James C. Sutt, beloved husband, father, and friend to many, died Monday, September 6, 2021 at his home in Johnstown. James was born in 1931 to parents Nicholas and Anna (Gubic) Sutt. He was the eighth of eleven children; the youngest three of his siblings were triplets.
He graduated from Johnstown High School in 1949, and like each of his eight older brothers, Jim enlisted to serve our country. He was stationed in Guam during the Korean War and worked as a member of the Navy Seabees. While stationed there, Jim was tasked with equipment repairs and he, in fact, fixed every vehicle and machine on the island of Guam until there was nothing left to be fixed. Then he was moved to other islands to find more work to do. He could fix almost anything. In 1947, Jim and several of his brothers laid the foundation for what would become Sutts’ Garage. He built a reputation as an honest mechanic for many years before he shifted gears to specialize in transmission work. As the business evolved, he founded the Johnstown Babbitting and Machine Company - JBM - in 1971. He accepted challenges and patiently imparted his wisdom to many, and his work ethic was impeccable. In his early years, Jim and his brothers formed a bowling team. His life would change forever on a bowling night in 1958, when he was introduced by a mutual friend to Esther Jean Pelleschi. Jim and Esther were made for each other, and they married in 1959. They shared a long and happy marriage, and welcomed five children.
Jim is survived by his devoted wife and his true love, Esther, and their children: James A. Sutt of Johnstown, Patricia Arevalo (Dario, of Chesterfield Virginia), Karen Stilwell (Daniel, Napa California) and Mary Jo Neumann (Chris, Cocoa Beach Florida), ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, his sister Loretta, many nieces and nephews, and a large extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his daughter, Jean Ann.
Our Dad was never too busy to be an involved father while raising his family. He was one of the rare dads who made it a priority to attend the many evening assemblies and concerts held over the years in the Johnstown schools. This world would be a better place if there were more men like him. Jim was involved in the Johnstown community all his life. He was an original member of the St. Clair Tremont Trap & Field Club. As an avid sportsman for many years, he enjoyed Trap shooting with the guys from the club, fishing trips to Canada, and boating on the Youghiogheny Dam. He shared fond memories of waterskiing in his youth with his dearest brother, Al. He was appointed to the Lower Yoder Water Authority and served for many years to support local community initiatives. Jim was eventually recruited to teach auto mechanics at Johnstown Vo-Tech, and enjoyed helping others learn his passion. He had a strong love of learning throughout his life, and as someone put it, “He was a good man - you couldn’t help but learn from him.” Faith was a vital part of his life. As a member of St. Rochus Catholic Church in Cambria City, he served as a lector. In the later years after the local parish consolidation, the family went back to St. Francis of Assisi, the parish of his youth. Despite his long illness, Jim remained connected to his Church. The family is ever grateful for the weekly visits to the house from the St. Francis Eucharistic ministers. The family is thankful for the loving support and prayers of friends and family. Love never dies.
Friends received from 10:00 AM until 12 Noon on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at Frank Duca Funeral Home, Westmont Chapel, 1622 Menoher Blvd. Johnstown PA 15905. Funeral Mass will be held at 12:30 PM at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church., Fr. Anthony Francis Spilka OFM. Interment will be held at Grandview Cemetery with military honors.
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