My grandson, Sutton C. Roley’s life began as any other little boy with a great future. He attended a small private school and was known even in pre-school for finding cute girls and kissing them on the playground. Sutton then enrolled at Los Gatos High School. He had a slight learning disability, but found great instructors who took time with him and he began to enjoy school in his senior year. Sutton attended Cuesta Community College in San Luis Obispo, and I think surfing was more of a priority than studying.
He had challenges in his short life when he lost his Mom to a brain tumor when he was just 13 and his brother Preston was 10. Sutton attended a Hospice counseling group for teens who lost a parent. The grief counselor ask him to co-facilitate the next teen group because he was compassionate, had a knack for saying just the right thing, and wanted to help others. Sutton was an outstanding athlete, played baseball pitching an almost perfect game, basketball, and then developed a passion for any kind of board: skate; surf; skim; wake; snow; and recently wake surfing. He also loved working out with his brother.
Sutton was a very popular young man about town and had a good time partying and laughing with his friends. All of his friends at his memorial said he was a good person and made people feel better about themselves. Sutton had a great sense of humor and loved being social! He always took a little extra time with people to greet them, something that is rare in today’s world. His community will remember him for his gentle ways, smiling face, and for being polite and mannerly even at a young age.
Sutton thought he was just having a good time and did not understand the effects of mixing certain substances and alcohol. Many of our youth don’t understand how quickly things can get lethal. He had no idea what was happening on the night of February 12th and at the end of the night, went to sleep just as many do after partying. The difference was, he never woke up and after 6 long days in ICU, Sutton passed away without ever knowing what happened. If he were still alive, I know what he would say to everyone today, “I wish I would have followed my younger brother’s path and learned how to have a great time in life without using.”