Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Stephen D. “Suds” Sudkamp, 67, passed away Monday, June 10, 2019, surrounded by his family. He was 67 years old.
A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Steve entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1969 as a proud member of the 17th Company. “Suds” guided his fellow midshipmen in the finer points of engineering and nuclear power, while earning a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
After graduating with the Class of 1973, Suds served 30 years on active duty as a nuclear submariner. During his 20 years with the submarine force, he spent time underneath the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, along with the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas. He honorably served as engineer of Seawolf (SSN-575) and XO for Baton Rouge (SSN-689). During his command tour on Henry Clay (Blue) (SSBN-625), he led the consolidation of the crews and decommissioning following the end of the Cold War. He earned the Battle “E” on Seawolf and Henry Clay. He also served on Tinosa (SSN-606), Finback (SSN-670). Post-command, he transitioned to positions in communications, becoming J6 for U.S. Forces Japan, leading Y2K efforts. He retired after being the deputy J6 for Strategic Command, where he was stationed Sept. 11, 2001, and provided support to President George W. Bush. In 1997, he earned a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Auburn University-Montgomery and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
Following retirement, Steve moved to Virginia Beach and worked for Johns Hopkins University-Applied Physics Lab, still focusing on communications, radar and satellite technology. In 2016, he settled into “full-retirement.” He filled his time volunteering at the local children’s hospital, tutoring engineering students and actively participating in Henry Clay crew reunions.
Steve is survived by his wife of almost 39 years, Gail; two daughters, Karen and Julia; brother, Thomas, and their families. Steve was preceded in death by his son, Gregory. Throughout his life, he showed his family the world and instilled independence, a love of travel, acceptance of new adventures and emphasized the importance of an open and giving heart.
Per his wishes, following a Mass of Christian burial, Steve will be laid to rest along the banks of the St. Lawrence River in New York State. A celebration of life will be held in Virginia Beach in July.
Share online condolences with the family at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home & Crematory.