Dale Suomela, age 88, of Portsmouth, RI passed away on January 3 due to complications from COVID-19 pneumonia with his loving children by his side. Beloved son of Uno and Ida Suomela of Flint/Charlevoix, MI and brother to Neil (Sally) Suomela of Charlevoix; and brother in law to Bonnie Jean (William) Steffens of Petoskey, MI and Joyce (Deano) Davenport of Big Rapids and Charlevoix, MI.
Dale leaves his daughter Lisa Gross (late Curt Gross) of Portsmouth, RI and sons Kirt Suomela (wife Pascale Queffelec) of Bethesda, MD and Erik Suomela (wife Sheri) of Santa Cruz, CA., seven grandchildren Ryan Gross, Kevin Gross, Scott Gross, Alexa Popovich and Julia Suomela, Taylor and Lindsey Suomela and two great grandsons John and Tyler Gross.
Dale grew up between Flint and Charlevoix in Michigan and met the love of his life Judy Ann Cunningham on a blind date in 1961. They were married in 1962 and settled in Flint where they raised three children. Their love story was cut short by her passing in 1981 at age 42. He was a proud advocate for the Flint community supporting the Flint Schools, local festivals and fundraisers and could always be found taking Crim Race photos from mile-marker 8.5. He was an active member of the Rotary and St. Paul Lutheran Church where he served as an Elder. He owned his own Architecture firm and served on the Historical Review Board for Genesee County. His architectural specialty of medical office buildings can be seen throughout Flint and Genesee County.
With a passion for golf and tennis he was a founding member of the Flint Swim and Racquet Club and past member of the Davison and Flint Golf Clubs. He enjoyed watching his children participate in sports and could be found spending countless hours at swim meets, soccer games and golf and tennis matches. A tradition he carried on with his grandchildren. He was a lifelong supporter of University of Michigan football – GO Blue! – and organized many annual golf trips to Northern Michigan and North Carolina with close friends.
Dale graduated from Charlevoix High School where he proudly participated on the Track and Football teams and later as a dedicated student at the University of Michigan to study Architecture (Class of ’56), a profession he practiced for over 50 years. He also served in the Army at Fort Gordon, Georgia between 1956-1958.
He is preceded in death by his parents Uno and Ida Suomela, his beloved wife Judy and her parents Alvin (Hap) and Norma Cunningham, his brother Neil Suomela, brother in law William Steffens and son in law Curt Gross.
Dale was a caring man who loved to tell a good story (typically a long story) and spend time with his family and extended family. He is already dearly missed by his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and countless special friends and family whom he loved with all his heart.