Elsie Day Sutherlin Mack

Published 6:48 am Friday, October 11, 2019

Elsie Mack passed away at her home in Ginger Cove on October 4th in Annapolis, Maryland at age 101. Old age simply caught up with her despite the fact that she retained her positive outlook on life and her sense of humor right to the end.

Elsie was born at midnight, in the middle of a snowstorm, in Danville, Virginia on January 21, 1918 where she grew up as the most favored daughter of Henry Fenton Day Sr. and Elsie Saunders Day. She graduated from George Washington High School and was part of the 1939 Class of Graduates of Sweet Briar College.

On January 22, 1942, as World War II was beginning, she married Sgt. William Marshall Sutherlin, U.S. Army, and moved to Tampa, Florida where she spent the first years of her married life until the war’s end. Subsequent moves over the years had her in Danville, Virginia, and Richmond, Virginia and finally to Annapolis, Maryland for her last 21 years. Elsie was a member of the Magna Carta Society and the Colonial Dames and she remained a diehard Virginian and Episcopalian and U.S. Navy enthusiast.

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William M. Sutherlin, her first husband, passed away in 1993 after 51 years of marriage and is buried in Green Hill Cemetery in Danville, Va.

In 1997, Elsie married VADM. William Paden Mack, who was a widower at the time. Elsie and Bill had dated in 1934 and 1935 while he was attending the Naval Academy and the two had kept up with each other over the ensuing years. It was a storybook union until his passing in 2003.

Elsie is survived by her two children, Henry Day Sutherlin and wife Pamela Peck Sutherlin of West Point, Virginia and Saunders Sutherlin Hedberg and husband Paul Arnold Hedberg of Walkerton, Virginia. She is also survived by her stepson William P. Mack Jr. (and wife Marjorie Johnston Mack) of Annapolis, Maryland and stepdaughter Margaret Mack Opsahl (and husband Dr. Michael Scott Opsahl ) of Seattle, Washington.

Elsie was the matriarch of the family for many, many years and was adored by her three grandsons; William DeWitt Sutherlin (and wife Kirsten Leftwich Sutherlin) of Richmond, Virginia, Michael Henry Sutherlin (and wife Brandi Eck Sutherlin) of Sorrento, Florida, and Robert Peck Sutherlin (and wife Shawna Lynn Sutherlin) of Sanford, Florida.

Elsie is survived by her seven great grandchildren Madison Day Sutherlin, Saige Aubrey Sutherlin, Alexis Katelyn Sutherlin, Annika Lauren Sutherlin, William Thorson Sutherlin, Preston James Sutherlin and Reid Alexander Sutherlin. And her four step grandchildren Ryan William Mack (and wife  Meghan Schleif Mack), Eric Christopher Mack, Kevin Michael Opsahl and Mathew Scott Opsahl. And one step great grandchild, Reid Stanley Mack (son of Ryan and Meghan Mack).

Elsie was godmother to three goddaughters, Emily Stimson Maney of Tampa, Florida, Janice Mayo Spessard of Calabash, North Carolina and Anne Little Wooley of Richmond, Virginia.

Elsie lived a long and eventful life. She spent the summers of the last 67 years at her beach cottage in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina surrounded by family and the last 22 years as the wife and then widow of Admiral Mack who, among his other impressive assignments, was the retired Superintendent of the Naval Academy.

The family wishes to thank all of the kind and caring nurses and staff of Ginger Cove for making all of Elsie’s years there the exceptional experience that is was.

Elsie was a positive influence on all of us that had the opportunity to spend time with her, she never complained about anything, and always described herself as the “luckiest girl alive.”  She will be buried in Danville, Va. next to her parents and her first husband, William. She will be missed by all who knew her.

An online guestbook is available at www.johnmtaylorfuneralhome.com.