Cover photo for Norma Eileen Sutherland's Obituary
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1938 Norma Eileen Sutherland 2024

Norma Eileen Sutherland

September 11, 1938 — January 7, 2024

Bowie

Norma Eileen Clarke Sutherland was born to Cassel George Clarke and Irene Adina-Lee Clarke in Harry Watch, Manchester, Jamaica on Friday evening, September 10, 1938. Due to being born after sunset, her birth date was recorded as the next day, September 11, 1938. She was the youngest of three daughters. Her sisters, Florette Daphne and Pearl Vinette are deceased. Norma Eileen passed away at home in Bowie, Maryland on January 7, 2024, at the age of 85.

Norma Eileen attended West Indies College in Mandeville, Jamaica, and graduated with the illustrious class of ’58. She developed deep friendships with the forty-one graduates and upheld their class AIM, “Meeting the Crisis with Christ,” and MOTTO, “Honesty, Fidelity & Courage.”   She later taught Spanish, Geography, and Math at Harrison Memorial High School and worked as a colporteur.

Norma Eileen emigrated from Jamaica to the United States to study Nutrition at Atlantic Union College, in Boston, Massachusetts. There she met a host of wonderful friends who loved and supported her throughout her life. Upon graduation, she relocated to New York, where she worked as a nursing assistant until she completed her certification to become a Dietician at New York Presbyterian Hospital, in Manhattan, New York. She later obtained a Master of Science in Dietetics (Nutrition) degree from Columbia University in Manhattan, New York.

While in New York, Norma Eileen attended the esteemed Bethel SDA Church, located in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. There she met and married Sefus Gerald Sutherland (deceased in 2013), a Jamaican entrepreneur and photographer, who loved people and subsequently served the Bethel SDA Church as a Deacon for over 20 years. Their marriage of 40 plus years produced two children, Stephen Anthony, and Valerie Jeanette. Norma displayed deep love and care towards not only her children, but to her many nieces and nephews.

While worshipping at Bethel SDA Church, Norma’s love for God and service grew exponentially. She served as Cradle Roll teacher/pianist and as the Health and Temperance leader for over 30 years. Norma also loved planning vegan cooking events at Bethel SDA church, and she provided nutritional counseling to church members. She enjoyed fellowshipping with her church family and maintained close friendships throughout her time at Bethel. Norma humbly witnessed to everyone she encountered, inviting them into a relationship with God through giving Bible studies and her through her strongest witness—her life.

Norma Eileen served in the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Personal Ministries Federation, Brooklyn- Staten Island District for over thirty years in various positions. She served as Health Coordinator, Corresponding Secretary, and Evangelism Co-Coordinator. She was also a member of the Seniors / New Believers Banquet committee where she helped to plan their annual banquet. Additionally, she was a member of the Jamaican Adventist Association, an association of Seventh-day Adventists who provided financial assistance to Jamaican students residing in Jamaica and in the United States. The association also assisted children to attend summer camp at Camp Victory Lake.

Norma Eileen retired from New York Presbyterian Hospital in 2009. After retirement, she remained in Brooklyn for a few years before relocating in 2020 to live with her daughter in Bowie, Maryland. She later transferred her membership to Seabrook SDA Church where she developed great connections while participating in their small group ministries (Growth Groups). Norma frequently shared that she was blessed to leave a wonderful church family in New York, to then join an equally special church family at Seabrook SDA Church.

Norma Eileen is survived by her children Stephen Sutherland, MD and Valerie Swan, PhD, her son-in-law, John H. Swan III and two beautiful granddaughters, Maya, and Rachel Swan. She is also survived by her loving nieces and nephews, Carole McLean (Thain), Malachi McFarlane (Pauline), Paula McFarlane, Esther Ricketts, Vinroy Miller (Denise), Sharon Miller, Winston Miller (Allison), Merlyn Miller(deceased), Verónica Hesson (Telford), Beverly Elliot, Winsome Baker, Charles Trotman, Julian Trotman(deceased), Cynthia Trotman. Sister in Laws: Verna Trotman (Winston), Icilda Ford, and a host of grand nieces and nephews: Caleigh, Blake, Jordan, Anaiah, Canaan, Haliyah, Ariel, Brittani (Steve-Kelis, Cali), Tiffani (Israel), Alyssa, Bradley, Maxine, Shannon, William, Peyton, Brandon, Dianne, Amiria, Amanda, Erica, Crystal, Jamal, and Michelle.

Norma Eileen will be remembered for her beautiful smile, kind spirit, her love for everyone she encountered, and her dedication to upholding the mantle, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” Matthew 28: 19-20.

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Sunday, January 14, 2024

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Sunday, January 14, 2024

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