Life Story / Obituary
Reflecting on the life of Tony Sushereba, words such as hardworking, outgoing, and friendly come to mind, but no greater word could describe his life than Godly. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather who treasured the time he spent with his growing family. His loving presence and warm personality will be dearly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew and loved him.
The 1920s were a period in our nation’s history of sustained economic prosperity. The media was focused on jazz music and celebrities giving radio stations a renewed popularity. In the same year that Charles Lindberg made his celebrated flight across the Atlantic, eastern European immigrants Anthony and Anna (Kustala) Sushereba welcomed their newborn son, Tony Eugene, on September 26, 1927, into the family home in Brookville, Pennsylvania. Born the eighth child of fifteen children, his birth brought much hope and happiness to their home.
Growing up in the midst of the Great Depression had many lasting effects on Tony. He and his family managed to get by through their hard work and efforts on their rural farm. They raised their own animals and grew their own food, while their dad continued his work on the Pittsburg & Shawmut Railroad. School provided him a reprieve from the daily work and chores of living on a farm, and Tony thrived in the educational environment.
A near death experience as a young teen taught him many life lessons at a young age. As a teenager, Tony developed a personal relationship with the Lord, providing him a strong foundation that lasted throughout his lifetime. He often reflected on the many people who led him on his path to the Lord. Tony attended Brookville High School before being drafted into the Army Air Corps in August of 1945. Afterward, he used the GI Bill to go to technical school.
Successful in his endeavors and guided by faith, Tony studied at Emmaus Bible College in Chicago. During that, time he was also serving at a Bible camp at Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. There, he met a young nurse named Dorothy Stoffel who would change the course of his life forever. They both had formal voice training and they enjoyed singing together, making them a perfect match! Eager to spend their lives together, they joined in marriage on November 22, 1950.
Focused on their faith life, they returned to the Bible camp and made a life of mission work. The happy couple spent time living in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where Tony worked a variety of jobs before returning to his hometown. With a passion for teaching, he started a degree in education while his children were finishing high school. Tony started and completed his career as a fifth grade teacher in the Clarion-Limestone school district. A natural with students, he enjoyed teaching science and reading and was well respected by his colleagues.
As a father, Tony was very active in his children’s lives. He enjoyed spending time with his kids often roughhousing with them. As a family, they enjoyed summers at Bible Camps where he and Dorothy often worked in various capacities and spent many years at Camp Li-Lo-Li . He was thrilled to join his son in the Philippines and took a sabbatical year to teach at Faith Academy in Manila.
Both he and Dorothy remained missionary-minded for many years and traveled around the globe to reach the hearts of many people and help them find Jesus. As late as the year 2000, he and Dorothy were taking international trips as far away as Africa. Everything that Tony set out to accomplish always included prayer and guidance from his Lord and Savior. His love of the Lord was clearly reflected in his many interactions with others and his commitment to sharing the Word. A wonderful role model, Tony often volunteered his time and abilities to provide many acts of service to others. In addition to these examples of living selflessly, Tony also instilled in his family the importance of hard work to obtain anything they wanted in life.
Abundantly blessed, he and Dorothy welcomed grandchildren into their lives. They treasured their many travels to visit them. Tony often played with them the same way he played with his own children which brought back so many wonderful memories. They loved and adored each and every one of them.
In addition to his family, Tony found his greatest sense of purpose in helping others, making new friends, working on crafts, helping with Bible Studies and joining in for a hymn song. Tony never lived a day with regret. He lived a long life full and was blessed beyond measure by the family he so loved. May his loved ones find comfort in the many rich memories he has left behind and may they honor his life by living out his faithful example for generations to come.
Tony Eugene Sushereba, age 93, of Grand Rapids, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on December 3, 2020. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; their children; Tim & Joanne Sushereba, Beth Young, Linda & Ken Madgwick, Jim Sushereba, and Mark & Elizabeth Sushereba; 12 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren; brother, Donald (Shirley) Sushereba; sisters; Alice Shaffer, Barbara (Bob) Fitzsimmons, Mary Ann (Wayne) Fry, Mildred Castner; and many nieces and nephews. Tony was preceded in death by several brothers and sisters as well as his son-in-law, Robert Young and daughter-in-law Martha (Schultz) Sushereba. A graveside service will be held for his family at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Michigan. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Rest Haven Home are appreciated. To share a memory or photo, or to sign his guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com