James Merrill Sutton, Maple Grove, MN died unexpectedly on June 4, 2021, at the age of 74 years, 10 months and 29 days in Finley, North Dakota.
James "Jim/Jimmy" was born in Little Falls, Minnesota on July 6, 1946, the 9th child born to Floyd E. Sutton, Sr., and Marian E. (Rice) Sutton. Jim attended school in Finley, North Dakota and moved to the Minneapolis area in 1969.
James is survived by his wife of 38 years, Mary Dotson-Sutton; his daughters, Brenda (Rick) Rauser of Mandan, ND, Penny (James) Cobb of Puposky, MN, and Dawn Marie Flemming of Ogilvie, MN; sons, Michael Dotson and Howard Dotson, both of Maple Grove, MN, George (Shannon) Schmidt Bemidji, MN, and Richard (Dawn) Schmidt, Princeton, MN. James had 13 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and over 200 nieces and nephews. James was especially close to his grandson Justin Dotson. He is also survived 4 brothers and 5 sisters, Floyd E. Sutton, Jr, Monticello, MN, Rose DeBord, Plymouth, MN, Jack (Mary) Sutton Becker, MN, Robert (Esther) Sutton, Rogers, AK, Lewis (Linda) Sutton, Costa Rica, Alice Wepplo, Otsego, MN, Julia (Kenneth) Bolger Middleton, ID, Margaret (James) Hastings Hermitage, MO, and Helen Hayden, Maple Grove, MN.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father, 2 sisters and 1 brother.
Jim spent his summers in North Dakota helping his friends on their farms, most recently working with David Archer. He spent much of his free time visiting with his many friends he developed during his time in Finley. Jim developed a fondness for tractor pulls and won several contests with his collection of vintage tractors over the last several years.
Jim was most famous for his role he played as Santa Claus every year. Over the last several years he was a Santa at Macy’s in downtown Minneapolis, at a mall in Anchorage Alaska and the last two years was a Santa Claus in Yonkers, New York. He loved the time he spent as Santa and enjoyed having the many children who saw him (even when it was not Christmas time) asking him if he was Santa.
Services will be held at Evans-Nordby Funeral Home, 34 Second St, NE, Osseo MN, on June 10, 2021, at 2:00 pm. Visitation will be prior to the service from 12:00pm-2:00pm. Reception following the service will be held at Rogers Event Center, 12716 Main Street, Rogers, MN.
These people are wonderful. They went over and above in every possible way to help us with funeral arrangements, the visitation, service and burial, despite the fact that we had a limited budget. They were patient, kind, and treated us like family. This is a funeral home you can trust. Thank you, Evans-Nordby.