Stephen M. Stratton, 86, editor with The Sun

September 05, 2004

Stephen M. Stratton, a retired Sun editor who handled foreign news for many years, died of emphysema Thursday at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass. The Northampton resident, who lived for many years in Northeast Baltimore, was 86.

Born in Philadelphia and raised in nearby Ridley Park, he earned a degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City.

He joined the paper's editing staff in 1939 and lived on Bolton Street. During World War II he served in the Army in Germany and Austria, attaining the rank of sergeant. He returned to the paper after the war's end and retired in 1982.

"He never missed a day of news in his life," said his daughter, Cindy Dourmashkin of Northampton, with whom he lived for past eight years. "He had piles of newspapers around him."

He was an assistant news editor and for many years edited overseas news stories.

"He was a very calm person who was a joy to work with," said John H. Plunkett, a retired Sun assistant managing editor. "He was knowledgeable on the background of major foreign stories."

Mr. Stratton was a longtime resident of Elbank Avenue and moved after his retirement to Bethany Beach, Del.

His wife of 56 years, the former Kathryn Pease, died in 1997.

Mr. Stratton's interests included observing wildlife.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. today at his daughter's Northampton home.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include two sons, Larry Stratton of Redmond, Wash., and Douglas Stratton of Hereford; another daughter, Janet Hill, of Hereford, Ariz.; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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