John Suszko

December 11, 2020





John Steven Joseph Suszko

Died peacefully at home under the loving care of his family December 11th, 2020 following a short illness. 

He was born June 1, 1939 in Arras, France. An only child, he lived in Sericourt in N. France until 12 when he immigrated with his parents to Winnipeg in search of a better life. Speaking five languages bode him well and he was schooled under the Jesuit priests, graduating with a baccalaureate in Arts from College St. Boniface and his Bachelor of Education in Educational Administration from the U of M. Education was important to him, a child of immigrant parents who were unschooled and suffered the effects of war, he strived for more. John started this career as a permit teacher in Crandall, MB in a two-room high school. He taught in Rivers, MB in the St. James Assiniboia School Division, was principal of St. Paul’s Collegiate in Elie, MB, White Horse Plain School Division and of Précieux-Sang in Norwood School Division and Superintendent of the White Horse Plain School Division from 1976-1981. He returned to the classroom at the Grade 6 level at the James Nesbitt School and in 1983, became Assistant Superintendent in the Seine River School Division and then Superintendent in 1991 until retiring in 1995. He was a life-long learner and with a wealth of experience, retirement had him take a term position to consult for the Department of Education in the Public Schools Finance Board. He was proud to have been recognized for starting the 1st Multi-Cultural Council in Manitoba, serving on the Board of Directors of the Festival du Voyageur, a proud Voyageur (Joe Honoré) and belonged to La Brigade de la Rivière Rouge, a member of the Catholic church as well as acting in Théâtre Cercle Molière. We wanted to give him due recognition of his career as he often spoke about how hard life was as an immigrant and how hard he worked to excel to put himself through school.

John married Linda Patricia Lacroix May 11, 1963 and he and his bride created a beautiful family that he adored and cherished. John taught his four children about hard work, the importance of family and “pontificated” to them about key life lessons. He made sure they were well-schooled and experienced adventures such as downhill skiing in Big Sky Montana and even went as far as to start the Red River Hee Haw Ski Club, boating, skiing, fishing, hunting, cooking, travelling and how to entertain and be entertained. The family cottage and then his retirement home in Petersfield was a place friends gathered and experienced Chez Suszko’s renowned hospitality. Dad’s love of cooking was shared with all who visited. He was a master story and joke teller and to the end, he did not let a little thing like dying keep him from sharing a joke. 

He will be greatly missed by his wife Linda whom he devoted 57 years of marriage to, and his children, Brigitte Fisher (Ron Thorvaldson), Christine Payne (Tom), Jean-Luc Suszko, Josette Bisson and his grandchildren, Brittany and Ashley Fisher, Courtlyn and Austin Suszko, Giancarlo and Dante Alongi and Maya and Cazmira Bisson. John’s family was the apple of his eye, the “joie de vivre” and his greatest achievement. John was an only child and in 1991 found his long lost family in France – a key point in his life. He will be missed by them and his brother and sister in laws, Gerald and Joanne Lacroix, Suzette Lacroix and their families and his friends – too many to list, but so important to him. Because of COVID, a memorial service will be planned when it is safe to do so. The family welcomes notes of remembrance and shared stories in the tribute section…because we know there are many.  

Thank you to our wonderful palliative care team, Melanie and Dr. Clarke and Home Care for their support and caring attention to our dad. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Interlake-Eastern Health Foundation; or connect with Pamela McCallum by phone at 204-785-7044, Selkirk Regional Health Centre, P.O Box 5000, 120 Easton Drive Selkirk, MB  R1A 2M2

Josie, thank you for your compassion and care on Dad’s journey. He did not walk alone... there were many footsteps beside him in the sand. For this we are externally grateful. 

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