Albert N. Sutherland
Albert Neil Sutherland died in his home with his wife and daughter beside him on July 30th, 2017.
He was born on August 13, 1945 to Don and Peggy Sutherland in Morton, Washington. The family of three spent Al's early years in Seattle until they moved to Bellingham when Al was in fifth grade. From that point on he was a Whatcom County "boy" through and through. He graduated from Bellingham High in 1963, Skagit Community College in 1966, and Western Washington University in 1976. He was enlisted in the Navy Reserve and was part of the workforce that started up the Arco refinery.
When he graduated from college with a teaching degree there were few teaching jobs so, he chose big oil over teaching in a small town. Arco and later BP were the recipients of his respect for people, his strong work ethics, his sharp mind, and his safety-first beliefs. Al shared a short intense relationship with dementia that he accepted with grace. He simplified his life and yet never compromised the quality of it.
After watching his mother die of dementia in an institution, not knowing anyone, Al knew that was not what he wanted. He chose VSED (voluntary stopping eating and drinking) as his alternative to end his life with dignity. He was brave, a trail blazer, and lived his life until the end being positive, humorous, and loving life. He is survived by his wife, Margot Clemmens, and his daughter, Cassandra Sutherland and many friends and family.
A memorial is scheduled for the Squalicum Boat House at Zuanich Point from 3-5 on August 21. Memorials may be made to A Sacred Passing (Death Midwifery Services) at PO Box 5284 Bellingham 98227-5284 or an animal shelter of your choice.