Theresa Sutton

Longtime Riverhead resident Theresa Sutton died Jan. 26 at Pacific Long Beach Hospital in Long Beach, Calif. She was 64.

Theresa Sutton

Born in Calverton April 30, 1947, to Salone Harris and Alexander Fleming, she spent her childhood years in Riverhead and attended local schools.

She met and married Robert Sutton in 1966 and moved to California in the fall of that year. They raised five daughters, Patricia, Reginia and Latasha Sutton, Theresa Ward and Tamekia Ward, who predeceased her.

In 1981, Theresa moved back to Riverhead, where she met her partner and lifetime friend, Carlton Seay.

Before retiring Theresa worked for many years as a bus driver for the Riverhead Central School District, where she met a host of good friends and was well-liked by many. She also served the community as an assistant funeral director with Mr. Seay.

Ms. Sutton enjoyed being with her girls and grandchildren. She also loved arts and crafts, shopping and traveling, but most of all, family said, she enjoyed putting a smile on the face of everyone she came in contact with.

According to a family statement, “Theresa was not only a good friend, great auntie, wonderful mother and extraordinary grandmother who had a beautiful soul but, in the words of Maya Angelou, ‘She was a phenomenal woman.’ ”

In addition to her four daughters and Mr. Seay, Ms. Sutton is survived by her husband, Robert, of California; a son, Alexander Ayala; two stepsons, Tremaye Seay and Trevor Kemp; three grandchildren; two sisters, Azei Mendez and Salone Ayala; two brothers, Wallace and Mark Fleming; and a stepsister, Vanessa Larry-Broiles.

Services took place Feb. 4 at First Baptist Church of Riverhead, the Rev. Charles Coverdale officiating.

Arrangements were handled by Seay Memorial Chapel of Riverhead.