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In Loving Memory of LeRoy E. Sutfin
On August 12, 1941 LeRoy Edward Sutfin was born into this world, and on October 24, 2023, he peacefully departed, leaving a lasting legacy that touched the hearts of many.
Born in St Johns, Michigan, LeRoy’s father died when he was four years old and he was raised by his mother and maternal grandparents in Petoskey, MI. He joined the Army in 1959 and was stationed at Fort Eustis, Williamsburg, VA where his bride, Martha Bixby, joined him after their Petoskey wedding May 13, 1961, until his enlistment was finished in 1962.
LeRoy enjoyed horses and for many years raised and trained horses at his home in Joy Valley and enjoyed activities such as parades, wagon and sleigh rides with friends.
Music was always a big part of his life, starting as a young man in high school, then Army band, singing in quartets and of course in his pastoral work, often singing and playing his 12 string guitar or accompanied by his wife Martha on piano. LeRoy and Martha took on organizing the Northern Michigan Gospel Music Festival and worked tirelessly to keep the event going from 1983 to present.
Throughout his life, LeRoy wore many hats and embraced various roles with passion and enthusiasm. He leased a gas station, managed a restaurant and later a loan company. From a business office manager to a bus driver, his dedication and strong work ethic were evident from the beginning. LeRoy and Martha operated an adult foster care out of their home for 39 years, providing a home and family for many individuals with varying needs. He was actively engaged in Springvale Township, serving in elections and board of review for over 40 years. He also enjoyed the years he served as Chaplain for the Boy Scouts at Camp Greilick.
Perhaps the most profound chapter in LeRoy's life was his calling as a pastor. For over 30 years, he devoted his life to guiding and nurturing the spiritual well-being of his congregations in Wolverine and Brutus. LeRoy preached with wisdom, compassion, and an unwavering faith that touched the lives of countless souls. His sermons provided comfort, strength, and inspiration to all who attended the services.
LeRoy is preceded in death by parents Eugene and Dortha Sutfin, brother Carl Sutfin, brother and sister in law Mel and Betty Sutfin, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Marv and Kay Bixby.
He is survived by his loving family, including his devoted wife Martha of 62 years, their three children Maria (Rich) Ginop, Edward Sutfin, and Rebecca (Len) Maendel; grandchildren Maranda Ginop (Joe Bednark), Mariah (Dave) Heinz, Taylor (Sander) Alexandrowski, Rachel Maendel, Stephanie Maendel, Zachary Maendel; great-grandson Charles Bednark; step grandchildren Michelle (Gary) Malison, Josh (Candice) Ginop, Jon (Amber) Ginop, Markita (Jeremy) Himebauch; step great grandchildren Alivia Himebauch, Joe Himebauch, Beau Ginop, Gauge Ginop, Dempsey Ginop, Parker Ginop, Jenna (Sam) Kivela, Nick Heinz; many nieces and nephews; all of whom were a source of immense pride and joy. He cherished God and family above all else and created a close-knit and loving environment for all generations.
As a husband, he was the embodiment of love and commitment. He stood by his beloved wife through every joy and challenge, proving that true love is a bond that can weather any storm. His enduring partnership and unwavering support has been an inspiration to us all.
As a father, his legacy is woven deeply into the hearts of his three children. He nurtured their growth not only in the physical sense but in their spiritual and moral journeys. He led by example, instilling within them a sense of compassion, integrity, and a profound faith in God. The lessons he imparted will continue to shape the lives of his children, grandchildren and, through them, the lives of countless others.
LeRoy was a beacon of faith, a pastor who tirelessly shared the word of God. He lived a life that exemplified the godly principles he preached, showing us the path to kindness, forgiveness, and grace. He provided solace and guidance to those who sought his counsel, and his teachings illuminated the way for many.
His last years were marked by physical ailments and challenges providing opportunity for his family to care for him at home with assistance from home nursing and Hospice in his last days. Now, as we say our goodbyes, we find solace in the knowledge that our dear friend is at eternal peace with his Father. His body and mind are healed and restored, free from the earthly burdens that once confined him. In his new eternal home, he will bask in the boundless love and grace of God.
Though he is gone from our midst, his legacy endures. The love, faith, and kindness he shared will forever echo in our hearts. We can take comfort in the knowledge that he is in a better place, reunited with his Father, and that his memory will continue to inspire and guide us. His absence is deeply felt, but his presence in our lives will remain undiminished. He has found everlasting peace, and we are grateful for the time we shared with him.
Rest in peace, dear LeRoy, you will be deeply missed but never forgotten.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to Northern Michigan Gospel Music Festival or Epsilon Church in memory of LeRoy Sutfin. Your support is deeply appreciated.
Visitation will be held 5:00 to 7:00 pm Friday, November 3, 2023 at the Epsilon United Methodist Church.
The memorial service will be held 11:00 am Saturday, November 4, 2023 at the church with a visitation being held from 10:00 am until the time of service.
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