John Charles Sutusky

December 25, 1947November 17, 2020

COLUMBIA John Charles Sutusky, 72, unexpectedly passed away Tuesday, November 17, 2020 while walking the family pets near his beloved mountain home in Saluda, North Carolina. Born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, he was son to the late J.C. and Mary Kitko Sutusky. He was a graduate of Bishop Guilfoyle High School and earned a B.A. in Economics from Saint Francis College in Loretta, Penn. John served in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence and Operations Specialist in the Canal Zone, Republic of Panama. After his service, John went to graduate school and received a Master of Science in Industrial Relations from West Virginia University, Morgantown and a PhD. in Higher Education Administration from Florida State University.

Mr. Sutusky was a former associate commissioner of the South Carolina Commission of Higher Education and a former Vice President of Finance and Administration of the Medical University of South Carolina. During his professional career, John was an active member of the Society for College and University Planning, representing the Southeast region. His love for South Carolina colleges and universities was evident to all.

In recent years, John volunteered his time as a tax-preparer through the AARP and The Cooperative Ministry. John loved the arts and theater, gardening, traveling, sports and was an avid reader. As a young professional, he enjoyed regular games of racquetball at the Columbia YMCA and later MUSC. In his retirement, he found great enjoyment learning the game of pickleball and played regularly at the Drew Wellness Center, Tri-City Leisure Center and the Hendersonville, N.C. YMCA. He enjoyed singing as a former member of the Palmetto Mastersingers. John was an active member of Shandon United Methodist Church and previously Bethany United Methodist Church in Summerville.

He is survived by his wife of twenty-two years, Rebecca; children, Stephen Sutusky (Shelby), Sarah Sutusky (and their mother, Kathryn) and Yarley Steedly (daughter of Rebecca); grandchildren, Stella Sutusky, James and Georgia Kellahan, all of Columbia; brother, Thomas Sutusky; sisters, Bernadette Sutusky and Mary Ann Sutusky of Altoona, Penn.

A private service will be held at a later date. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family.

Memorial contributions may be made in memory of John C. Sutusky to Epworth Children’s Home, PO Box 50466, Columbia, SC 29250 or online at


  • Celebration of Life

    Tuesday, November 24, 2020

  • Place of Rest

    Tuesday, November 24, 2020


John Charles Sutusky

have a memory or condolence to add?

Debra Baker

December 2, 2020

Since Christmas is near, I have to share this memory of John. He was very particular about his sugar cookies. Can't recall if it was his mother or grandmother's recipe, but he spent hours on what he thought was the perfect cookie. It had to be as thin as possible and if you've ever made them, you know this is not an easy task. I was lucky enough to get to partake and I have to say, John was certainly up to the challenge. They were the best I've ever had.

Kathy Benton

November 23, 2020

I knew John through the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), where I am a staff member. I remember John as an absolutely lovely person and a strong volunteer leader. In 2015, Cindy Holt, one of our members and volunteer leaders gave a presentation to her colleagues in the Southern Region. I have a copy of her talk and this is what it said about her admiration of John:

"In the late 90’s our region simply went to sleep, no conferences, no workshops, nothing for at least 2 years. Then John Sutusky who was with the Medical University of SC was elected as our regional representative, things started to change. Even though John had no regional council to work with, he managed in short time to organize a regional conference in Charleston SC. John also was a champion of having SCUP staff support for regional activities. John was easily re-elected as our regional representative..... Were it not for John (Sutusky) and Jeff my job as a regional rep would have been impossible. I’m so grateful to both of them!”

John was admired and respected by both staff and his colleagues in SCUP. I send my prayers to his family, and give thanks for having known him.

Kathy Benton
Associate Director, Strategic Alliances
Society for College and University Planning

Lynn Metcalf

November 22, 2020

I knew and worked with John for many years. He was one of the nicest, most decent, guys I ever met. The world will be a lesser place without him.

Margaret (Maggie) Bennett

November 21, 2020

Sending sincere care and deep regard to Becky, Stephen, Sarah, and your families. John was a mentor to me. He cared very deeply for the intentions behind his goals and was immensely proud of his family, kids, and grand kids. So very sorry and saddened. With love, and as John signed his messages, PEACE.

Margaret "Maggie" Bennett (to John, "the Kid")
and my son, Sean Simonsen
Buffalo, Wyoming