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Max Keith Sutton

Fayetteville, AR, 1937 - 2022

Max Keith Sutton, 85, died at Butterfield Trail Village July 14, 2022. He was born on a farm in Madison County, Ark., June 3, 1937, to Keith and Doris (Long) Sutton. He graduated from Huntsville High School in 1955, and from the University of Arkansas, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, in 1959. He received his MA and Ph.D in English Literature from Duke University in 1964. He and Claire Hultsman were married February 26, 1960, at St. Joseph's Episcopal Church in Durham, N.C. They moved to Lawrence, Kan., in 1964, where he taught nineteenth-century British literature at the University of Kansas until he retired in 2004 as professor emeritus. During his tenure at KU, he published biographies of W.S. Gilbert, R.D. Blackmore, and T.E. Brown, and co-edited an edition of Brown's poems. In 1993, he won the Bernard Fink Award for teaching, and in 2005, he was co-winner of the Langston Hughes Poetry Prize. He was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, where he served on the vestry and as a lay reader and chalice bearer. He volunteered at the church's food pantry and at LINK, Lawrence's interdenominational food kitchen. In 2007, he and Claire moved to Fayetteville, where Max published two books of poetry. At St. Paul's Episcopal Church, he washed dishes for Community Meals and enjoyed the monthly discussions at Theology on Tap. He is survived by his wife, Claire; a son, Stephen Sutton and his wife, Ute Wittorf, of The Woodlands, Texas; a daughter, Katherine Austin and her husband, David, of Fayetteville, Ark.; a son-in-law, Kelly Rauckman and his wife, Lorraine, of Shawnee, Kan.; a brother, Bill Sutton and his wife, Patti, of Rogers, Ark.; five grandchildren: Emily Pemble and her husband, Connor, of Olathe, Kan., Owen Rauckman and his wife, Brooklyn, of Kansas City, Mo., Meghan Austin of Fayetteville, Ark., Mathilda Sutton of The Woodlands, Texas, Joseph Austin of Fayetteville, Ark.; and several nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by their beloved daughter, Julia Rauckman; a grandson, Christopher Austin; and two sisters: Marjorie Dickinson and Jean Rumsey. His funeral will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2022, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Fayetteville, with interment in the church's columbarium. Memorials may be made to Magdalene Serenity House, Fayetteville; Community Meals, St.Paul's, or to Seven Hills Homeless Center, Fayetteville. Cremation arrangements by Beard's Funeral Chapel. Condolences at:

Published July 17, 2022

Beards Funeral Chapel
855 S. Happy Hollow Road, Fayetteville, AR
Phone: 479-521-8551