March 7, 1926 – Aug. 9, 2019
From his days as a youngster on Buffalo’s East Side, Seymour “Sy” Suchman loved music, especially jazz.
A talented saxophone player, he took delight in performing – especially with his combo, the Amherst Community Band – for audiences at nursing homes, senior citizen organizations and community centers in and around Amherst.
“He loved playing Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, and the songs from the great American songbook, the classics,” recalled one of his daughters, Nancy Holland. “You’d always see him with a smile on his face when he was playing with his band, because one of the things he loved most was sharing his love of music.”
A jovial man with a wide circle of friends, Mr. Suchman died Friday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, following a short illness. The long-time Amherst resident was 93.
He was a graduate of the old Fosdick-Masten Park High School who spent most of his working years in the men’s clothing business. He was a buyer for the old Kleinhans clothing stores before retiring in 1988.
His two passions in life were his family and his music. He enjoyed going to jazz clubs in Buffalo, especially the Colored Musicians Club, where he saw such famous musicians as Miles Davis and Charlie Parker.
Mr. Suchman often told his story of meeting Parker after one of his Buffalo shows, getting into a lengthy conversation with him and driving the jazz great to the airport.
Shortly after retiring, Mr. Suchman and some friends formed the Amherst Community Band, a combo that performed locally for more than 20 years.
A long-time member of Temple Sinai in Amherst, Mr. Suchman raised money for charities with the Forum Club and was a former volunteer with Amherst Meals on Wheels.
He enjoyed watching boxing and traveling overseas with his wife of 65 years, the former Marjorie “Margie” Herring.
They began dating after meeting at a party, and they married in 1950.
“My mom and dad met at this party, and she immediately recognized his voice,” Nancy Holland said. “It turned out they shared the same party line with their telephones.”
In addition to his work in the clothing business, Mr. Suchman worked as a part-time bartender at bar mitzvahs and other events. He was known for his tasty whiskey sours.
He was devoted to his five grandchildren and great-grandson. He is also survived by another daughter, Sandra Roorand.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the Amherst Memorial Chapel, 281 Dodge Road.