Born on August 28, 1922, to Belorussian and Ukrainian immigrant parents in South River, NJ, she spoke only Russian until starting school. She remembered her childhood as a happy one full of singing, and with her beautiful voice aspired to being a professional singer, eventually joining the church choir. During the Depression, her father pulled her out early from high school to work in a handkerchief factory to help with family finances. During WW II, she stirred vats in the production of gunpowder. Even much later in life, she fondly reminisced about the shift work and camaraderie of those days.
In 1946 she married Walter Suchon, also of South River, and they soon moved to eastern Venezuela where he went to work for Creole Petroleum, the Venezuela subsidiary of Standard Oil of New Jersey (now ExxonMobil). Prior to going to Venezuela, Dorothy had never traveled out of the state, even to nearby New York City. After a few years back in New Jersey, they returned to Venezuela and lived in Tia Juana in a Creole-built community on Lake Maracaibo in western Venezuela. There were oilwells next door to and across the street from their house. From the nearby lake shore they could see oil derricks, pumps and tanks extending from the shore to the horizon, where Walt superintended gas plants. In Tia Juana they raised their three sons, Walt, Mark and Jeff, and made many life-long friendships with other families who were from throughout the USA and other countries.
Memorable traveling included weekend road trips to the Andes and ocean-liner cruises to return to the States every 2 years. After the switch to plane travel and annual trips, stays included clothes-shopping in Miami on the way to New Jersey and vacationing in Miami Beach during the return to Venezuela.
In Venezuela, Dorothy enjoyed entertaining and became renowned for her South River inspired stuffed cabbage. Neighborhood girls from those days still recall her teaching cooking classes in a summer program. She was proud to recall that on one occasion she donated her famous toffee bars to a bake sale, but they were consumed by the volunteers before they could be sold.
Walt retired due to medical disability in 1971, and they settled in Ormond Beach, FL, where they hosted and entertained a continual flow of family and oil friends. After Walt died in 1975, Dorothy traveled to New Jersey frequently, where she maintained her close relationship to her beloved sister Helen. She spent many summers with the family of son Walt in upstate NY, caring for her grandchildren, one of whom convinced Dorothy to take her to see “Annie” 9 times. A favorite family outing there was a day at the Saratoga Race Course, starting with breakfast at the rail to see the horses work out, followed by trips to the windows for $1 bets, and then watching her horse come in.
Dorothy moved back to South River in 1998 to live with Jeff in the upstairs apartment of Helen’s house. She and Helen were well-known coffee regulars at McDonalds, a local seniors social center and one of the oldest McDonalds in New Jersey. Since their youth they were known as “the Bosoy sisters”.
Up to her passing, Dorothy repeatedly expressed gratitude she had lived a good life. It was long enough to include visiting Paris with Jeff, attending a granddaughter’s wedding in Washington DC, and bravely traveling to Colorado at age 90 to see a grandson’s wedding. She was able to meet and hold all 5 of her great-grandchildren, something she truly cherished.
Dorothy stood strikingly tall even in her 90’s. She said her father would always tell her to always stand up straight. She loved walking, whether it was in the mall, the neighborhood, the streets of Bogotá, Colombia (where she visited Mark), or Ft. Worth Texas., undoubtedly contributing to a long life with good health. She had an amazing memory, full of detailed stories of people and places from throughout her life.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband Walter Suchon, her parents Alex & Mary Bosoy, her brother Vincent Bosoy and sister Helen Rosinski.
Dorothy is survived by her children, Walter Suchon, Jr. and wife Kate; Mark Suchon and wife Donnetta; and Jeffrey Suchon; her grandchildren Gregory Suchon and wife Jen; Laura Orvald and husband Thomas; Alexandra Suchon and Dustin Suchon; and her great-grandchildren Quinn Orvald, Todd Orvald, Charles Suchon, Elena Suchon, and Jacob Suchon.
The family is very grateful to our relatives, Sal & Diane Razzano and Eugene & Cindy Rosinski, for frequently visiting our mother and helping in times of need. We also thank our other cousins and the “Venezuela oilbrats" for the cards and letters they sent her.
A private burial and memorial service have been held. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 153 Kamm Avenue, South River, NJ 08882.
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