John Marion Suchocki

Husband, father, veteran, engineer, volunteer, traveler

John Marion Suchocki of Mount San Antonio Gardens in Pomona, California passed away due to heart failure on April 21, 2024 at 94 years of age. Public burial ceremonies at Oak Park Cemetery in Claremont, will be held on Saturday May 4 at 11 a.m.

John was born January 26, 1930, in Monson, Massachusetts. He was the son of Polish immigrants, Mary Chawlek and John Suchocki from Wigry, Poland. John is survived by his only sister, Mary Webster of Monson, Massachusetts and three children from his first marriage in 1954 to Marjorie Hewitt. They are Catherine Candler of Dallas, Texas; Joan Lucas of Arlington, Texas; and John Suchocki of Longmont, Colorado. John had eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. John’s second marriage was to Susan Stewart Kellar of Iowa City, Iowa. Susan died on June 16, 2006. Through her, John is also survived by three step-children: Kevin Kellar of Blue Ash, Ohio; Kate Wagner of Midlothian, Virginia; and Nick Kellar of Encinito, California. Nick, who was born in 1974, was brought up in Boston and Claremont by John and Susan.

John was a 1948 graduate of Monson High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. Later in life he earned a master’s degree in Engineering Management from Northeastern University. He served as a bomber pilot in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) of the United States Air Force during the Korean War era. His business career was with the General Electric Company as an engineer and manager in the Aircraft Engine Group. He witnessed and participated in the development of the modern jet engine. He spent many hours at arcane calculations, but also spent time crawling on top of experimental engines running at full power, wearing wax earplugs, looking for data and fuel leaks. After completing his 37 years of service with the company, he retired from the GE Aircraft Engine Service Operation in Ontario, California in 1991.

In retirement John happily participated in many local volunteer positions. In later years, a 16-foot fiberglass Casita camping trailer took John and Susan across the expanse of the West. They also traveled overseas to England, Poland, and Greece. Five years after Susan’s passing John came to Mount San Antonio Gardens. John would often say “I can’t believe someone like me could come to enjoy as wonderful a place as this!” John spent five happy years as a member of the independent living community. In April of 2017, John experienced a stroke which took his ability to walk and impaired his thinking. He was embraced by the Magnolia Grove community at the Gardens and tended with great care for seven years until his death.

John had a built-in positive attitude and a childlike and simple faith that he was being watched over by a benign being or force. In later life this took the form of feeling intimate with particles, atoms and fields of the universe. His view of the end of life was to be rejoined with the cosmos from which he came, an apparent culmination of a clear and very early childhood mystical experience when he felt as if he were being formed as a life and a person.


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