By George Wilkins Hubbard, Jr.
It is with mixed emotions that I announce the passing of my mother, Edna Marie Hubbard Sutton, on March 30, 2021, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Known mostly as Ms. Edna, Ms. Hubbard, Ms. Sutton or just as Edna Marie, she was born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 7, 1918, the daughter of John Richard Dierker, a German immigrant, and Edna Lillian Gears of Kent County, Maryland.
She was pre-deceased by her first husband George Wilkins Hubbard, Sr., her daughter Lynda Sue Hubbard, her daughter-in-law, Candace Stephanie Hubbard and her second husband Stanley Sutton, her father, mother and Dierker siblings, Christine Barnes, Frank R. Dierker and John R. Dierker.
She is survived by her son, George Wilkins Hubbard, Jr. of Virginia Beach, Virginia, granddaughter Courtney Stephanie Starr, son-in-law Timothy Starr and three great grand boys, Taylor Christian, William Timothy and Benjamin Hubbard Starr of Earlysville, Virginia. Survivors also include nephew Hubbard Kendall and niece Donna Edwards and their families. Of the Sutton family, survivors include her step son William S. Sutton and step grandchildren William S. Sutton, his wife Tricia, step granddaughter Susan B Nickerson and her husband Phil, and step grandchildren as well as sister-in-law, Charmayne Dierker of Chestertown, Maryland and “just like a daughter”, Ann Lee Thomas of Rock Hall.
One of four children, she grew up as a farm girl in Kent County, Maryland, and received her early education in the public school system. As she related, “Perhaps we were poor, but we didn’t know it”.
A stellar student, she entered nursing school at Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore at age 17, claiming to meet the entry age of 18. She graduated from Nursing School in 1938 at age 20 and worked in the Instructional Visiting Nurse Association (IVNA).
She married George Wilkins Hubbard, a commercial fisherman in 1940, and worked in nursing at Kent and Queen Anne’s Hospital in Chestertown until 1948. The family started Hubbard’s Pier and Seafood, Inc. in 1953 where she was secretary/ treasurer and manager until retiring in 1983. Her husband, Wilkes Hubbard died in 1964 and the corporation was sold to Albert Woodfield in 1965. She and Al worked together until she retired in 1983. She remarried in 1976 to Stanley Sutton. They were able to enjoy travel and some life at Bittersweet Farm with the Sutton family until his death in 1984 after completing his book, Beyond the Road Gate.
Edna Marie and Wilkes had 2 children, Lynda Sue and George Wilkins, Jr.
The misfortunes of life with the death of her daughter Lynda at age 13 and of her husband at age 48 placed her in the role of single parent and sole provider. She shouldered those roles with sacrifice and faith and stoically carried on.
She was known as an accomplished business women and Charter member of the Soroptimist International of Kent County. She was a life member of Maryland General Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association.
She was a lifelong member of Wesley Chapel Church where she taught Sunday School and women’s class for several years.
She was an advocate for her town and proud of her Eastern Shore heritage. She was featured in Southern Living Magazine and interviewed on Eastern Neck Island Bridge in 2004.
She served on multiple committees and municipal boards, including Rock Hall Senior Citizens Association, the Rock Hall Museum Board, the Zoning Appeals Board, and Crime Solvers of the Upper Eastern Shore.
Known as an advocate for education, she was proud of her association with the University of Virginia where she was involved with University Development and a member of the Lawn, Compass Rose and Cornerstone Societies.
Above all, she was a woman of strong faith as demonstrated in her character of Christian living and unwillingness to compromise Christian principles.
Her later years were fraught with many health challenges that she faced with courage, resiliency and dignity which she overcame with the excellent and loving care by the doctors and nurses at Sentara Leigh Memorial Hospital in Norfolk.
Most importantly, she made every sacrifice that a mother could possibly make for a son.
As a family, we will miss her wit, her advice, her bright blue eyes and smile and the times we shared in difficulties and celebrations. As her son, I can only hope that I can be as consistent in my life and an example to my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. She was an inspiration.
Close personal gathering is a challenge with the Covid dilemma ever present, however with masking, social distancing and air-hug- substitutes, we hope to honor her memory. There will be an in-person visitation on Friday, April 9, 2021 from 4-6 PM at Fellows, Helfenbein and Newnam Funeral Home in Chestertown, Maryland. A memorial celebration of the life will be held at the funeral home at 3 PM, Saturday, April 10, 2021.
A graveside service will be private. A webcast option of the memorial service can be accessed on Mrs. Sutton’s memorial page at www.fhnfuneralhome.com underneath the “Photos & Videos” tab at the time of the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Cemetery Fund at Wesley Chapel Church, 6065 Rock Hall Rd, Rock Hall, Maryland 21661, or the Rock Hall Fire House, 21500 Rock Hall Ave, Rock Hall, Maryland 21661, or a charity of your choice are suggested.
George Wilkins Hubbard, Jr. is Edna Marie Hubbard Sutton’s son.