John William Sutherland died Tuesday January 23rd, 2018 at his home in Overland Park Kansas with family by his side. John was 93.
He was born April 28th, 1924 in Kansas City, MO., the son of Robert Robinson Sutherland, founder of The Sutherland Lumber Company, and Mae Dierks Sutherland. He graduated from Pembroke Country Day School, before continuing on to Princeton, majoring in Engineering and playing on the football team. He left school to join the Navy during World War II. Once the war ended, John returned home and attended the University of Kansas and was a member of Sigma Chi with his brother Dwight Sutherland. Upon his father's death, he then went on to work with his brothers and sister, Herman, Robert, Dwight, and Donna, at the family business, The Sutherland Lumber Company. His other business interests included oil and gas exploration, banking, ranching, farming and real estate. John was heavily involved with the Metropolitan Board of the Greater Kansas City YMCA, as well as various Johnson County school boards, where his children attended. John devoted his life to his business, charity, and family. John also loved any activity outdoors, as he was an avid fisherman, hunter, and golfer, preferring the comfort and calm that wide open spaces provided. In addition, John enjoyed breeding and racing his thoroughbreds, and most of all spending time with his family. Nothing meant more to him than the happiness and well-being of his beloved wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Family was truly his greatest joy. John married the love of his life, and best friend, Barbara Breidenthal Sutherland May 24th, 1946. John and Barbara had five children, Jane Sutherland McLiney (Joseph), John William Sutherland, Jr. (Melynda), Christopher Lauren Sutherland (Paige), Thomas McCurry Sutherland (Debra) and Mark Breidenthal Sutherland (Megan).
He was known later in life to his twenty-one grandchildren and fifty-four great-grandchildren as simply, Granddaddy. He filled their hearts and minds with countless tales of his youth and abundant words of wisdom that will continue to live with them wherever life may lead. Just as his stories, John will also remain in the hearts of those whose lives he touched. John’s great-granddaughter, Emma Volini lovingly stated, “that if someone had the pleasure of experiencing the quiet kindness and dynamic personality, ever present through my great-grandfather’s encounters and actions, they were truly changed for the better.”
There will be a private family service.
In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions to Children's Mercy Hospital.
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