CYNTHIA S. SUTTON, a longtime resident of New Orleans, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 31, 2020, surrounded by loved ones. She was 96.
Sutton was a joie de vivre and particularly loved beautiful things and sharing them with friends. She was the consummate entertainer, who enjoyed a life of privilege, but who worked hard for those less fortunate. A champion of “women’s rights” and “human rights” before the terms became popular, Sutton was outraged when her housekeeper was not allowed into a Canal Street fur salon in the early 1960s. A customer of the store herself, Sutton accompanied her right back to the store and demanded her housekeeper be served.
Her Syrian parents immigrated to New Orleans by way of New York and she was the first Syrian woman in her community to earn a college degree, graduating from LSU in 1943.
A lifetime lover of learning, she was always involved in a book club and keeping her mind active. Sutton also enjoyed working with the National Council of Jewish Women’s Greater New Orleans Section (NCJW) and worked with the NCJW’s Shield program in its mission to prevent child abuse and battle bullying.
Sutton taught school for a short time, but was mostly noted as having worked at several Royal Street galleries over many decades.
She enjoyed being with her family and friends and was particularly happy while traveling and shopping. Many considered her the quintessential Middle Eastern cook, but she was also delighted to share recipes or to give advice to family or friends on subjects such as cooking, personal relationships or world events. She was an incredible listener who valued the time spent with family and friends as invaluable.
Preceded in death by her loving husband of 70 years, Meyer (Mike) Sutton, she is survived by her three children, Joseph Sutton (Lois), Suzanne Ratner of San Antonio and Candice Rosenblum (Wally) of Mandeville; six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two step-grandsons and three step-great-grandchildren. Her brothers Joseph Sutton, Ronald Sutton (Elayne) and Richard Sutton (Elaine) and her sister-in-law Priscilla Sutton also survive her.
Graveside services were held Friday, January 31, 2020, at Hebrew Rest Cemetery III. Rabbi Katie Bauman officiated. Memorial donations are requested in Cynthia’s name to Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans, 3300 W. Esplanade Ave., Suite 603, Metairie, LA 70002.
Condolences may be shared online at www.lakelawnmetairie.com. Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.