John C. Sudduth, 84, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY — John Chatfield Sudduth, 84, died Saturday, August 1, 2020, surrounded by family, at his 314 Ten Eyck St. home in Watertown, NY.

Born Nov. 15, 1935, in Watertown, a son of H. Norton and Lyda C. Sudduth, he graduated in 1953 from Watertown High School. He attended Williams College earning his degree in history in 1957. He served in the United States Army, stationed in Germany.

After his discharge, he taught history in a private high school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There he met his bride, Ann Lumpkin, who was the English teacher across the hall. Following a brief courtship, they married in Mexico, MO, on June 27, 1963. Ann and John enjoyed a devoted, 57 year long marriage.

After John earned his master’s degree in guidance counseling from Syracuse University, he began a job as guidance counselor in Dundalk, MD, near Baltimore.

Following further study at Syracuse University, John happily returned home in 1972 to become a guidance counselor at Watertown High. He truly enjoyed his work and was devoted to his students. He retired as senior counselor in 1994. John took great pleasure in knowing his granddaughter, Megan Sudduth, accepted a teaching position with the Watertown district, starting in the fall of 2020.

An avid golfer, John was joined by his dear friend, Bill Barden, on countless rounds at Ives Hill Country Club. He ran and played in many tournaments over the years, including the Six Man Team and City Championship. The annual Member Guest tournament was a highlight of the summer. Always the historian, in 1997, John wrote a published history of Ives Hill to commemorate their centennial year. He was a collector of over 4,000 golf balls, no two balls alike. Hunting for lost golf balls with his children and grandchildren was a favorite past time.

As a lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church in Watertown, he served as a Deacon, Elder and Clerk of Session.

He loved his hometown and was involved with several charities and community committees, including serving as the President of the Board of the Children’s Home of Jefferson County. After his retirement, he enjoyed driving for the Volunteer Transportation Center, for many years.

During childhood he spent his summers at Camp Dudley, in Westport, NY. He went on to be a Leader, Division Head, and spent time on the Board of Directors. The camp motto of “The Other Fellow First” shaped his life philosophy and was evident in his actions.

John will be remembered as a lover of sports, a great toastmaster and storyteller, for his easy going humor, kind heart, patient travel companion, caring father, brother, friend and loving husband. He had a life well lived.

Surviving are his wife, Ann Lumpkin Sudduth; three sons, Benjamin and wife Nicole, Westport, NY, James, Eagan, MN, Daniel and wife Jun, Glasgow, Scotland; two daughters, Susan Pickrel and husband David, Dallas, TX, and Sarah Maurer and husband Jason, Watertown, NY; a sister, Susan DeVries Reber, Canton, OH; and 10 grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his parents, H. Norton Sudduth and Lyda C. Sudduth, and two brothers, William and George.

Arrangements are with D.L Calarco Funeral Home, Inc.

Online condolences may be made to

Donations in John’s memory can be made to the Volunteer Transportation Center, 24685 NY 37, Watertown, NY 13601.