George M. Suhon, 57, a native of the Western Pennsylvania area, being born and raised in the small community of Avella, died Sunday, March 27, 2016, in UPMC-Presbyterian hospital, Pittsburgh, after a brief illness. At the time of his death, he was living in West Alexander.
He was born August 31, 1958, in Washington, a son of the late George Michael Sr. and Stella Mariani Suhon.
Mr. Suhon was raised by his stepmother, Anne Strho Suhon, who lives in Avella. His mother Stella died after giving birth to him.
He was a graduate of Avella High School in 1976 and a graduate of Washington Institute of Technology.
Mr. Suhon was a member of Washington & Wheeling Church of Christ.
He was a musician/entertainer for many years. His musical career started with his dad playing banjo and guitar, and he playing accordion and cousin John Harding playing bass guitar when they were eight and nine years old. They were called Georgie's Polka Gems, and they later added a drummer, Bobby Maracinni.
By the 1970s, he had come into his own and was proficient at many instruments including piano accordion, button accordion, piano/organ, guitar, banjo, bass guitar and drums. When his father could no longer play because of health reasons, they added a sax player/keyboardist, Mike Bishop, to join the band and Frank Mavrich, to play drums. He and his cousin formed the band Silver Sky around 1976. He learned to play the accordion, guitar and banjo without taking any lessons, learning completely by ear.
Silver Sky continued through the '70s, '80s, '90s and even into the 2000s. In 2002, he began entertaining full time as a solo entertainer/vocalist musician. They went through numerous musicians throughout the years but he and his cousin played together for 33 years keeping Silver Sky going with drummer Brian Berry, Dave Stirk, Ed Makowski, Larry Divis and many other talented musicians. The variety of music was astounding, playing oldies, big band, waltz, cha-cha, Sinatra era, old-time standards, country two step, country and western, country rock, swing, doo wop, '50s, '60s and '70s rock 'n' roll, disco, funk and polka with his repertoire consisting of more than 500 songs.
Mr. Suhon worked at Sprowls hardware and Blue Diamond Enterprises. He eventually opened his own TV/electronic repair shop named Suhon Electronics and Repair in Washington.
He coached many of his children's baseball and softball teams. He also coached youth baseball and softball up through Colt league. He was a member of Avella Athletic 300 Club for many years.
Mr. Suhon taught Bible class for many years and some of his passions were discussing religion and politics. He was an avid Pirates fan.
On July 24, 1999, he married Beth Ann Harris, who survives.
Also surviving are his children, son George (Aprile Smith) Suhon of Coraopolis, son Richard Anthony Suhon of Oakdale, daughter Christina Fuller of Scott Township, son Sgt. Andrew (Jennifer) Suhon, daughter Alexandria Moore of West Alexander, daughter Gina Suhon of West Alexander, and daughter Maria Suhon of West Alexander; granddaughter Paige Suhon; sister Elaine Yerger of Washington; and several nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.
Deceased are a stepbrother, John Haught, and a sister, Cheryl "Shelly" Gavazzi.
Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m .Thursday in Warco-Falvo Funeral Home Inc., Wilson at East Katherine avenues, Washington, S. Timothy Warco, supervisor/director, Susan Falvo Warco, director, S. Timothy Warco II, director, where services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 1, with the Rev. John Wright and the Rev. Dave Deagel co-officiating. Burial will follow in Washington Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Turner Syndrome Society at Turner Syndrome.org
or to the family in care of the funeral home.
Condolences may be expressed at www.WarcoFalvoFuneralHome.com
Published by Observer-Reporter from Mar. 29 to Mar. 30, 2016.