John Peter Sutich, 87, educator, veteran

John Peter Sutich, who taught history at Ridgefield High School for many years, died on Jan. 23.

He was born in West New York, N.J., on Aug. 6, 1927, to Anton and Frieda Sutich, the youngest of four children.

After growing up in West New York, at the age of 17 he joined the U.S. Navy and served until 1946. After leaving the service, he worked various jobs, as a bus cleaner, as a pipe coverer and at a slaughterhouse. He eventually pursued higher education, graduating from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1958. Over the next 10 years he taught at high schools in Silver Spring, Md., Bardstown, Ky., and Brooklyn, N.Y.

While studying for his master’s degree at Wesleyan University in Middletown, he met his future bride, Rosemary. They married in 1970 and at that time he began teaching at Ridgefield High School. He served as an American history teacher and dean until his retirement in 1998. In 1984, he was honored as Ridgefield’s Teacher of the Year. In retirement he served as an adjunct professor of history at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, dabbled in acting in community theater in Ridgefield, and visited his father’s hometown in Croatia. In 2007, Mr. and Mrs. Sutich relocated to Melrose, Mass.

Mr. Sutich is survived by his wife, his two sons, John and Stefan, two daughters-in-law, Lisa and Alison, and five beloved grandchildren: Andrew, Meryl, Adeline, Leo, and Spencer. He was predeceased by his brother Chris and sisters Barbara and Catherine.

A wake will be held on Thursday Jan. 29, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Cornell Memorial Home on 247 White Street in Danbury. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Gregory the Great Church, 85 Great Plain Road in Danbury at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 30. Burial will be in St. Peter Cemetery, Danbury. Memorial donations may be made to the Xaverian Brothers, 4409 Frederick Avenue, Baltimore MD 21229, on behalf of retired brothers.

Condolences may be left online at

—by the staff