January 29, 2014 - Eugene Sura died suddenly of natural causes early Friday evening on January 17, 2014 in Mesa, Arizona. He was 95.
Born in Ambridge, Pennsylvania on April 8, 1918, he grew up on the east side of Detroit where he enjoyed sports, ice-boating, sailing, dancing to big bands, and caddying which led to his life long affair with the game of golf. He was an Eagle Scout.
He eloped with his high school sweetheart Jean Cassube Martin in 1939 and finished his degree from Western Michigan.
Sura served on a Liberty Ship in the Atlantic during World War II and returned to Detroit and his young family.
His career in education as a high school teacher, led him to a Masters Degree.
In 1952 he and Jeanie and their two boys, Tom and Mike, moved to a log house on Abseguami Trail (That's how it was spelled in those days), he was finishing on Indianwood Lake in Lake Orion. His later careers as athletic director, principal, and school superintendent led him to an Educational Specialist Degree.
The family were early skiers in Michigan and in the early fifties skied where there were only rope tows run by tractors. Gene and Jeanie were avid golfers and later were both on the National Ski Patrol at local ski "mountains", Mt. Christie and Mt. Grampian near Oxford.
In the late 1960s, Gene, and his partner Paul Gunnerfeldt, were notorious champions in the Oxford golf league for their "special" lemonade which somehow caused opponents to lose concentration on the last three or four holes of their matches at Bald Mountain!
Jeanie wrote a weekly column, "Jean's Jottings" for the Oxford Leader, Lake Orion Review, and Clarkston News. She later became editor of the Clarkston News.
After Gene's retirement they moved to northern Michigan where they built a house on the Sugarloaf Golf Course near Traverse City. Long gray northern Michigan winters caused them to settle in Mesa, Arizona, for the sunny skies, warmer weather, and beautiful desert golf courses.
After 50 years of marriage, Jeanie died after a long battle with cancer. Gene married Dolores Olsen in 1991. They built two houses together and enjoyed world travel with family and friends. They both enjoyed golf and loved their home in the Las Sendas Golf Colony in Mesa. They stayed in touch with "Snowbird" friends from Oxford who were either visiting or had second homes in Arizona.
Gene is survived by his sister Dorothy Thomson, of Costa Mesa, CA, his two sons Tom Sura and his wife Jan Sura, from Boulder, and Mike Sura and Marla Welch from Snowmass, Colorado, four grand children, seven great grand children, and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. His wife of twenty two years, Dolores Sura has two children Julaine Olsen Wildish and her husband Gary of Eugene, Oregon, Bob Olsen of Sacramento, CA, and five grand children and nine great grand children.
Gene was proceeded in death by his wife Jean Martin Sura, his parents Andrew and Maria Bybel Sura, and his brother Ted Sura.
Gene is remembered for his love of working with young people, his sense of humor, fairness, and his positive "can do" way of looking at life. He always had time for family and friends and led by example.
He will be missed by those who knew and loved him.
He taught, influenced, and inspired those around him and tried to leave the world a better place than he found it.
He was the true meaning of what has been called "The Greatest Generation."
We celebrate and honor the long life he lived. From all of us who knew him, we smile and say, "Thanks for the memories".
Contributions or donations in Gene's memory can be made to Banner Hospice, 275 E. Germann #110, Gilbert, AZ, 85297. The family plans a private memorial service at a later date. Feel free to visit on-line and write in a Guest book at the Legacy.com web page for Eugene Sura.