We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at L.E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home
Mrs. Linda Marie Sutton-Hawkins, 69, of Campbell, transitioned to her heavenly home on Saturday, May 28, 2022 at Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.
Born Linda Marie Sutton on October 6, 1952, the second daughter of the late Mrs. Elnora Greenlee-Sutton and the late Mr. John Edward Sutton, Sr. Seven children were born to this union.
Onn May 10, 1957 at the age of 4 years old, Linda was burned over 40% of her body and the doctors did not expect her to live. Family and friends began to pray for her; Rev. Alfred and Ruby Ward, Elder Jacob and Willie V. Robinson, Elder Paul and Bertha Ealy, Mr. James Toms and his brother, Mr. Bob Toms and many others. Her mother and father made a promise to God…. “if you will give her back to us, we will dedicate her back to you…” Their prayers were heard and God spared her life.
Linda attended Youngstown Public Schools where she was very active in everything from the spelling bee in elementary school to Fresh Air Camp, Girls’ Glee Club in junior high school, to A Capella Choir in high school. She was a 1970 graduate of South High School and was voted “Most Mannerable” by her high school class; and participated in her Senior High Variety Show. Linda continued her education at Choffin Vocational School studying dressmaking and medical terminology, and also Youngstown State University where she majored in special education. Linda had held a variety of job interests and had worked at North Side Hospital for 35 years.
Both of Linda’s parents loved to sing and taught her and her siblings how to sing and harmonize. She remembered her first solo part…. “I said I wasn’t gonna tell nobody, but I couldn’t keep it to myself…” Her mother’s favorite song was “You Can’t Hurry God”, and her father loved “Don’t Forget the Family Prayer”. As a teenager, Linda’s first group was called the “Gospelaires” with Ronald King, Robert French, Michael Johnson, Donna Kirkland-Littlejohn and Charsie Randolph-Sawyer. Later the name was chosen because they were all members of the Ebenezer Church of God In Christ.
Linda had been featured at Stambaugh Auditorium with Walter and Edwin Hawkins and the Hawkins Singers, and was special guest of the late Bishop Norman L. Wagner at Powers Auditorium.
Linda had been influenced by many styles of music from classical, with Mrs. Clara Roland and Dr. Sophia Brooks, to quartet with the Mays Singers, The Jackson Harmonizers and The Caffey Brothers, to choir with the Ivory Mauldin Chorale and the Youngstown Church of God In Christ Reunion Choir.
Linda was blessed to sing with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra with “Step Afrika”, and lent her talents as a well-known radio host of “Gospel Train” with the late Melvin Catley and Bishop Calvin Penny on WGFT Radio 1500. Linda gave special thanks and honor to Maestro Professor Wilbert Ervin, a graduate of Youngstown State University and Dana School of Music, because he is responsible for her most requested selection, “Where the Roses Never Fade”.
Linda had been quoted as saying …”Every day is a day of Thanksgiving with my family and friends”. Linda says with a smile….”yes, we still sing together; anytime we get together is never long enough!”
Linda leaves to cherish her life and legacy, her siblings, Anna Damous (Jack) Johnson and Troy J. Sutton both of Youngstown, Karen E. (Robert) Green and Frederick Sutton both of Atlanta, GA, Barbara J. Dawson-Adams of Hephzibah, GA, James A. (Olga) Sutton of Cucamunga, CA, and Lauretta Ware of Warren; cousins, Beverly Tucker-Hill and Joyce Tucker-Brown as well as a host of loving nieces, nephews, other family, church family and friends.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Hawkins, who passed away in 2003; two brothers, John E. Sutton Jr. and Jeffrey Irby; an aunt, Pearley Mae Tucker; two special nephews, DeVon “Man Man” Damous and D’Andre L. Damous; great great nephew, DeVon Damous, Jr.; brother-in-laws, Wilbur “Junior” Damous and Leroy Adams, Jr.
A Homegoing Celebration will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the New Bethel Baptist Church, 1507 Hillman Street, Youngstown. Visitation will be held from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Due to the pandemic, all guests are asked to wear masks and observe social distancing.
Services of Love and Dignity entrusted to the L. E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home.