On the evening of November 6th, 2020 Sergeant Craig Holland Sutherland, 35, of Norwell, MA, was making himself dinner and in the middle of scratching a lottery ticket when he died suddenly of an unknown cause.
Craig was born on March 24th, 1985 in Clearwater, FL. Always a happy and adventurous child, we all called him Craigga Stegasarus. He adored his older siblings, all kinds of music, and was always running around barefoot and shirtless. You would find him climbing a tree, making a fort, building or fixing something.
At the age of four, his family moved to Massachusetts. He later graduated from Norwell High School in 2003. To know Craig was to love him. He was a true gentle giant. Craig lit up the room even when he was quietly observing. Craig was intelligent, an amazing artist, and exceptional athlete. Watching him soar for a thunderous dunk was always a thrill! He was full of humor and quick wit. Once he was on a roll making people laugh, you knew you were in for a good time.
He lost his best friend, Brendan, at a young age and that influenced Craig's life path. Craig was dedicated to his country and enlisted into the Army National Guard. During training, Craig earned his reputation as a fierce competitor and fearless leader. In 2010 he deployed for Afghanistan. It is here that his strength, endurance, resilience, leadership, and sense of camaraderie really shined. If you knew him, you were a part of his pack. He was the first to jump in line and would challenge all of those around him to do and be better. He was both a motivation and inspiration. He pushed himself to be one of the only soldiers to complete the 1,000 mile running challenge while at FOB Sakari Karez Afghanistan. He was a solid go-to and remained calm under pressure. The Guard became his second family.
Craig returned to the States, humble like his father. The family just recently learned of all the medals Craig earned while in service. Once home, Craig's entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and he founded Sutherland Seamless Gutters. He was a tireless worker - never seeking praise - even though he was a perfectionist and did amazing work. His eye for detailed precision was uncanny. He went on to buy a house in his hometown of Norwell, something he took great pride in. He wanted a yard and plenty of room for his beloved dog, Quinnie, to live in the lap of luxury. She was his shadow, always near him, on him, or watching him. She was his comfort.
When Craig wasn't working, he was living life to the fullest. He enjoyed being at the beach, taking friends for a cruise on his boat, heading to the casino, spending time with loved ones, tackling a project, putting together a puzzle, drawing, coloring, or just chilling at home watching a movie. Like his mother, Native American spirituality became a guiding force and he found serenity in nature, drumming, and sitting by the fire.
He loved being an uncle and was patient, kind, and full of fun ideas. The kids couldn't love him more. Family, friends, and his brotherhood were all extremely important to him. Craig was sensitive, caring, devoted, honest, loyal, and thoughtful. He always remembered birthdays and small stories you shared with him. He was a good listener and full of sound advice. He immediately helped anyone in need, no questions asked, even if it meant giving the shirt off his back or his last dollar. He would find a way to get by. He was a survivor and would rise above any obstacle life put in front of him. He had a way about him that was grounding and solid. He was a protector, comforter, and an unsung hero. A true warrior, he once matter-of-factly said "I've never not been able to do something". He was right.
He had many special people in his life -- you all know who you are. A special thank you to Kate Henderson for her continued love and support over the years, you always had each other's back.
He is survived by his mother, Pamela (wife, Rose) Rasa, father, Thomas (wife, Heather) Sutherland, brother, Ian (wife, Erin) Sutherland, sister, Kristen (partner, Evelyn) Sutherland, brothers, Ben Sutherland and Jack Rasa; nephews and nieces: Tommy, Susie, Tucker, Winnie Sutherland.
The family invites you to celebrate Craig's life at McNamara-Sparrell Funeral Home, 30 Central Street, Norwell Center, MA on Saturday November 14th, 2020 from the hours of 1-3pm. Please consider joining us in wearing Craig's favorite color orange, so we can be as vibrant as he was. Covid regulations and requirements, such as masks and social distancing, among others are required.
The next time you see a fox, or are exploring in the woods, keep an eye out for signs of Craigga because he is all around us. Til Valhalla!
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Providing Service Canines For Warriors at K9sforwarriors.org as it was a cause Craig was extremely passionate about.