William H. Suyama thumbnail

William H. Suyama

January 25, 1952 - October 2, 2019

Passed away peacefully with his family at his side on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.  Age 67.  Beloved husband of Barbara (nee Anderson).  Loving father of Wendy (Kevin Leonard), Amy (Adam Barnes) and Scott (Nicole Chavez).  Proud grandfather of Annelise and Everly Leonard, and Parker and Penelope Barnes.  He is furt…read more

Passed away peacefully with his family at his side on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.  Age 67.  Beloved husband of Barbara (nee Anderson).  Loving father of Wendy (Kevin Leonard), Amy (Adam Barnes) and Scott (Nicole Chavez).  Proud grandfather of Annelise and Everly Leonard, and Parker and Penelope Barnes.  He is further survived by his mother, Machiko, and brother, David (Lynette Jarreau).  He was preceded in death by his father, Tamio.

Bill was born in 1952 to Tom & Marty Suyama in Milwaukee, WI, where he was raised with his younger brother, Dave. He graduated from James Madison High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He and Barb attended the same high school and fell in love while working together at Goodwill. They married in 1974 and began their married life in the Twin Cities area.

Bill and Barb loved spending their pre-children time riding their yellow tandem bike, golfing, fishing, camping, bowling, ballroom dancing, cross-country skiing, and playing tennis, racquetball, and mahjong. Bill was known among his friends as the only one to achieve mahjong’s “impossible hand.” In 1979, Bill and Barb returned to the Milwaukee area, where they soon began their family.

Bill was an exceptionally loving and incredibly devoted father to Wendy, Amy, and Scott. He coached their soccer teams and supported and cheered them on at every tennis, dance, karate, piano, orchestra, band, baseball, basketball, and running event. A passionate Wisconsin sports fan, Bill instilled this passion in his children through frequent outings to Wave, Brewers, Bucks, and Packers games. Bill could always be counted on for advice and support—he traveled the country to help with moves, assisted with every household project, and solved problems with the most creative ideas. He could also be counted on for fun and laughs—his endless supply of witty puns, signature Donald Duck voice, and water squirts in the pool. He even rocked out with the girls at their first concert—New Kids on the Block.

Bill was overjoyed to become a “buppa” as his grandkids lovingly called him. They adored him for his silly antics, willingness to get down on their level or pop them up on his shoulders, and peaceful cuddles that lulled them to sleep. His unparalleled support and involvement made him known as the sweetest grandpa by all their teachers, coaches, friends, and neighbors. His grandchildren will treasure their fond memories of trips to the zoo, the pumpkin farm, berry picking, weekly Costco trips, daily FaceTiming, and celebrating all of the holidays. His love for and pride in his grandchildren was evident in the thousands of photos on his camera roll and eagerness to share on Facebook.

Bill was an early adopter of all the latest technology, always knew an app to recommend, and was the go-to guy for any friend, family member, or colleague with a tech question. Bill practiced the art of bonsai, featuring his trees in his backyard landscape. He played the clarinet, saxophone, and guitar, and even had a popular band in high school—The Scarabs. He was seldom without his headphones, listening to his favorite classics like Carole King and Carly Simon, and the latest downloads he got from his kids.

Bill was a lifetime Thousand Club member of the Wisconsin Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and served on the board and as president. He coordinated the JACL’s involvement in the Holiday Folk Fair and Asian Moon Festival for many years. He looked forward to socializing with his family and lifelong friends at the annual JACL events.

After enjoying a long career in grocery sales and marketing, Bill retired from Acosta in 2015. And though it was much too short, he and Barb lived retirement life to the fullest, filling the time they did have with adventure. Even before retirement, they loved to travel, exploring Panama, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. Their love of travel continued into retirement with road trips to Niagara Falls, Maine, and the Grand Canyon in addition to their frequent trips to visit family in Kansas and Washington. They were avid bird-watchers who explored unique locations to find birds to add to their “retirement list.”

Bill led an active life, playing soccer and running half marathons into his 50’s. He could often be seen riding his new e-bike or jogging along Tamarack Trail. He loved meeting up with his look-alike son for sushi dinners or poké bowls. Bill’s healthy lifestyle made his cancer diagnosis just three weeks ago all the more shocking, and his sudden passing all the more difficult to believe.

Bill was a devoted husband of 45 years and a loving father, grandfather, brother, son, and friend who is sorely missed and whose absence has left a permanent void in our lives. Thankfully he showered us with enough love to last all the years we never anticipated living without him.

Memorial Gathering at West Granville Presbyterian Church, 6935 North 107TH Street,  Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53224 on Monday, October 14, 2019, from 3:30 PM until time of Service at 6:30 PM.  Refreshment and fellowship after Service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to West Granville or Wisconsin JACL are appreciated.

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Service Information

Gathering Information

West Granville Presbyterian Church

Address:

6935 North 107th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53224

Date: Monday, October 14, 2019

Time: 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Service Information

West Granville Presbyterian Church

Address:

6935 North 107th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53224

Date: Monday, October 14, 2019

Time: 6:30 PM

Memorial Information

In lieu of flowers, memorials to West Granville or Wisconsin JACL are appreciated.

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