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Former Juneau resident Ressa Ella Courson Sutton died Oct. 26, 2009, at home in Pembroke Pines, Fla. She was 79.
She was born March 23, 1930, in Summitville, N.Y., to the late Jesse and Elizabeth Courson. She graduated from Hasbrouck Heights High School in New Jersey, while working various jobs to help support her family after her mother's untimely death and father's illness. She was an avid sports fan and enjoyed the New York Yankees, New York Jets, western movies and Regis and Kelly.
She married her first husband, George S. Bentsen Sr., and the Bentsen family moved from New York to Miami where they planted roots in Hialeah.
Being of adventurous spirit, the Sutton family moved to Alaska after Jerry fell in love with "the Last Frontier." They lived in various places such as Anchorage, Juneau, Bethel and Sitka.
After her husband Jerry's illness, they moved back to Miami, where she was a stellar example of a loving wife taking care of her husband while he rested in a coma for more than five years at Palmetto General Hospital.
After Jerry's death, Ressa spent time with family and friends traveling in Europe and cruising the Caribbean Sea.
Ressa will be greatly missed by many friends and family, they said.
She is preceded in death by her sister, Florence Courson; brother, Sidney Courson; second husband, Jerry Sutton Sr.; and daughters-in-law, Gail Bentsen and Darla Sutton.
She is survived by her first husband, George S. Bentsen Sr., and their two sons, George S. Bentsen Jr. and wife, Dawn, and Wayne Bentsen; two sons Mike Sutton and wife, Arlene, and Jerry Sutton III, of Sitka; six grandchildren, Kristi Bentsen Covone and husband, Neil, Tim Bentsen, Michalene Sutton Smith and husband, Sam, Jerrid Sutton, Tabitha Sutton and Michael Hannan and wife, Gina; and five great-grandchildren, Matthew and Joshua Covone, Makenna and Grady Smith, and Justin Hannan.
Funeral arrangements will be held Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Vista Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home in Miami Lakes, Fla.