Celebrating the life of

Charles Edward Sutlive

March 23, 1937 - September 19, 2021

Charles Edward Sutlive

Charles Edward Sutlive (Charlie) of Savannah, Georgia, passed away on Sunday, September 19, 2021, at the age of 84 following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born on March 23, 1937, in Savannah, the youngest of four sons of Kathleen James Sutlive and William Kirkland Sutlive.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Rhonda; two children and their spouses, Mary Sutlive Winter and Chris, and Charles Edward Sutlive, Jr., and Nell, three grandchildren: Caitlin Mae Winter, Celeste Mason Sutlive, and Charles Edward Sutlive, III; brother, Dr. William Greene Sutlive; sisters-in-law, Bili K. Sigmon and Lucy M. Sutlive, along with cousins, nieces, and nephews.

He is predeceased by his parents; two brothers, William Kirkland Sutlive, Jr., and Harvey Joseph Sutlive; mother-in-law, Gloria C. Kitchings; father-in-law, Alton D. Kitchings; and sisters-in-law, Allison K. Hearn, Betty S. Sutlive, and Jimmi J. Sutlive.

Charlie grew up in Savannah in the Catholic faith, surrounded by extensive family and friends. His lifelong interest in the maritime industry developed early through his appreciation of being on the water and growing up on the coast of Georgia.

After graduating from Savannah High School, he attended Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina and later transferred to the University of Georgia. After college, he joined the U. S. Army, serving in the Republic of the Philippines.

After military service, he returned to Savannah and began his maritime career in 1963 with Strachan Shipping Company, and later served for over 10 years as senior Vice President of the Southeast Region of Norton Lilly International. In 1997, he became the first Executive Director of the Savannah Maritime Association, an organization dedicated to maritime issues and economic development initiatives for the region, the State and with global reach. He served the maritime community in this role until his retirement in 2016.

Additionally, Charlie served on the Savannah Pilotage Commission through the years and worked closely with the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Savannah, ultimately receiving the U.S. Coast Guard Public Service Commendation in 2013 from the Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, in recognition of his dedicated service to the maritime community in the State of Georgia. Over the course of his career, Charlie was named Maritime Person of the Year for the Port of Savannah multiple times by the Propeller Club of the U.S. for his contributions in support of the American maritime industry and port community through the years.

Charlie relished his unofficial maritime duties, too, such as co-hosting the daily morning meeting of the “Caffeine Caucus,” a group of maritime industry veterans and community leaders who discussed the issues of the day. One member of the group always remarked that, “If you wanted to know about anything happening on the waterfront, just ask Charlie!” Few things pleased Charlie more than telling a good story, which he did often.

Rhonda shared in Charlie’s love of the water. Over the years, Charlie and Rhonda enjoyed their special time together through boating trips to Wassaw Island, Williamson Island and Harbor Town and in later years expanded their outings to include kayaking on the Back River. They caught the attention of seasoned kayakers who marveled at Charlie’s ability to stow all manner of folding chairs, coolers, fishing rods and more paraphernalia than one could imagine for what became historic crossings to and from Little Tybee Island.

As a cancer survivor, Charlie assisted local fundraising efforts for the American Cancer Society, forever grateful to the medical community for the exceptional care received. On the day of his last treatment, he arrived with balloons, treats and wearing a t-shirt that good-naturedly read “100% radioactive,” all while beaming with his customary smile.

Through the years, he was an active member of many civic and social organizations, as well as community boards.

The family will be eternally grateful to the staff of the THA Group for their many years of exemplary care and to Vickie’s Helping Hands for their assistance this past year.

Remembrances may be made to; International Seaman’s House 25 Houston St., Savannah, GA 31401

Humane Society for Greater Savannah 7215 Sallie Mood Dr. Savannah, GA 31406,

Per his wishes, there will be no visitation or service.



My deepest sympathy and prayers to Rhonda and family.

- DG Smith, Midway, Ga

I had the pleasure of working with Charlie for many years when he shared an office with GSA. When I purchased my first home, he and Rhonda gave me a tool box filled with tools a new homeowner may need. Such a thoughtful house warming gift that I still have it to this day (21 years later). I think of them every time I reach for a screwdriver. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

- Casey Brewton, Savannah, Georgia

Rhonda, Sherry and I have you in our prayers and thoughts. Charlie was a gentle and loving man with a giant pinch of humor. I have many wonderful memories of our paths crossing in the shipping industry. It was a privilege to work with him. Thinking of all the family.. Raymond & Sherry Georges

- Raymond Georges, SAVANNAH, Georgia

A candle has been lit!

Rhonda, please know that I am thinking and praying for you and the family during this time of loss. I always loved Uncle Charlie, he was also so welcoming and charming. Rhonda, I always adored you too.....

- Mary Ann Sutlive, NORCROSS, GA

A candle has been lit!

- Claire D Evans, Savannah, GA

Rhonda,my prayers and thoughts are with you.I can never forget our neighbor Charlie

- Claire strickland, P.O. Box 162,east ellijay, Ga

A candle has been lit!

Rhonda,my prayers and thoughts are with you.I can never forget our neighbor Charlie

- Claire strickland, P.O. Box 162,east ellijay, Ga

My deepest condolences to Rhonda and family Charlie was one of a kind , he will be dearly missed..

- Erin Wainwright, Savannah, GA

Our time of knowing and working together was short but the impact that you had on my life has been enormous and for that I am so grateful. My family and I would like to express our deepest sympathy to you Mrs. Rhonda, Mary and all of your family and friends. He will never be forgotten, living on in our hearts. May your wonderful memories always comfort and keep you.

- Pamela Singleton, Galveston, TX

A candle has been lit!

- Chris & Don Dasher, Hilton Head Island, SC

Rhonda, praying for you and your family. Charlie was Jack’s “go to man” when he started his business and of course, remained great friends. He will be missed and if you need anything, just let us know.

- Jack & Beth Fitzgerald, Savannah, Georgia

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Islands Chapel