Barbara H. Suto, age 91, passed away peacefully on April 25, 2018, surrounded by her beloved husband Eugene (Gene) J. Suto of 70 1/2 years and her devoted daughters. She was a rare native Washingtonian who was born at home on September 16, 1926, to the late Eleanor Marie Hardesty Howe and Grover Cleveland Harris. She graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Northwest Washington D.C. and was an honor student who always had perfect attendance. She also attended Strayer Business School and Montgomery College.
Barbara was a true public servant! She began her Federal government career at the age of 16 at the Veterans Administration and later served at the Atomic Energy Commission, National Institutes of Health and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from which she retired as an audit coordinator. She also served as the Deputy Executive Secretary for the National Classification Management Society (NCMS) for 15 years. In 1969, Barbara ran a great program for the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). She took the ASIS group to see the “Moonrocks” that the astronauts brought back from outer space. She was also a companion member of the Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW). She served MOWW well, along with her Retired Army Colonel husband, Gene.
She had a true zest for life and touched everyone she met through her generosity and beauty. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Barbara and Gene were icons in the Luxmanor community and they played Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus for hundreds of neighborhood children. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, Barbara volunteered for Montgomery County Public Schools and had the opportunity to meet thousands of children who adored her and stayed in touch with her over the years. Barbara also enjoyed the many pool/BBQ parties at the Suto homestead and mingling with her daughters’ friends. She made everyone feel welcomed by her mere presence and was warmly regarded as “Mama Suto.” She had a wonderful sense of humor and was a constant source of entertainment for many.
Barbara and Gene attributed their 70 ½ year marriage to hard work, a loving family, rich laughter and the tradition of Gene giving Barbara three new lipsticks every anniversary, which he sampled with a kiss.
She was an amateur photographer and took many amazing photographs and created hundreds of displays for the Rockville Civic Ballet and the National Ballet of Maryland. She had the unique talent to capture the artistry of each dancer on stage.
Barbara also had a deep passion for protecting nature and all its animals. Over the years, she enjoyed going to the beautiful land outside of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia that she and Gene owned. She loved to dine at the Coolfont Restaurant and Cacapon State Park. She relished being outdoors and in the sunshine. She was a fashionista and loved looking glamourous in her gold lame outfits! She enjoyed going out social dancing with Gene. Barbara and Gene inspired their daughters to love dance, and thus, the Suto Dance Studio was established in 1973. Later, she was a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars.
She enjoyed reading the National Enquirer and attempting to win the big Publishers Clearing House prize each year! She also liked to dabble in the stock market and her favorite stocks were the local owned Marriott Corporation!
Barbara is preceded in death by her parents and stepmother, Hazel G. Harris, as well as her sisters, DeLoris H. Zucker and Eleanor M. Robertson, and sister-in-law Anna Suto Kimmell.
Left to cherish her memory is the love of her life husband Gene; deeply devoted daughters Barbara Gene Suto (Thomas Bevans), Lori Suto-Goldsby (John Goldsby), and Patricia Lou Suto; loving grandsons John J. Goldsby (Nicole) and James A. Goldsby; adoring great-grandchildren Kennedy and Grayson; dear brother-in-law Joseph C. Suto; numerous nieces, nephews, and special friends; as well as her beloved cat, Zorro.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).