Donald ” Don” Lee Suggs

November 17, 1947 - November 3, 2021
Donald ” Don” Lee Suggs

Memorial Gifts & Donations

Donald “Don” Lee Suggs was a generous, thoughtful and loving man who was admired and also loved by many. Born November 17, 1947 in Lumberton, NC and raised in Bladenboro, NC by his parents Carl and Catherine Suggs in a warm and supportive home. He died November 3, 2021 in Wilmington, NC, surrounded by his family.

He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 51 years, Marianne Stevens Suggs, and their two daughters Lauren (Todd DeSorbo) and Leigh Suggs (Daniel Rickey). Don had two grandchildren, Jack and Cate, who deeply loved their “papa.” He will also be dearly missed by his brother Mike Suggs, his wife Karen, and their children Jake, Luke & Lacey.

Don graduated from Bladenboro High School in 1966. He attended Mars Hill College where he played basketball before transferring to UNC – Chapel Hill where he received his BS in Biology in 1970. He served in the US Army (1971 – 1973) and was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground, a research facility in Maryland. His work in the Army inspired him to pursue a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Appalachian State University.

Don’s career involved a long history of experience and service in western North Carolina mental health agencies. He worked for the New River Area Program and Local Management Entity from 1975 until his retirement in 2007. During his tenure with New River, Don served in a variety of clinical therapy and administrative positions until becoming area director in 1994. His impact on the individuals and families he served in Watauga and surrounding counties is immeasurable.

Life-long hobbies included golfing, fishing, and gardening. More recently, he became interested in beekeeping. Those that knew Don will remember his love of UNC basketball, Hershey Kisses, and his deep support of his wife, children and grandchildren in all their endeavors.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Those who wish to remember Don in a special way may make gifts in his memory to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation ( You may also consider volunteering your time to a child advocacy group such as the Guardian Ad Litem program in your area (

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Post a Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington NC 28403

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  • January 20, 2023
    Mary (Pedro) Dempsey says:
    I was sorry to hear from a classmate that Donald had passed away. My condolences to the family.

  • November 05, 2021
    Steward Smith says:
    Our hearts hurt with you and your family Marianne. Words cannot describe what you are going through. May the peace of God comfort you all. Steward and Kathryn Smith

  • May 20, 2022
    Phyllis Query Mills says:
    Marianne, Mike was looking at the magazine of Mars Hill University, and saw that Don had passed last November. Mike has fond memories of traveling with Don on those trips between Mars Hill and Appalachian to see us girls. We are saddened to know of your loss. We hope that your children and grandchildren are not far from you. You may never see this since so many months have passed, but we do remember both of you fondly and pray that you are comforted by our Heavenly Father who feels the pain you are still experiencing.

  • November 25, 2021
    Molly Cottrell Zimmer says:
    Leigh and family, I was so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. I know you must miss him dearly. Keeping you all in my thoughts this holiday season.

  • November 17, 2021
    Frank and Carol Elmore says:
    Marianne, We were so sorry to learn of Donald’s passing. We have many fond memories of the two of you. We extend our deepest sympathy and prayers.