Rear Admiral Paul E. Sutherland, Jr.

Published 4:33 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Rear Admiral Paul E. Sutherland, Jr. was born in Annapolis, Maryland in 1932 and passed away on Oct. 24, 2017. He was the only son of Paul E. and Katherine Sutherland.

He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy class of 1955 and has a Master’s degree from the U. S. Naval Postgraduate School. He served at sea on six different ships, commanding the USS Nespelen (AOG 55) and the USS O’Hare (DD 889). In addition he was Commanding Officer of a major shore activity (Navy Regional Data Automation Center, Washington, DC) and as a Flag Officer was Commander of the Naval Data Automation Command, the command responsible for all non-tactical data automation for the Navy. He also served in the Republic of Vietnam for a year during the Vietnam War.

Rear Admiral Sutherland retired from the United States Navy in 1986 after more than 31 years of naval service. After retirement, he took a position as a senior executive in Zenith Electronics Corporation’s subsidiary, Zenith Data Systems Corporation, and was responsible for operations of the Washington office.

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Rear Admiral Sutherland retired from Zenith Data Systems in 1993 and he and his wife Patricia “Pat” moved to the town of Southern Shores on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. He was very active in community affairs. He served as an elected official on the Town Council of the Town of Southern Shores, North Carolina for seven years, five of them as Mayor. He was the first Mayor of the town that was elected by popular vote of the residents. In addition he was a volunteer fireman and an Emergency Medical Technician for many years. Paul was also Chairman of the Outer Banks Chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives and Vice Chairman and Treasurer and Board Member of the Outer Banks Visitor’s Bureau for several years.

Rear Admiral Sutherland and his wife Pat moved to Tryon Estates in Columbus, North Carolina in November 2004. He continued to be very active there in many volunteer activities. He was President of the Board of Directors of the Columbus Fire Department, Vice Chairman and Treasurer of the Board of the House of Flags, President of the Tryon Estates Resident’s Association and on the Boards of the Continuing Care Residents Association of North Carolina, Steps to Hope, St. Luke’s Hospital and Hospital Foundation. He was also a member of the Rotary Club of Tryon.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years Pat; three daughters, Mary Katherine Thurmond of Spartanburg, S.C., Theresa Carol Sutherland Shaw of Oak Hill, Va., Susan Lynne “Mac” Sutherland of Columbus, N.C.; five grandchildren and five great granddaughters.

Services will be held at a later date. Burial will take place in the Columbarium at Tryon Estates, Columbus, N.C. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Condolences may be left at

Petty Funeral Home & Crematory
Landrum, S.C.