Today I went to the funeral of a man I thought I barely knew. That may seem like an odd statement, but I assure you it is true. I was asked to be a pallbearer, and I accepted, but I wasn’t really sure how I felt about it, or what I should feel about it. I met Lon maybe five times while he was alive. I remember him as being kind and happy. But, since I only met him those few times, it would be safe to say that I barely knew him, at least that’s what I thought.
As I sat and thought about what I could say to his widow, it came to me that in one sense I meet him every day. My father-in-law would be one of the first to tell you that when he was 16 he was a little wild. So wild in fact, that he ended up in jail. His uncle Lon was the one that came and bailed him out. At that time he also became my father-in-laws legal guardian, took him into his home and raised him.
The effect and influence that Lon had on him set my father-in-law on a better path than the one he was headed down. That in turn influenced the man that my father-in-law is. So in my father-in-law I see a bit of who Lon Sutton was. It doesn’t stop there though. The man that my father-in-law is, also influenced the father that he is to my wife and how he raised her. The woman that she is today, how she interacts with me and our children is, in part, a reflection of the influence that Lon had on her dad.
So I get to see a little bit of who Lon Sutton was everyday in the people around me. I wish that I could have known him better in life, but I am thankful for the influence that he was on my family. It is an honor to me to be a part of laying him to his final rest.
Rest in peace, Lon Sutton.