Joanne Suszek

SUSZEK, Joanne (nee Balanowski)


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Joanne Suszek (nee Johanna Balanowski) peacefully in her bed at Pioneer Elder Care on Monday, September 14 at the age of 85. Loving mother to Marge Stark (Eric), Michael Suszek and the late Robert Suszek (2001).  Beloved wife of 55 years to the late Eugene Suszek (2010).  She was the proud grandma to Nicole Stark (Gord Akilie), Jessica Stark, Valerie Stark and Keifer Myers-Suszek and will be greatly missed.  She was also a loving Omi to Amira; her first great grandchild. Joanne was predeceased by her brothers Tony Balanowski, and Ervin Balanowski (Shari), and was the loving sister to her surviving siblings Lucy Mai (Carmen), Robert Balanowski (Connie) and John Balanowski (Debbie).


Joanne was born in Bainze, a German settlement in Romania.  Due to WWII, the family moved several times over 10 years within France and Germany before immigrating to Canada in 1951.  They settled into the Facer Street area and Joanne immediately started working; first as a seasonal fruit picker, then at the Boese canning factory, before establishing herself as a knitting machine operator at Monarch Knit, Warren Knit and Niagara Knit. 


Even while working, she found time to take care of her children as well as babysit and enjoy her grandchildren. Joanne was a devout Catholic, and found prayer gave her strength and solace. Joanne also kept an active social life. Her favourite activities included playing cards with longtime friends, dancing at Club Heidelberg socials, crafting with her friends at CAW, and enjoying and hosting many celebrations and family dinners with her extended family.  Joanne travelled the world visiting 24 countries including a memorable month long trip to Australia with Eugene in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary, and regularly travelled back to Europe to visit family.


Joanne will be remembered for her devotion that family always comes first, her sense of humour, wonderful smile, commitment to hard work, ability to talk to and befriend anyone, knitted scarves and sweaters, crocheted blankets, wonderful German cooking, biking around town, assisting with the Ladies Auxiliary at Club Heidelberg and extensive gardening skills, especially her cactus plants and vegetable garden. 


A special thank you to the staff and caregivers at Pioneer Elder Care for their loving attention and outstanding support during this past year. Visitation will be held at the GEORGE DARTE FUNERAL HOME, 585 Carlton St., St. Catharines on Sunday, September 20 from 4-8 p.m. in the large visitation room. Please enter at the back sliding doors. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Denis Roman Catholic Church, 230 Lake St., St. Catharines, on Monday, September 21, 2020 at 11 am. Rite of Committal will follow at Victoria Lawn Cemetery. If desired, donations may be made to Chalice Canada or Operation Smile in Joanne's memory. 



So dry your eyes and remember me,

not as I am now, but as I used to be!

As long as I have the love of each of you,

I can live my life in the hearts of all of you.






As per the Province of Ontario Covid-19 regulations - visitation is limited to 30% building capacity. Funeral Mass attendance is limited to 60 guests. Cemetery attendance is limited to 100 guests. All guests attending the visitation or funeral must bring a mask and practice social distancing.