KG6ZO - May 1, 2011

KG6ZO - William R. Sutton William R. Sutton
Fresno, CA

William R. Sutton, a pioneer in the local Fresno television industry, died in a Sonoma County hospital on May 1, 2011, at the age of 86 and from natural causes. Born in Oklahoma City on August 2, 1924, William spent a significant portion of his childhood in Longview, Texas. Before his senior year his parents moved to San Francisco, where he graduated from the city's High School of Commerce. Inducted into the service, the WWII veteran served as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corp's First Reconnaissance Squadron from 1943 to 1946, and was once charged with the honor of driving General Dwight D. Eisenhower. After the war he began a career in radio, as a disc jockey in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

A performer at heart, he acted in plays at the Lake Charles Little Theatre, where the local newspaper reported that: "Bill Sutton is blessed with a deep and resonant voice." He was also known as an excellent dancer and became an instructor at the Arthur Murray Studio of Dance. But it was the voice that led him to television work in Fresno during the 1950s, starting at the CBS affiliate then known as KFRE. He served as an announcer, worked in front of and behind the camera, as a control room engineer, and retired from Fresno's NBC affiliate, KSEE, in 1989.

He met his wife, Blanche Benjamin Sutton, while both were working in Fresno's Rowell Building. They married in 1955 and had one daughter, Susan Lynn Sutton. Proud of his Scottish, English and Irish ancestry, William loved to play golf, speak French with his daughter and spent many an evening dancing with Blanche at The Hacienda. He also was a passionate ham radio operator who routinely spoke with colleagues around the world. Three years ago, William and Blanche moved to Northern California to be near Susan, who resides in Marin County with her husband, Jay Stuller.