Annette “Elaine” Head Sutton passed away on December 9, 2021, surrounded by her children and husband.
Elaine was born January 21, 1937, the daughter of Burke Head and Cora Smith Head. She grew up in Seven Springs, North Carolina where she graduated valedictorian from Seven Springs High School in 1955. She lettered in basketball and held offices in many school clubs. In her high school yearbook, she was the only female student bus driver pictured. Elaine married Benjamin Warren (“Tom”) Britt on June 8, 1956, with whom she had three children Lewton Steve Britt (born 4/8/1961), Connie Elaine Britt (born 8/28/1962), and Lisa Gay Britt (born 7/3/1967). After graduating high school, Elaine attended East Carolina University studying business office management for one year. She then moved to Houston, Texas where she married Tom and completed an associate degree at the University of Houston and did some modeling. Tom’s career in the United States Air Force led to several postings including Texas, South Carolina, Florida, before being stationed in and eventually retiring from Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Elaine was an advanced tennis player winning several tournaments as well as holding the office of President of the Seymour Johnson Officer’s Wives Tennis Club while Tom was in the Air Force. When Tom retired from the Air Force, the family settled on a farm in Goldsboro, North Carolina. In Goldsboro, Elaine and Tom started up a successful dress shop that Elaine managed called The Fashion Corner. Eventually, they sold the dress shop when the market changed due to the building of Goldsboro’s first shopping mall and Elaine took a job with Belk’s Department Store where was a buyer and manager in multiple departments. Unfortunately, Tom died in an accident on the farm January 5, 1980, and Elaine took over sole responsibility of parenting. She also managed multiple farm investments while retaining her position at Belk’s. Elaine retired from Belk’s in 1995.
On December 30, 1990, Elaine married William “Brent” Sutton with whom she lived in Chapel Hill and later Pittsboro. Theirs was an elementary school love that was rekindled following their 35th high school class reunion which found both single and ready to pursue their childhood relationship. Elaine attended Orange United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill until her passing where she was active in the women’s prayer group and weekly bible study. Elaine was a loving matriarch who exemplified beauty, poise, and resilience. She would delegate diplomatically by saying “I’ll let you do that”, agree with you by saying “That’s what I thought”, and always reminded us to “Love each other.” She was a strong Christian woman and in the days before her death she never failed to ask visitors how they were doing. She will be dearly missed.
Elaine is preceded in death by her first husband Benjamin Warren Britt (1932-1980), her parents Burke Head (1896-1965) and Cora Smith Head (1912-1973), and siblings Edith Lorene Head Sutton (1919-2005), Lois Ophelia Head Hardy (1924-1965), Cora Blanche Head McKenzie (1928-1991), Ross Wilson Head (1931-2018), and Woodley Kent Head (1950-1997). She is survived by her husband William Brent Sutton; her siblings Elizabeth Ann Head Jackson and Brenda Sue Head Killette; children Lewton Steve Britt, Connie Elaine Samaniego (Enrique) and their children Eric Samaniego and Carmen Samaniego, Lisa Gay Britt (John Middleton) and their children Benjamin David Middleton and Jennifer Annie May Middleton; stepchildren William “Bill” Sutton (Dianna) and their children (Lisa, Casey, Ashleigh, Ethan), Deborah Moyer and her daughter Allison, and Elizabeth “Liz” Sutton Shelton (Dan) and their daughter Avery.
Funeral services will be held at Orange United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill on Monday, December 13, 2021, at 10:00 AM followed by a graveside service at Pineview Cemetery in Seven Springs at 2:00 pm. After the graveside service, the family will gather at Seven Springs United Methodist Church to visit with family and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to Orange United Methodist Church, 1220 M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 if desired.
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Orange Chapel United Methodist Church
1634 Orange Chapel Clover Garden Road, Chapel Hill NC 27516