GRAYSON The City of Grayson suffered a tremendous loss after the sudden passing of Duane Suttles, city clerk and manager on Saturday.

Suttles was a lifelong resident of Carter County and a volunteer firefighter for more than 40 years, eventually serving as the Vice President of Eastern Kentucky Firefighters Association.

Grayson Mayor George Steele spoke of Suttles on his professional abilities, saying he was a “walking encyclopedia” when it came to local and city government.

Steele said Suttles served on city council for several years and after retirement, migrated to the clerk’s office.

“He was a workhorse — anything you needed done, he would do it,” Steele said.

When it comes to personal character, Steele says you can’t find any better than Suttles, “He’s one of those guys — you can put another in his seat, but he’s hard to replace.”

Steele credits Suttles with the leg work, saying he relied heavily on Suttles during his mayorship.

Steele also spoke of Suttles’ involvement with the fire department and Kentucky Firefighters Association, stating Suttles was instrumental in the improvement of fire departments in Kentucky.

“He was a good friend and a better relative,” Steele said, referring to Suttles’ marriage to his niece, Cindy.

Sen. Robin Webb, a close friend, said hearing the news of Suttles’ passing was “just surreal.”

Webb said Suttles was a close friend to her family, and she looked forward to the insight Suttles would provide to her son, Troy Combs, the new mayor-elect of Grayson.

“His heart was with the fire department and first responders, though, that’s where he spent most of his time,” Webb said, elaborating that out of all the hats Suttles wore. He was called Mr. Fire Department, and his work in city government was a natural extension.

Webb said Suttles was the definition of a family man, going as far to buy a new truck to drive to visit his daughter and new grandchild who had just moved out west.

“He just adored his wife, daughter and grandbabies,” Webb said.

“Family was No. 1 and the citizens came second,” according to Webb, adding Suttles’ love of God.

“He loved the Lord,” Webb said. “I’m sure he’s in a better place, but selfishly, we’ll sure miss him.”

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