutton did not appreciate foolishness in leadership.
An experienced gardener, Sutton’s Christmas poinsettias bloomed nearly all year round and her tomatoes on her back porch remained productive from summer until January.
She warmed many ‘a heart with her bright smile and her familiar salutation, “Hello, Love!”
She was preceded in death by her husband Paul J. Sutton, her sisters Myrtle Banks and Vivian Ida Mae Smith and her brother Herbert Smith, Jr. She leaves to mourn her family, church family, her many friends and neighbors, doctors, and loving caregiver Maritess Tano.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Four Seasons Arts, Inc. or Wounded Warrior Project.