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Final Patrol: Trooper Rick Sutliffe (Retired)

Updated: Mar 1, 2022


Rick Sutliffe JULY 25, 1945 – FEBRUARY 21, 2022 IN THE CARE OF Dengler, Roberts, Perna Funeral Home

Rick was born and raised in Buffalo, NY by his parents Clara (Randazzo) and Ray Sutliffe. Throughout his life he was a proud supporter of any and all Buffalo sports teams and passed this down to his children, grandchildren and maybe even his son-in-law (go Bills!). He was passionate about classic cars- talking about them, reading about them, restoring them to their original (and often better) glory. He fell in love with boating, and with the TILC, and has made many lifelong friends on the Niagara River.

In 1967, he was sworn into the State Park Police, just like his father and grandfather before him, and soon after became a New York State Trooper. During his career, he worked many historic events including the Olympics in Lake Placid, the 'dewatering' of Niagara Falls, and was honored for his role in the rescue of the tragic capsizing of a river raft near the base of the Falls in 1975. While these events were on the news and in the paper, there were countless other times that Rick quietly put his own safety aside to assist someone in need.

He was a problem-solver in every way, the person friends and family turned to to fix cars, electronics and personal dilemmas. Most recently, his grandson's toy truck had a nasty accident with a large pebble and that was taken care of by Papa before tears could flow. He would often bring carloads of tools (and friends) to his daughters' houses to work through a long list of projects, turning their houses in to homes.

Rick was a leader in his community, serving as an officer, trustee and Commodore of the Tonawanda Island Launch Club, as president of the Kenmore Merchants Association, and as the owner and president of two successful businesses: Advanced Design Photography and Advanced Computer Systems, each of which led to friendships that lasted well beyond business relationships.

Rick was as charismatic as he was (occasionally) grumpy, as devoted as he was (occasionally) stubborn and as loving as he was vigilant. He is loved deeply by so many because he loved so many so deeply. He is survived by dear friends and family all across the country, by his beloved wife Janice, by his two daughters Nicole Sutliffe and Kelly Caraher, his son-in-law Stephen Caraher, and four grandchildren Lucia, Alice, Frankie and Paddy.

Though those that loved Rick were not ready to lose him, we are better for knowing him. His smile, his wit, his devotion and his tremendous heart will never be forgotten.

Friends and family are invited to celebrate Rick's life on March 5 from 11a - 2p with visitation 11a-1p, and a brief service beginning at 1p, with stories and remembrances by friends. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to the Erie County SPCA and/or the Former Troopers Helping Hands organization (donations accepted at PO Box 432, West Seneca, NY, 14224). If you aren't familiar with the good work of Helping Hands, this article shares the impact this organization has on children.

Please note that the family kindly requests masks be worn at all times during the indoor services. Should you not have one, a mask will be provided for you. Thank you for your consideration of our vulnerable guests.

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