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Loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend

Melissa Rowe Sutton, 84, of Chesapeake, Va., passed away peacefully on April 28, 2024.

Melissa was born on June 15, 1939 to William and Grace Lee Rowe in Newport News, Va. She grew up in Gloucester, Va., where she enjoyed swimming, waterskiing, and crabbing off the docks. She was a spirited soul who loved cheering for the Gloucester High School football team and exploring the York and Ware rivers.

After graduating from Gloucester High School in 1957, she attended Longwood College, where she earned a degree in Home Economics. She was a proud member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, where she served as president and formed lifelong friendships. She was a loyal alumna who attended many reunions and supported the college.

Melissa met the love of her life, V.C. Sutton Jr., in high school; he was the captain of the football team, and she was the head cheerleader. They married in 1962.

Melissa was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend who always put her family first. She was a generous and caring person who took care of old and young alike. She was always ready to lend a hand, a hug, or a smile to anyone in need.

Melissa had many hobbies and interests that enriched her life and the lives of others. She was an avid baker, a skilled needle-pointer creating numerous works of art, a voracious reader, and a strong, proud alto in numerous church choirs. She was passionate about volunteering, serving as a garden guide at Middleton Place, and as a docent for the Historic Charleston Foundation, where she was selected as the docent of the year in 2013.

Melissa was preceded in death by her parents, William and Grace Lee Rowe, and her sister, Mary Lee Rowe. She is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, V.C. Sutton Jr.; her children, William “Bill” (Elizabeth), Melissa Weber (Ron), John (Pooh), and Scott (Linda); along with her 13 grandchildren, their spouses, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

A visitation will be held at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Great Bridge Chapel, on Friday night, May 3, 2024, from 6-8. A celebration of Melissa’s life will be held on Monday, May 6, 2024, at 11 a.m. at Great Bridge United Methodist Church, Chesapeake, followed by a reception in the fellowship hall. Interment will follow at 3 p.m. on May 6, 2024 at the cemetery at Bethany United Methodist Church, Gloucester Point, Va. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the music ministry at Great Bridge United Methodist Church, 201 Stadium Drive, Chesapeake, Va. 23322 or the Sentara Foundation, 1300 Sentara Park, 1st Floor, Virginia Beach, Va. 23464.

The family would like to thank the medical staff of Sentara Leigh Hospital, especially the nursing staff on 2nd floor east, for their compassionate care and support.

Melissa will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her. She was a bright and beautiful soul who touched many lives with her kindness and grace. She left a legacy of love, faith, and joy that will live on in the hearts of her family and friends.