Mr. William Dee Sutherland, 69, of Buena Vista, passed away on January 20, 2024. A Celebration of Life for
the Sutherland brothers will be held at 3:00PM on Sunday, February 4, 2024, at Mount Carmel Baptist Church.
Mr. Sutherland was born April 8, 1954 in Cherry Point, NC to Layton D. and Irma Fay Ragan Sutherland. During his life, he lived in Hawaii, Anaheim, CA, Munford, TN, and moved around Georgia a bit before settling in Buena Vista. Will traveled half of the world and at least 98% of the United States several times through his dad’s time in the Marines, his own time in the Navy, family travels and his time as a truck driver. After his time in the Navy he achieved his Associates Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Will did his best to excel in any position he found himself working whether it was as a multi-restaurant manager to a dishwasher or a substitute teacher to a truck driver. On June 6, 1975, Will and Betse married for the first time. Not counting a few breaks they would have celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary this year. During his time in Hiawassee he served as a scout leader and Will and Betse donated the chimes in the Church by the Hiawassee Hardware. Will was a man of many names. In high school he was known as “Smiley”. As a Navy Corpsman he was known as “Doc”. Many knew him as “Santa” where he always tried to point people back to Christ. To those who knew him best he was called by his grandpa name “Toodles”, which was inspired by the character from the movie “Hook” but developed further with the introduction of Mickey’s Clubhouse and the character who had all the tools needed to help complete the tasks at hand.
Will had his ups and downs during the first half of his life. After a vivid Paul-like encounter with Jesus Christ he became an entirely different man. His joy was finding new or fresh ways to help others meet Christ and deepen their relationship with God. He loved to ask people questions to make them think. He always had a smile and a kind or encouraging word to say. He had a servant’s heart and loved to help others. For about the past 20 years he has enjoyed retirement, been active in the lives of his 11 grandbabies, and diligently sought to strengthen his love and knowledge of His Savior Jesus. He was an active member and leader in Mount Carmel Baptist Church and enjoyed spending time at the Buena Vista Senior Center. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his son, Kevin Sutherland, and three brothers, De Wayne Sutherland, Roger Dale Sutherland, and Roy Sutherland.
Survivors include his wife, Betse Sutherland of Buena Vista; two daughters, Heather Raulston and her husband, Shaun and Cassie Humphrey and her husband, Vernon, all of Buena Vista; eleven grandchildren, Christopher Humphrey, Lyza Raulston, Ian Raulston, James Forsyth, Aza Raulston, Ragan Raulston, Lexi Humphrey, Uzziah Raulston, Ezra Raulston, Kevin Humphrey and Zipporah Raulston; a sister, Laurie Sutherland (Vince Stockwell) of Washington; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Will had developed the habit of keeping an envelope on him with a $5 bill and some Bible scriptures in case he had someone approach him in need. The family is asking anyone seeking to keep “Toodles” memory alive to do the same. They are lovingly calling this project “Toodlopes”. If you have any questions about this project please contact his wife Betse at 478-508-2207.
Way-Watson Funeral Home of Buena Vista, GA, has been entrusted with the arrangements.