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Obituary: Bennett W. Sutton (1973-2023)

Bennett W. Sutton (Age 50)
Memorial service info

Bennett “Ben” Warburton Sutton passed away on Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Arlington, Virginia, after a two-year fight with lung cancer. Ben was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on August 16, 1973, to Richard and Ginny (Morris) Sutton and grew up in northern Virginia. He graduated from Madison High School in Vienna, VA in 1991 and earned his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Mary Washington in 1995 and his master’s degree in economics from George Washington University in 2000. He was a Senior Research Officer for the International Monetary Fund, where he had worked and cultivated a global network of friends and colleagues since 1999. With many of his colleagues, he shared a passion for world affairs, following and engaging in cheerful debate about current events. A natural team-builder, Ben served as his department’s Peer for a Respectful Workplace representative, tasked with promoting a caring work environment and helping colleagues in distress. Throughout his career, Ben’s colleagues and friends found him to be a mentor and catalyst for their careers, a consummate connector of people, and an enthusiastic asset on the soccer field and badminton court.

Ben made his home in Arlington with his wife, Bethany Zecher Sutton, whom he met when they were undergraduate students at Mary Washington. He introduced her to family summer vacations in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and she took him to the mountains and lakes of New England. Together they introduced their children, Luna and Cara, to domestic and world travel. Ben’s passion for travel took him from a post-college internship in Budapest to personal and business travel in Europe, Canada, the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Mexico, Panama, South America, and across the US. As a traveler, Ben loved to explore neighborhoods on foot to get a true sense of a place and its people.

His international interests were manifested in his love of cooking and soccer. While he enjoyed watching cooking shows and the English Premier League, Ben got into the action himself as the family chef whose unique take on his grandmother’s macaroni and cheese recipe was a favorite; and as a soccer player through his 20s, 30s and into his 40s with Arlington Coed Kicks and colleagues at the IMF. He always brought family, colleagues, and friends together with passion for World Cup soccer. In recent years, he developed an enthusiasm for weekly badminton games in the atrium at the IMF and in the backyard of his home in Arlington.

Ben’s greatest passion was ignited when he became a father to Luna and Cara. As a dad, Ben was extraordinarily committed to raising his kids thoughtfully and with the energy he brought to all his chosen endeavors. He enjoyed introducing Luna and Cara to his varied interests and exploring the world through their eyes as well. He and Bethany were a dynamic duo in parenting, each playing to their strengths and always working together to help support their children.

In addition to his wife, children, and parents, Ben is survived by his brothers, Alex (Beth), Marshall (Debi), and Sam (Jill); his mother-in-law, Sonja Zecher; his sisters- and brothers-in-law Carla, Conrad (Kris), Nadine (Dan), and Derek (Ann); 14 nieces and nephews; and many dear and lifelong friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held on May 6, 2023 at 10:00am at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. Interment (private burial) will be at Columbia Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Charitable contributions to honor Ben’s memory can be made to the Arlington Community Foundation for the Bennett Sutton Memorial Fund. Contributions by check may be mailed to: Arlington Community Foundation, 4601 N Fairfax Drive, #1050, Arlington, VA 22203. Please specify Bennett Sutton Memorial Fund on the memo line. All contributions to the fund will be receipted for tax-deduction purposes.

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