In Loving Memory of

Howard Kazuro Suzuki

04/03/1927 - 01/26/2016

Dr. Howard Kazuro Suzuki, retired Professor of Anatomy, accomplished artist and avid fly fisherman, died at home in Gainesville, Florida on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. He was born April 3, 1927 in Ketchikan, Alaska to George Kichijiro and Tsuya Suzuki. He married Tetsuko Fujita, Ph.D, September 13, 1952 who survives him along with their four children Georganne Suzuki (Gainesville), Joan Suzuki Hart (Parker, CO), James Suzuki (Laurie-Tallahassee), Stanley Suzuki (Gainesville), and grandchildren, Matthew Hart (LeeAnn-Prescott, AZ), Joshua Suzuki (Winston-Salem, NC), Danielle, and Alexandra Suzuki (Ocala), and Laurie’s children Ian and Lindsey Waldick (Ocala).
Dr. Suzuki was a protector of the environment who appreciated art and music. He dedicated his life to educate future generations of health care professionals. He and his wife lived lives of service which they passed on to their children. He left this world a better place.
He achieved his Eagle Scout while interned in Minidoka Relocation Camp in Idaho in 1942 and went on to earn his Ph.D. at Tulane University in 1955. He was a Professor of Anatomy at Yale University (New Haven, CT), the University of Arkansas (Little Rock) and the University of Florida (Gainesville) where he also served as Dean of Health Related Professions. Dr. Suzuki created an endowed scholarship at UALR to provide financial assistance to 2nd year medical students demonstrating the highest level of understanding of the importance between integrating science and clinical medicine with professional values and ethics in the art of compassionate, individualized, hands-on patient care. No amount of technology can replace listening and physical touch.
He was one of the original members of the University of Florida Gallery Guild. Later in life he became a well-known wildlife sculpture artist. He served as an underwater photographer for the Hawaii Whale Research Foundation and field photographer for the US and Florida Game, Fish & Wildlife Service. As part of the Florida Alligator Research Team he was proud to be known as the Old FART.
In his honor, contributions may be made to the Howard K Suzuki, Ph.D. Scholarship, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Institutional Advancement, 4301 W. Markham St., #716, Little Rock, AR, 72205 or the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, P.O. Box 11010, Tallahassee, FL 32302 or on line at http://www.fishwildlifeflorida.org/donate-to-the-fish-wildlife-foundation-of-florida/.
A celebration of his life will be announced in the future.


Online Condolences

25 Responses

  1. John Stinson at · Reply

    I am so saddened at the loss of Dr. Suzuki. My thoughts and prayers to his wife and family. I will miss my good friend!
    John Stinson

    1. Joan Hart at · Reply

      Dear John, thank you so very very much for your kind care of Dad. You were a terrific motivator and you made us all laugh. You helped in so many ways…”Give it up Cowboy….you ain’t gonna win this one” when Dad was fighting Mom and I on moving the TV tray beside the bed and “Breathe Howard…you’re grunting like a little piggy”. You could get away with things we couldn’t say and he listened to you! Warm regards, Joan….the daughter from Colorado

      1. Joan Hart at · Reply

        John…Celebration of Life on April 30 at Unitarian Church, 3:00 p.m. with reception following. Would love to see you. Thanks so much. Joan

  2. Steve Dennis at · Reply

    Joan, again I am so sorry for your loss. I know this is a difficult time for your family. Reading his obit was quite the story of a man who led a full and rich life.I may attend his celebration of life. Stay strong my long time friend and know that I am here for you.

    1. Joan Hart at · Reply

      My dear friend Steve. Thank you for your kind thoughts. We are planning a Celebration of Dad’s life in the future and will announce in the Sun. Would love to see you if you can come. Gainesville has been good to all of us! Love, Joan

    2. Joan Hart at · Reply

      Steve…Celebration of Life on April 30, 3:00 p.m. Unitarian Church. Would love to see you if you can come. If not, I feel your spirit and friendship. I’ll be back March and April. Love you. Joan

  3. Tricia Sample at · Reply

    I am pleased to know more about Howard by reading this obituary. He was a great friend whom I shall miss. Condolences to all of his family as they honor him and continue to say good-bye.

    1. Joan Hart at · Reply

      Thank you Tricia for your friendship, caring, and of course the pears! Love you, Joan

  4. morten fadum at · Reply

    CD contacted us last night….we have loved you both.

    Mort and Patti

    1. Joan Hart at · Reply

      Mort and Patti…thanks for the friendship, the art, the fishing, and all of the memories. Dad will be watching over Jemma and smiling when she graduates. Love to all, Joan

  5. Rita Lehman at · Reply

    Mr. Suzuki, What an amazingly FULL and PRODUCTIVE LIFE! Thank you, “old FART” (lovingly) for all that you have accomplished in the name of patient care–“No amount of technology can replace listening and physical touch.” I admire your awareness of this fact and your pursuit to share that awareness with others to make this world a better place. One is so vulnerable when a patient as you well know. You have left an amazing legacy (especially, your daughter, Georg). Count me in as another soul inspired by you. You will be missed. Thank you for all you have given this world! My thoughts and prayers are with your family now. Rita Lehman

    1. Joan Hart at · Reply

      Thank you so much Rita and you are right my sister, Georg, is an incredible person and a reflection of Dad. His light shines on.

      Joan

  6. Margaret Spence at · Reply

    Dear Georgeanne & Family, what an amazing human being and what a productive and creative life he led. His intelligence, compassion and respect for humanity and wildlife are treasures that will never be forgotten and live on. The ocean and lake waves are sounding out his name as his energy is being transitioned from one source to another.
    My heartfelt condolences,
    Margaret Spence (friend of Georgeanne’s.)

    1. Joan Hart at · Reply

      I agree Margaret!!! Thanks for your thoughts and spirit.

  7. David Hammer at · Reply

    To the Suzuki Family,

    We were so saddened to learn of the death of your wonderful husband and father. Having come through the same loss this summer, we know the combination of sadness at his death and happiness in remembrance of his long, well-lived life that you’re now experiencing.

    It was our true pleasure to have seen Howard and Tets at Lorraine Bzoch’s funeral earlier this year. My mom and dad, and my sister and I, have always had a great deal of affection for your whole family.

    As the planning is finalized, please be sure to let us know the details of his Celebration of Life. My mom and I will want to attend.

    With deepest respect and condolences,

    David Hammer

    on behalf of

    Beverly Hammer
    Christine Hammer Thompson
    Lowell Hammer (deceased)

  8. Joan Hart at · Reply

    Dear Hammer family,
    Thank you so much for your friendship over the years. We have so many good memories of both the University of Florida family and our Suburban Heights community. I believe we all converged at a very special time in all of our lives here in Gainesville.

    I can see both of the good doctors smiling down upon us and continuing to get into mischief with each other. We will miss them both.

    Warm regards to you all. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

    Joan Hart

  9. Joan Hart at · Reply

    Celebration of Dad’s life will be at 3:00 p.m. On Saturday, April 30 at the Unitarian Church in Gainesville. We will post notice in the Gainesville Sun prior to then. Thanks everyone.

  10. Bonita Gordon at · Reply

    Georgeanne & Family I did not know your father but he had to be a good man because his daughter Georgeanne is awesome person. I am sure your father will be missed by many but we know that God loved him best. You and your family are in my prayers. Be Blessed.
    Bonita

    1. Joan Hart at · Reply

      Thank you Bonita and yes I agree. My sister, Georg, is an amazing woman shaped by Mom and Dad. We are his legacy.

      Joan

  11. Peter J. Carolin at · Reply

    Dear family of Howard Suzuki,
    I was the oddball student in the late eighties, studying Gross Anatomy to become a “sculptor like Michaelangelo.” I looked up to your father, and loved and assisted him whenever I could. As a professor, he directed me to imagine all of the biological systems as “dynamic”, and interdependent. That one word, and the look in his eye, opened my mind to decades of musings, and creative thinking.
    When it came time in my life to paint Florida Landascapes, draw and sculpt people, birds, horses, whales, and dolphins, his words directed me to as I drew each line to think of the “connectedness” of where it came from, and to where it was going. In a larger sense, I watched the dynamics of the wind, and the animals moving in their natural habitat, hearing their voices call to each other, and to me. I more deeply entered into an exploration of ecology and symbiosis, which strengthened my conviction and advocacy for Nature conservation and preservation.
    As artists, we visited each other’s booth, and admired each other’s work. Dr. Suzuki brought me over to see his whole sculpting and manufacturing process, and to delight with him in his underwater photography. He confessed he was no longer a hunter at that point of his life, only for images. As he stood proudly at that moment, I admired him as a man, both proud of his own talent, and prowess, but compassionate, as well. I deeply appreciate how he really tried to encourage me to find ways to be more successful financially, but I couldn’t heed that advice from him. He meant so much more to me intellectually and spiritually, that other kinds of advice for me had to come from a different person.
    Sometimes I perplexed him, and I ignored him. I hope he didn’t think it was out of disrespect, and I’m not sure that he ever knew how much I’ve admired him all my life. I heard him mention several times his affection and respect for his wife and family, and my heart went out to him when I saw him mistreated by others. He also had a cute way of peeking around at me with eyes wide open, like a little boy, when I would go on darkly, intellectually, in one track, like a horse with blinders on. He would make me smile, and “take my blinders off”, and look at the world more openly in every direction. I write all this to you now, because there is no other way to express it all. I weep with you, all, hearing of his passing. Of course, I remember watching his torso and shoulders shudder, almost as one marching, as he would hold his chin up, and intellectually focus, and mentally toughen up, he seemed to “embody” his mind, and proceed to give me a lecture. It makes me weep all the more.
    Sincerely,
    Peter J. Carolin
    (352)275-7741

    1. David Hammer at · Reply

      Peter,

      What a beautiful homage. Thank you.

      Regards,

      David Hammer

      1. Joan Hart at · Reply

        Thank you David. I hope to connect with you and your lovely mother in April if you are able to attend our Celebration of Life in honor of Dad. We have such lovely memories of all of our connections both in Suburban Heights and the U of F. Blessings to you and all of your family, Joan

        1. David Hammer at · Reply

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    2. Joan Hart at · Reply

      Dear Peter…thank you so very much for your lovely tribute and sharing your experiences with Dad. Congratulations to you for perplexing him. In a conversation with my youngest brother, Stan, I inquired what they talked about during their weekly Sunday morning chats. Stan’s answer was…usually something to “egg” me on! I so appreciate you sharing your experiences and hope that you might be available to attend our family’s celebration of Dad’s life on April 30 at the Unitarian Church. There will be an announcement in the Sun with details. Blessings and thank you so very much for your kind and thoughtful words. Peace be with you, Joan Hart

  12. Joan Hart at · Reply

    Celebration of Life to be held Saturday, April 30 from 3:00-5:00 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4225 NW 34th St., Gainesville, FL 32605. Public welcome. No flowers please.

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