Martin Francis Suto
March 7, 1947 – May 12, 2020
Marty grew up in San Jose, in the house his father built and where he lived for the past 19 years. From the time Marty was 11, he became passionately interested in cycling, training and racing with the Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club. Cycling remained a lifetime pursuit. Marty was generous to a fault and a loyal friend; many of his friends were lifelong. From childhood, Marty was an avid reader, especially in American History, and took every opportunity for education. He graduated from New College at San Jose State University and received his Master’s degree in European History and a PhD in American history at UCLA. In 1982 Marty received a Juris Doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. His enthusiasm for history and charismatic teaching style was amplified by a prodigious memory for facts and stories. Through Marty’s reading he became interested in finance, working at Bear Stearns and teaching at New York University, and at the New School for Social Research. Marty also taught at New York City’s High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (of TV’s Fame). Later Marty taught at several colleges in the Bay Area. Mourned by loving sisters Martha McClelland (Joe Melarkey) and Melinda Suto (Jeff Finger), cousins Kathy Anastasi (Tony Anastasi), Andi Anastasi, Richard Mannina, and Anne Kelly (Frank and their son Simon of Ireland). Eldest child of the late Peggy and Nick Suto. Nephew of the late Marian and Joseph Mannina. Cousin of the late Evalynn (Mannina) Comito. We especially appreciate family, friends, and neighbors for their support and kindness. Special thanks to Marty’s wonderful caregivers Cruz, Nati, and Anna for their love and compassion for our brother, and to the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff at Kaiser Permanente during his illnesses. Cremation has taken place. A gathering to celebrate Marty’s life will occur when we can safely come together. In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society.
Martin Francis Suto
May 23, 2020
As a close friend of Melinda's, I knew Marty for almost 50 years. I first met him as a dashing graduate student at UCLA home for a weekend to visit family in San Jose, in a convertible with a stunning woman at his side. He seemed bigger than life to me, so handsome and learned with adventures like bicycle racing and working on Wall Street. Throughout the decades, I would see Marty when Melinda was visiting, more frequently when Marty moved back to California, and into the family home on Grace Avenue. As others know, his knowledge of history was prodigious, including local and family history, and I always enjoyed hearing what books he was reading. Marty was always happy to see me, and I'd get a nice hug. Marty could talk to anyone. I remember visiting him in the hospital after his first bike accident; he was holding court, surrounded by hospital staff and visitors, entertaining everyone with jokes and stories. After Marty's tragic second bike accident, I was saddened to see the daily challenges he had to deal with, but was impressed by the dignity with which he endured them. A fond recent memory was Marty, Martha Ellen, Melinda and Jeff, celebrating Martha Ellen's birthday in my backyard last October. We had wine and a feast of hors d'oeuvres. Marty looked handsome all dressed up, and enjoyed the company.
May 22, 2020
I had only a brief interlude in Santa Clara Valley, the four years I spent at Del Mar High School. Those four years were an inflection point in our culture. When I arrived in 1962 it seemed like primarily a jock culture (in which I certainly participated) in a geographical setting quickly shedding its agricultural roots. Marty stood out to me as highly unusual within that context: a teenager exploring intellectual pursuits, trying on big ideas, challenging the status quo. He was quite a rebel.
May 21, 2020
In high school, Marty was the outspoken, liberal intellectual. I was the opposite guy, but Marty was better informed and more astute than yours truly. Marty had a huge vocabulary, and his energy was boundless. He was a competitive cyclist in the Los Gatos Bicycle Club, and he owned an iron printing press (which he and I eventually put to use in a high school prank). Who's not going to be friends with that guy? So, Marty and I became fast friends, riding our bicycles all over, especially to the San Jose Peace Center and John Birch Society's American Opinion bookstore. Marty became my mentor on the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, and other issues of the times. I owe Marty Suto debts I can never repay. Before I graduated from high school, Marty physically saved me from serious injury, when I inattentively walked into the path an oncoming car. Marty saved me again, when he somehow managed to convince the admissions officer at UCLA to overlook my mediocre academic accomplishments. Marty and I shared a lifetime of crazy adventures together – sometimes as antagonists to each other – in San Jose, NYC, Santa Cruz, Westwood, and Hermosa Beach. When age and disability began to affect him, Marty surprisingly seemed to carry no grudge, fear, or hesitancy. Totally not me! In that regard, Martin F. Suto, Ph.D., may be a mentor to me yet again.
Frank, Anne & Simon Kelly
May 16, 2020
Dear Martha & Melinda. Sending much love to you both at this sad time. Hope that in time your sadness will be replaced with all the happy memories you have of growing up with your dear brother. Please know that you're in our thoughts and prayers. Rest in peace dear Marty. With much love from your cousins in Ireland.