Brian Tobias "Toby" Sudduth – doting husband, loving father and son, fiercely talented graphic designer and generous friend – passed away on Thursday, March 2 in Austin, Texas. He was 49.
Toby's boundless love and ceaseless energy, as well as his wicked sense of humor and infectious, booming laughter, will be greatly missed by his family and many, many, many friends.
Toby was born on July 24, 1967 in Lubbock, Texas, to James and Lynda Sudduth. His family also included his brother Jason, who was born four years after Toby. The four were extremely close, and Toby's appreciation of family stemmed from growing up in a supportive household with two parents who deeply loved each other and their sons. Toby's father Jim (director of bands at Texas Tech) and mother Lynda (a public school choir teacher) passed on their passion for music to Toby, who played the clarinet. Toby's talents as musician earned him multiple all-district, all-region and all-area honors in both junior high and high school. After graduating cum laude from Coronado High School in Lubbock in 1985, he continued to play clarinet in his father's symphonic band at Texas Tech until he decided to concentrate more on graphic design.
Toby graduated cum laude from Texas Tech with a BA in graphic design and a minor in packaging and jewelry design in 1990.
Besides music and graphic design, Toby's other passion at Texas Tech was his wife, Holly. From their first date, which wasn't really a "date" according to both Holly and Toby, the two were inseparable. After graduating from college, Holly joined Toby in San Francisco, where they both worked in graphic design. The couple was married on June 9, 1995 at the Dallas Arboretum. Toby and Holly cherished their days in northern California as a young couple, and eventually purchased their first home together in Fairfax. Toby worked for Primo Angeli and Axion Design in San Francisco before venturing out his own to begin Sudduth Design in 2002. Their first son, Gabe, was born that same year.
Leaving many great friends behind, Toby and Holly moved back to their beloved Texas in 2005 to raise their family. Their second son, Zach, joined the family that same year. After searching for a neighborhood in which to raise their two boys, Toby and Holly purchased a home in Tarrytown, where they soon became fixtures at school events, fundraisers, basketball and baseball games. The couple also became members of Saint John's United Methodist Church, where both boys attended preschool.
Toby's greatest joy was his family. Anyone in their presence could immediately feel how much Toby adored – and how devoted he was to – Holly. He was an incredibly compassionate and attentive husband who regularly planned "date nights," and he had a knack for giving the most thoughtful and creative gifts. Toby loved going on family vacations with his family and his brother- and sister-in-law, Jeff and Julie McCurry, and nephews Cole and Jace. He was crazy about watching Gabe and Zach play sports and loved helping them produce videos for their YouTube channel, ATX Trickshots. He was very proud of being an assistant coach for Zach's basketball team.
An avid fan of the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers and Red Raiders, Toby spent countless hours on the phone discussing game strategy in real time with friends and family. Anyone in his direct vicinity during a Spurs or Cowboy loss knew he would probably need to b alone. Those closest to him will miss those calls but will always think of Toby when a Spurs or Cowboys game is on. Road biking was also a favorite activity of Toby's, and many afternoons, he could be found riding by the lake or through the hills of West Austin. A member of the Saint John's Pedalers, he was one of a select few cyclists who accompanied Rev. Paul Escamilla two summers ago through Central Texas to raise money for the church's Endowment Fund.
Toby's enormous artistic talent, as seen in the countless brand and package designs that he created over the past 27 years, will be missed by the many clients who came to him because he was quite simply the best at what he did. The list of Toby's clients is long and impressive. His unique logo and package design was sought after by many well-known companies, including Deep Eddy Vodka, Smart Flour, Tiny Pies, Better Bites Bakery, Ghiradelli, Krusteaz, and many, many others. He won multiple awards for graphic design, including the Addy Award for Deep Eddy Vodka and Mobius Award for Chili Chaser Salsa. He was also recognized in a feature article that appeared in Graphic Design USA. He has had multiple logos published in Logo Lounge, and his work has been seen in many magazines including Wired and Texas Monthly.
Toby freely offered his seemingly endless talent and energy to many organizations including West Austin Youth Association, Western Hills baseball, Casis Elementary School, O. Henry Middle School, Austin High, Saint John's UMC and Grace Garden preschool.
Toby is survived by his wife, Holly; sons Gabe and Zach; mother, Lynda; brother Jason, sister-in-law, Erica and niece, Avery; mother- and father-in-law John and Patsy Young; sister-in-law Julie, brother-in-law Jeff; and nephews Cole and Jace. He was preceded in death by his father, Jim, who died in 1997.
A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, March 26 at The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria Museum, 3809 W. 35th St., Austin, TX 78703. The family asks that you wear something white or colorful, nothing black or dark.
In lieu of flowers, the family also asks that donations be made to any or all of the following:
The Zachary and Gabriel Sudduth College Savings Plans. Make separate checks payable to: Fidelity Investments FBO Zachary Sudduth & Fidelity Investments FBO Gabriel Sudduth. Checks can be mailed to: Wells Fargo, C/O Angela Stone, 3738 Bee Caves Rd, Austin, TX 78746.
Dell Children's Medical Center Foundation. Check can be made to the Dell Children's Medical Center Foundation and mailed to: Dell Children's Medical Center Foundation, 4900 Mueller Blvd., Austin, TX 78723. Note in the memo: In Memory of Toby Sudduth
The Endowment Fund at Saint John's United Methodist Church. Checks can be out to "Saint John's UMC" (with "In Memory of Toby Sudduth" in the memo line) and mailed to: Saint John's UMC, 2140 Allandale Road, Austin, TX 78756.