Photography

H. W. "Bill" Suffield, Jr.

April 2, 1932 ~ May 20, 2022 (age 90)

Obituary Image

Obituary

Harlan William (Bill) Suffield, Jr. passed away peacefully at Three Oaks Assisted Living and Memory Care on Friday, May 20, 2022. He was born in Peoria, IL, on April 2, 1932, to Harlan William Sr. and Mildred Nona (Black) Suffield. The eldest of four sons, Bill spent the first four years of his life in Green Valley, IL, before moving to Peoria. He fondly remembered the terrific years growing up across the street from the Bradley University campus and playing any and all kinds of sports on the grounds with his brothers, neighborhood friends, and cousins. Surrounded by extended family, Bill always said he wouldn’t dream of walking past an aunt’s house without stopping in for a piece of pie or a cookie. He had the utmost respect for his mother and dad and although he was a young boy, he took very seriously his father’s directive to “be the man of the house” when his dad enlisted in the Navy to serve in WWII. To his dying day, Bill’s father remained his hero.

 

Bill took his love of sports with him into his teens and beyond as he played football and baseball in both high school and college. Following graduation from Peoria Central High School in 1951, Bill attended Bradley University for two years before entering the Navy and serving in the Korean War. He enjoyed travelling the world and especially his time in Italy and Greece. Bill was very proud of his service as an Electronics Technician aboard two destroyers, the USS Benner and the USS Cotten. He belonged to The Tin Can Sailors and proudly wore his cap nearly every day.

 

After his honorable discharge from the Navy in 1957, Bill returned to pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree at Monmouth College and completed his Master’s Degree at Western Illinois University where he met his wife of 60 years, Patricia Donovan. They were married on November 25, 1960, and together raised four children and harbored three foster children during the 1970s.

 

Bill began his career teaching high school social science in 1960. He spent the next 37 years teaching, as well as coaching football, wrestling, and baseball at Maine West H.S., Harvard H.S., and Cary Grove H.S. He enjoyed every role from head coach to athletic director but his favorite by far was working with the freshmen so he could teach them “the right way to do it.” The quintessential coach, his family was constantly finding little scraps of paper around the house with football plays scratched on them.

 

Bill always put his family first and enjoyed contributing to the community. He was a member of the American Legion, the Civil War Round Table, the Retired Teachers Association, the Illinois Football Coaches Association, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. He was an avid reader—particularly of historic, western, or spy novels—and a regular viewer of The History Channel. He liked woodworking, old movies, and anything WWII. He loved peanut butter and would never turn down a piece of chocolate cake, ice cream, or a sweet roll.  He called all his children and grandchildren “kid” and encouraged them as he did his athletes including a swift swat on the backside after walking his daughters down the aisle as if to say, “Go get ‘em!” Not one to be chatty on the phone, a call from an upset child would warrant patient listening and then instructions to “go wash your face and I’ll have your mother call you back.” He was a very proud and independent man, but at the same time kind and gentle, a real stand-up guy. And although you didn’t see it much, he had quite a sense of humor. He will be deeply missed by many.

 

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his nephew Matthew Suffield, his brother Jim, and his wife Patricia in 2021. He is survived by his children Kate (Mike) Crowley, Amy (Chris) Morgan, Peter Suffield, and Anne Boone, as well as his grandchildren Andrew (Emily) Crowley, Meg Crowley, Mary Katharine (Ryan) Hutchinson, and Alex Crowley; Sarah, Kathryn, Margaret, and Grace Morgan; and Georgia, Holden, and Avery Boone. He is also survived by his brothers Joe (Janis) Suffield and Dave (Linda) Suffield, and brother-in-law John Donovan, along with many nieces and nephews.

 

The family sincerely thanks the staff of Three Oaks Assisted Living and Memory Care for their kindness and dedication to our father’s well-being.

 

There will be a visitation for Bill on Friday, May 27, 2022, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 2107 Three Oaks Rd., Cary, beginning at 9:30 AM and concluding with a Funeral Service at 11:00 AM, burial with military honors will follow at Cary Cemetery.

 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.   https://www.nmcrs.org.  Visit kahlemoore.com to express condolences.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of H. W. "Bill" Suffield, Jr., please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Friday
May 27, 2022

9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Holy Cross Lutheran Church
2107 Three Oaks Rd.
Cary, IL

Funeral Service
Friday
May 27, 2022

11:00 AM
Holy Cross Lutheran Church
2107 Three Oaks Rd.
Cary, IL

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