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William S. Sutton, 84, military officer, professor, minister, psychotherapist

William S. Sutton, 84, military officer, professor, minister, psychotherapist

Nov. 20, 1935 – March 24, 2020

William Stanley Sutton, of Eggertsville, a retired military officer, college professor, minister and psychotherapist, died March 24 in Buffalo General Medical Center after a long illness. He was 84.

Born in Edwardsville, Va., the second of four children, he came to Buffalo with his family in 1936. He attended School 6 and was a member of the final graduating class from what was then Hutchinson Central High School in 1953.

He enlisted in the Army at the end of the Korean War, attained the rank of private and was stationed in Asia.

Returning from service, he enrolled at SUNY Buffalo State, where he met Joan E. Porter. They were married in 1958.

After he completed his bachelor’s degree in education, he briefly taught social studies at Grover Cleveland and Riverside high schools, then enlisted in the Air Force. He rose to the rank of captain, served in the Philippines and then was stationed in Plattsburgh.

While in the Air Force, he completed his master’s degree in education and guidance at SUNY Plattsburgh.

Retiring from service in 1967, he completed his first doctorate, in education with a focus on student personnel, at Ohio University in 1972, then became vice president of Simmons College in Boston, Mass.

Mr. Sutton went on to teach at Bowie State University in Maryland, York College, CUNY Manhattan, the New York Institute of Technology and Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

During his career, he advised, mentored and tutored numerous doctoral students.

He also earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Bowie State University, a doctorate in clinical psychology from the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati and a master’s of divinity degree in biblical studies from the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

He had a private psychotherapy practice in Hackensack, N.J., and Roslyn, N.Y., and was ordained as a Baptist minister in Roslyn in 1993. He performed marriages, delivered sermons and took part in the ordination of his niece, Victoria Ferguson-Young.

In retirement, he returned to Western New York in 2005 and organized the Mount Gilead Missionary Baptist Church on Genesee Street in Buffalo, where he served as senior pastor.

A collector of rare books, he also loved classical music, gospel music and jazz.

In addition to his wife, who is a retired certified school counselor, survivors include three sons, William Jr., Eric “Ricky” and Todd; two sisters, Shirley Lewis and Sheila Brown; a grandson; and a great-grandson.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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