John R. Suisman

John SuismanWith deep sadness, the family of John Robert Suisman announces his passing on September 9, 2019. His passion for golf and professional sports was only surpassed by his love for his family. His marriage to Kathryn Lehman Suisman of 54 years was filled with laughter and admiration. John was a proud father to Lisa Parsons, Carolyn Shaughnessy, Stacey Keenan and Jennifer Suisman and their husbands, Ned Parsons, Sean Shaughnessy, Matt Keenan and Jack Holmes. John had a truly special relationship with each of his grandchildren: Will and Charlie Parsons; Thomas and Emily Shaugnessy; Sam, Ned and Ellie Keenan. John is also survived by his brother Richard and predeceased by his parents Edward and Etta Suisman and his brother Michael.

Born and raised in West Hartford, Connecticut John graduated from Loomis and Yale University. An English major, John had a passion for literature, was an avid reader and there wasn’t a day that he missed the New York Times crossword puzzle. A gifted amateur golfer, John was a two-year captain of the Yale golf team and counts among the highlights of his golfing career qualifying and competing in the US Amateur in 1960 and winning numerous club championships. John’s business career started as a partner of Suisman Blumenthal, followed by a metal brokerage business which he founded. Later on, he and his brother Richard developed real estate together in the Greater Hartford area. John was active in the Hartford community where he and his family gave back to a wide range of organizations and causes including serving as President of Mt. Sinai Hospital, Campaign Chairman of the Hartford Jewish Federation and Renbrook School. He served on the Executive Committee of the United States Golf Association and served on the board of the Hartford Stage Company and The First Tee of Connecticut.

In 1993, John’s life changed dramatically when he lost his legs in a car accident. Despite the challenges that he met in his daily life, John never let his accident define him. He learned to channel his energies in different directions including working closely with an amputee support group helping others adjust to the changes in their lives at the Mount Sinai Rehab Hospital. A fiercely loyal New York sports fan, whether it was the Yankees or the Giants, John also loved nothing more than cheering on his teams in the company of his good friends. But nothing brought more joy to John’s life than spending time with his family. He had a special relationship with each of his 7 grandchildren who deemed him all-time quarterback from his wheelchair.

John defined resilience and dignity and inspired his family and friends with his determination in the face of adversity. His dry wit, his warm smile and his generosity will be remembered by all who came in contact with him and we will love him and miss him forever. Services will be held Wednesday, September 11 at 1:30 pm at Beth Israel Temple, 701 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford, Connecticut. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, 114 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Sept. 10, 2019