George Philip Sutherland peacefully left us on April 23, 2023. George was born on Nov. 7, 1953 at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Washington to Philip and Loreen Sutherland. Shortly thereafter the family moved to Port Townsend, Wash. where George attended school graduating from Port Townsend High School in 1972.
George was one the best athletes to ever come out of Port Townsend High School. As a Port Townsend Redskin, he played and starred on the undefeated 1971 football team. He also ran track and threw the shot and discus, setting records in each event. His shot-put record stands to this day, and is one of the longest throws in Washington state high school history. He twice competed at AAU national track and field events. The University of Washington gave George a full athletic scholarship to play football and compete in track and field. In later life George was a regular competitor at Senior Olympic Games held around Washington state where he put the shot.
After college, George followed in his father’s footsteps first as a commercial gillnet fisherman on Puget Sound and later in Southeast Alaskan waters where the family had moved its fishing operation after his father’s death. George then operated his own logging truck where he hauled timber on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula until his retirement.
George believed in the value of sports and supporting family. He would champion his nieces and nephews as they participated in their respective sports, cheering them on around the state, across the country and even followed the Husky rowing crew to England. In later years George developed a passion for cooking, claiming he had perfected the best smoked salmon recipe and proving his claim often by bringing wonderful seafood culinary contributions to family events.
George was often described as a gentle giant and later affectionately called “The Big Guy” because of his size and quiet manner. He will be remembered as a quiet man who demonstrated integrity, always trying to do the right thing.
George is survived by his wife, Phyllis Johnson Sutherland and mother, Loreen Blayden Sutherland. He also leaves his sister, Vicki Sutherland Horton and her spouse Marc Horton along with their adult children Aaron and Lindsey Jungbluth (Hunter), Ben and Kiersten Horton (Skylar and Amia) and Jeff and Ryanne Karnes (Aria, Evelyn and Levi). George is survived by his brother-in-law, Al Hanson and Al’s adult children Phil Hanson (Reya and Brodin) as well as Dylan and Mariah Hanson-Ordoñez (Max J. and Leo R.) He also leaves his brother Peter, wife Dulce Villalobos and their daughters Olivia and Ariana.
George was preceded in death by his father, Philip George Sutherland and sister, Susan Sutherland-Hanson. Memorial contributions can be made in George’s name to Wounded Warriors, or the Port Townsend Rhododendron Festival at P.O. Box 766, Port Townsend, WA 98368.