Rev. Dr. Dwayne Allen Suter

Rev. Dr. Dwayne Allen Suter passed away surrounded by his family on Saturday, September 5, 2015.

A child of the Great Depression, Dwayne was born July 15, 1932, in Carnegie, OK to Russell and Flora Suter. The youngest of three children, he grew up on a farm near Eakly, OK at the height of the Dust Bowl, where he helped farm cotton and maize, and raise cattle. Money was scarce but love and laughter were in abundance, as was the family’s deep and abiding faith in the Lord. One night, a man came to the back door begging for food. Dwayne’s father invited him in and pulled his own chair from the table and asked the man to have a seat and eat his fill. Flora, worried about her three small children, objected. Russell replied, “God provided for us yesterday. He will provide for us tomorrow. Today, he provided for this man.”

God did provide. He provided him a lifetime of faith and service to others. Dwayne started this path in a one room school house and graduated valedictorian of his high school class at Eakly, OK. He obtained BS, MS and PhD degrees in Agriculture Engineering at Oklahoma State University in 1955, 1956, and 1972, respectively. He was President of the Wesley Foundation while at OSU, and was very active in other campus organizations.

Dwayne Suter002While attending OSU, he met Carol Bolton Suter at the Wesley Foundation. Dwayne was so taken with her that he offered her a ride before he remembered he didn’t have a car. Fortunately, she had already made prior plans but she did accept his proposal several years later. They were married on September 16, 1956 after he was able to convince her to travel half way around the world to spread God’s message. Shortly after their honeymoon, he and Carol studied at Garrett Theological Seminary at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and later at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Fulfilling his dream of becoming a missionary, they traveled to the Philippines, where they served as technical missionaries for 12 years in San Mateo, Isabela. While there, he was ordained a Methodist minister. Dwayne helped local farmers by improving irrigation systems and introducing mechanized agriculture with machines that he designed and helped produce. He taught farmers how to produce their own tools to mechanize farming operations. While serving on President Ferdinand Marcos’ National Rice Council, he worked with others to introduce the IR8 variety of rice for improved yield. He also designed and taught others how to build rice drying machines of various sizes to help farmers dry their rice, which was harvested during the rainy season. Dwayne also helped build churches, the hospital where his youngest daughter was born, and school buildings in the Cagayan Valley. As an ordained minister, he preached in local churches in the Ilocano dialect. One of his most vivid memories of his days as a missionary was the night he baptized 27 former communists at midnight. After their baptism, those men went back home to their families. The other men, those who chose not to join their comrades, were all killed in a battle at dawn that morning.

Dwayne and his family returned from the Philippines in 1969 to complete his PhD. He went on to serve as Associate Dean of Agriculture at Texas A&M University for 29 years, counseling several thousands of students, sometimes up to 30 students a day. He also participated in developing an international distance education program consortium, which at his retirement had resulted in faculty delivering over 40,000 courses to distant sites. At the request of Congressman Greg Laughlin, he provided major leadership in the establishment and development of the Agriculture & Natural Resources Policy Internship Program. Through this program, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, over 900 students have had the opportunity to expand their horizons and hone their leadership skills through internship opportunities that now include over 50 host offices on the state, national and international level. He also found time to serve on the Board of Methodist Hospital. In addition, he travelled to Saudi Arabia to advise and consult in the establishment of an agricultural experiment farm, undergraduate and graduate curriculum and strategic planning for a plant research facility.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his older brother Jack Suter.Survivors include his wife of almost 59 years, Carol Bolton Suter; daughters Deborah Hildebrand and son-in law David Hildebrand of Caldwell, TX, Linda Papadopoulos and son-in law John Papadopoulos of Forest, VA, and Sue James and son-in law Jim James of College Station, TX; grandchildren Mary Nowak of Washington, DC, Clayton Hildebrand of Caldwell, TX, Kathy Papadopoulos Quigley of Omaha, NE, Nicole Papadopoulos of Virginia Beach, VA, and Buck James of College Station; sister Joycle King of Binger, OK; several great grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life memorial service is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, September 26, 2015 at A&M United Methodist Church with Rev. John Reasons officiating. There will be a private inurnment at the Memorial Cemetery of College Station. Cremation and memorial services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral Home and Crematory.

For those desiring, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the A&M United Methodist Church in College Station or Hospice Brazos Valley.

For more information contact[wpseo_address show_state=”1″ show_country=”1″ show_phone=”1″ show_phone_2=”0″ show_fax=”1″ show_email=”1″]


  1. Carol,
    Our prayers are with you at this difficult time. We have many happy and pleasant memories of interactions with you and Dwayne. If it wasn’t for Dwayne inviting Vince to come to TAMU to interview for the job he was vacating, who knows where we would be. We truly cherish the good times that we shared together and want you to know that you are in our hearts and in our prayers during your time of loss.

  2. Condolences in the passing of Dr. Dwayne Suter. He was a builder and educator. We hope the happy memories of the summer of his life quickly fill the vacuum of his passing. He will be missed. // Glen & Alice

  3. Enjoyed every encounter and working experience with Dwayne, a man of significant accomplishment and an all around good guy. His obit was well written and provided background that explains the source and depth of his character. jms

  4. Deborah,
    What an amazing man, an amazing life, and what a blessing he was to so many people. I know you all are proud of him and all his accomplishments. Truly a man from the Greatest Generation! He will be missed by many. Please except my heartfelt sympathy. I will keep your family in my prayers.

  5. Carol & family:

    Dwayne was a huge encourager and mentor to me as a young Assistant Professor. He was a roll model of a terrific Christian leader. I know he was able to assist many students at TAMU. Our prayers are with all the family.

    Terry & Sue

  6. To the family,
    The management and staff of KAMU were deeply saddened to learn of Dr. Suter’s home going. He was an amazing person and great supporter to KAMU-TV. He will be greatly be missed in the community.
    Please except our condolences and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    KAMU Family.

  7. Carol & family,

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Please know that you’re in our thoughts & prayers.

    John & Teri

  8. For Dwayne’s family, I share your grief at his passing. Our paths crossed on so many occasions and every one of them was a joy. I pray God’s blessings on all of you.

  9. Carol & Family,
    I was so sorry to hear of Dr. Suter’s death.
    Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. I have lost both of my parents in the past two years and I know it is tough, but I also know you have a deep and abiding faith that will carry you through this.
    Linda Waggoner

  10. Carol and family,
    Our sympathy to all of you during this time. I have passed along this news to many of the former missionaries. Merwyn and Barbara Nelson

  11. Dear Carol and family, You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Our lives followed so many similar paths from going to Oklahoma State University to being missionaries in the Philippines. It is with joy that I think of all the wonderful things Dwyane accomplished.
    Love, Claudia L. Webster

  12. Dear Carol and family,

    I’ve just learned of Dwayne’s passing. What an amazing life! Bill and I are remembering lots of good times in the Philippines with your family. We send our love and blessings to you during this difficult time. We pray for strength and comfort for you all.

    Norma Matthews, Dallas

  13. Our prayers are with Carol and family, for comfort and peace in Dwayne’s passing. They were our mentors and friends as we “new missionaries” arrived in the Philippines, 1965. His exceptional accomplishments made an unusual contribution to the quality of life for the many people whose lives he touched, a man of demonstrable faith-in-action in so many ways. God gave us great gifts in Dwayne, and now receives him into everlasting glory for our rich memories.

  14. Carol, How many memories of our younger days. Thanks be to you and Dwayne for openimg many doors in our agricultural mission endeavors in Mindoro. Grateful for the closness of sharing Oklahoma stories and our faith. May the fullness of life keep you warm… Max Webster
    They never quite leave us,
    those friends who have passed
    through the shadows of death
    to the sunlight above.
    A thousand sweet memories
    are holding them fast
    to the places they blest
    with their presence and love. – “Margaret Elizabeth Sangster”

  15. We have lost a fine servant at Texas A&M, a true Christian and a friend. He certainly helped a lot of students and held a high standard of professionalism.

  16. What an impact Dwyane made during his brief sojourn on this earth! His educational contributions, his service to God via his missionary work in Phillipines & his devotion to his church, love & devotion to his loving wife Carol and his lovely, intelligent and capable daughters & their spouses & grandchildren, and his mentoring & guidance to all students in Agricultural Engineering & College of Agriculture & Life Sciences will long be remembered by all who knew & loved him & his family. May God give you strength, hope, joy & peace in knowing that he is no longer suffering on earth. Love & Blessings that you will one day be reunited in your heavenly home.

  17. I’m sorry for your loss. Dr. Suter is the reason I study Food Science and the reason I got a job on campus when I was in school. I still remember the first time I met him and how he helped me through college so long ago. He was an amazing man.

  18. Linda and Carol,
    We thank you for bringing your Dwayne into our lives. We mourn the his loss as one of our own family. He will always be a shining example of a stellar human being. His love and his wisdom live on in his daughters and their children. It isn’t often that God puts all that goodness in one person. Dwayne handled it with grace and dignity. We are all better people for having known him. Long live his legacy.

    Alayne and Sanford.

  19. Dear Ms. Suter:

    I offer my deepest condolences at the passing of Dwayne. I was a graduate student in his office ’78-’79. (I never would have called him Dwayne, of course.) He was always kind and patient with a young student who was clueless most of the time. I am deeply saddened at his passing. He was a fine educator and a Godly man.

    Mark Kelley

  20. Dear Mrs. Suter and family,
    I am grateful that God brought Dr. Suter and I together, though just for a few conversations, when I was a Biochemistry student and Wesley Foundation participant at Texas A&M. I shared Dr. Suter’s Christian influence and memory yesterday with a co-worker (hotel intern) from the Phillipines who said she had heard stories about an American Christian man from years ago who had helped with making farming better in San Mateo, Isabela…she will inquire with her family in the Philipines whether Dr. Suter was that person. I will always remember Dr. Suter as someone who was seeking justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God (Micah 6:8) – as evidenced by his faith that worked to help others learn to fish and be thankful for all of God’s blessings. William Leitner, Class of 1979

  21. Mrs. Suter,

    I am sad to say that I only just now learned of Dr. Suter’s passing from this life. He was the reason why I was able to attend A&M, and it showed the way for seven more of my family members to get their college degrees from there. As you know, he also intervened on behalf of my son who obtained both of his degrees there. And three more relatives followed. To me, Dr. Suter was the human face of Texas A&M. He planted something great in my family, that grows in ways he would never know. We are blessed to have encountered him on our lives. Heaven is for souls such as his. May God continue to bless you and your family.

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