Richard Buehl Sutter (age 89) died peacefully in his sleep in the morning of March 3, 2020; he was born in Columbus, OH on April 23, 1930. After his father passed away in 1938 the family moved to Cleveland OH where he graduated from Shaw High School. It was in Cleveland that he met his future wife, Ellenore Grahl whom he married in 1954. Richard began his calling as a 4th generation pastor by attending Capital University, Columbus, OH (1952). He earned his Master of Divinity from the Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary, Columbus, OH (1956) and his Master of Sacred Theology with a concentration in Pastoral Counseling from Andover Newton Theological Seminary, Boston, MA (1957). He served at Augusta Synod, Pawtucket, RI (1956-1957), Faith Lutheran Church in Mt. Vernon, OH (1957 – 1959), Christ Lutheran Church in Bexley, OH (1959 – 1972) and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sandusky, OH (1972 – 1995). Following retirement in 1995 he served as the visitation pastor for several years at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Port Clinton, OH. He spent 25 years in Bellevue as a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Bellevue; singing in the choir was a great joy for him. He spent the last two years of his life in Columbus where he contended with several health issues. His faith was an integral part of his character, helping shape who he became. It was a vital part of his ministry, and in later years, was an anchor both in his grief and in coping with health issues.
Richard was a lifelong learner – his favorite hobby was reading. He enjoyed collecting all manner of things connected to his interests, including model trains. Richard earned his Eagle Scout Award. Throughout his life he enjoyed outdoor pursuits such as skiing, ice skating, fishing, hiking, boating, and camping. He immersed himself in the joys and opportunities of the Sandusky area and had an impressive collection of season passes to Cedar point. Richard’s and Ellenore’s love of traveling took them on many Fall Color Trips throughout the eastern seaboard and Canada; they also toured Europe, Israel, and Turkey. He loved telling stories and his grandchildren were always amazed that he seemed to either know everyone he encountered or someone who was connected to the person just encountered.
He is survived by his 5 children: Ellen (Kevin) Lavery, Durham, NC; Fred (Keri) Sutter, Columbus, OH; Susi (Timothy) Fickling, Ahwahnee, CA; Dr. John (Denita) Sutter, Springfield, OH; and Chaplain, Colonel Paul (Debbie) Sutter. He is also survived by 22 grandchildren: Christine (James) Lavery Wenz, Erin Sutter, Ryan Lavery, Elizabeth (Josh) Donegia, Samuel Sutter, Kristin Sutter, Ian (Lexi) Sutter, Hannah Sutter, Edward Fickling, Aidan (Brittni) Sutter, Benjamin Sutter, James Fickling, Adelaide Sutter, Jacob Sutter, Estan Sutter, Rebekah Fickling, Caroline Sutter, Joshua Sutter, Marta Evangeline (Evie) Sutter, Elizah Fickling, Sarah Ollie Sutter, Jessah Fickling and 3 great grandchildren: Quintessa Donegia, Sherwood Donegia, and Lawerence Donegia.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 56 years, Ellenore Faye (Grahl), his parents, the Rev. Frederick R. Sutter and Bernice H. (Buehl), his sister, Dorothy (Jack) McCartney, and his great- grandson Calvin Donegia.
Richard’s memorial service will be July 24, 2021 at 3pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 209 Southwest Street, Bellevue, OH 44811. Family will be available to hear and share stories and memories between 1 and 3 pm at the same location. The service can be streamed on the 24th or watched later by visiting auxterfuneralhomes.com/listings and then going to Richard’s page.
If you would like to make a donation somewhere in honor of Richard, we would invite you to contribute to one of the following ministries: Operation Smile provides life-changing, free surgery to people who are born with cleft palates; Dad knew one of the founders of the ministry and supported them faithfully. Their address is: Operation Smile, 3641 Faculty Boulevard, Virginia Beach, VA 23453. You can also donate online at www.operationsmile.org.
Another ministry that Richard cared deeply about was his church in Bellevue – St. John’s Lutheran Church. (Both his grandfather and his great-grandfather served there!) Dad was a long-time member after he retired from the ministry. Their address is: St. John’s Lutheran Church, 209 Southwest St., Bellevue, OH 44811.
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