Obituary Archive

This section includes available obituary information for Sisters who died prior to 2017. Obituaries for Sisters who died more recently can be found by visiting our News page.

Sister Emilia Suchon, OSF

Posted by Administrator (admin) on Jul 15 2015
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Sister M. Emilia (Pauline) Suchon, 89, a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis, United States Province for 67 years, died on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at Holy Family Manor in Bethlehem, Pa.

Sister Emilia was born in Bučany, Slovakia, the youngest of seven children. As a child, she attended the Catholic grade school in Bučany and helped her mother at home, learning to prepare excellent meals.

With conditions becoming increasingly dangerous in what was then Czechoslovakia, she accepted her sister’s invitation to come live with her in the United States. In November 1938, she arrived in New York City and settled with her sister in Passaic, N.J. She was taught English by the Dominican Sisters at St. Mary School and later worked at a wool factory with her sister.

At 19, Sister Emilia felt called to the service of God. The pastor at St. Mary sent her to SS. Cyril and Methodius Convent in Clifton, N.J., where our sisters had a convent and taught in the parish school since 1929. She chose to join them and arrived in Pittsburgh in 1943 to begin her training as a School Sister of St. Francis, making final vows in 1951. 

  
Sister Emilia’s ministry was unique in that, for most of her life, she served as a domestic sister. She participated in the mission of the congregation by preparing meals for the sisters who taught and, in this way, became a part of their service to the children.

Sister Emilia ministered to our sisters in New Castle, Stowe and Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, and in Boonton and Guttenberg in New Jersey. During these years she continuously educated herself. Her dream of working with children came true when she was asked to help with kindergarten in Clifton and Boonton, preschool in Hellertown and the daycare at Monocacy Manor. Later she spent three years preparing meals for the sisters at our Generalate in Rome.

She had a soft spot for stray kittens and an irrepressible spirit of generosity. “I remember how kind and generous she was with her time. I never heard an unkind word come from her,” remembered one of our sisters. “No matter when anyone came to the kitchen, she always stopped what she was doing, saying, ‘Come, honey, I give you something to eat.’”

She was a woman of prayer and many went to her with their prayer requests because they knew that most of her prayers were answered. “She seemed to be always mindful of God’s presence and wove her prayer throughout her work day,” said one sister. “It was obvious that she loved the Lord very much.”

In 2012 her health declined and she was admitted to Holy Family Manor in Bethlehem, Pa., where she remained until she died. When the call came that Sister Emilia was dying, Sister Virginelle Makos went to her bedside and was with her until she peacefully passed. Sister Emilia was buried in the convent cemetery at Monocacy. 

She will always be remembered for her spirit of prayer, her patience and goodness to everyone. “Sister Emilia was one of the kindest, loving persons with whom I have ever lived,” remembered one sister. “She never spoke unkindly of anyone and saw only the good in others.”

She was born and raised in Bucany, Czechoslovakia to the late Stefan Frantisek Suchon and Serafina (Chudy) Suchon. She came to the United States in 1938 and lived in Passaic, N.J. with her relatives. 

She was preceded in death by her sisters Cecilia Teplansky, Mary Michalik, Hedwiga Suchon and her deceased brothers Joseph, Jan and Frantisek. She is survived by her religious community and many relatives in the United States and Slovakia. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the School Sisters of St. Francis Retirement Fund.

Connell Funeral Home hosts a website where Sisters, friends and family can leave remembrances about Sister Emilia. Please click here to visit the site.

Last changed: Jul 15 2015 at 3:40 PM

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