Frank Charles Suto Jr.
PFC in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co B, 1st Platoon
Born 1922 in NJ, Died 1999
County of residence at enlistment: Middlesex County, NJ
Other residence(s): New Brunswick, NJ; Union, NJ; Milford, CT; Altamonte Springs, FL; Casselberry, FL
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: student
College education before the war: NY School of Commercial Illustrating; Bradley Univ. 2 years
College education after the war: Bradley University
Frank Suto was born on October 1, 1922 in New Brunswick, NJ, an only child. Both of his parents had been born in Hungary; his father worked as a machinist in motor vehicle manufacturing (and later as a laundry driver) and his mother worked as an operator in a men's clothing factory.
Frank attended New Brunswick High School where he ran track, and was a member of a relay team that set a state record in 1940, the year of his graduation. While in high school he was an active member of the St. Emery Club at St. Ladislaus Church in New Brunswick. St. Ladislaus, a parish founded early in the 20th century, served as the spiritual and social center of the large Hungarian community which had settled in the greater New Brunswick area. Frank, a talented artist, drew sketches for placards and posters for various church groups to advertise their events. His artistic talents in high school won him a one-year scholarship to the New York School of Commercial Illustrating (also referred to as the Illustrator's School of Art), an award given annually to the student at NBHS who showed the greatest art aptitude.
After completing his year in New York, he went on to study at the School of Art at Bradley University in Peoria, IL, where he served as president of the freshman class and the winner of a contest for best decorated house for the annual fraternity dance.
Frank registered for the draft on June 30, 1942; he was working at the time for the New Brunswick Swimming Pool, undoubtedly a summer job. He completed a second year at Bradley, and then enlisted on June 21, 1943.
Like many artists and art students from the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia area, he found himself recruited for the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion. Upon arriving in England in the spring of 1944, he sent home various illustrations of his unit at work with captions such as "Setting up Our Hotel" and "Chow Time."
Frank was discharged from the Army on November 23, 1945 with the rank of PFC. A little over a month after he returned home, he served as chairman of the Blue Moon Ball, an event sponsored by the St. Emery Club that he had participated in when in high school. He then returned to his studies at Bradley University, graduating in 1947.
Right after graduation, he married Phyllis Niec, on June 12, 1947 in Hillside, NJ; they would go on to have three sons: Dennis, Michael, and Thomas.
Frank started off his career working for advertising agencies and then became the advertising manager for Louisiana Ricelene Products Corp of NYC, where he handled the launch of "Life," a new egg-based shampoo.
Over the next 20 years he changed jobs frequently, moving from advertising to PR and marketing, to sales and sales management. Among the positions he held were: advertising manager for Johnson & Murphy Shoe Co. in Newark; PR manager for Stewart Hartshorn Co. (a window shade company); advertising manager for GE's small appliance division; VP and partner in Heritage Advertising in Bridgeport, CT; marketing and advertising manager for Sealy Mattress; advertising manager for Plymouth Electric Co. and its Mory Sales subsidiary in North Haven, CT; advertising manager at Hotpoint; and sales and marketing manager at the EMPCO (Engineered Metal Products) Division of Solomonson Industries in Milford, CT. He rarely stayed at the same company for more than a year or two. Clearly, he was an accomplished marketing man—at least twice he received promotions within six months of arriving at a new company.
At the same time, he continued the habit he'd developed as a very young man—running events as a sideline. In 1955, he served as an executive aide for the annual Barnum Festival in Bridgeport. In 1962-63 he was Connecticut Pageant Director for the Miss World contest. He organized a jazz festival, a drum and bugle competition, fireworks, and a formal ball in conjunction with the pageant. He also chaired the Holy Name Society's annual communion breakfast in 1968 at his Connecticut Catholic church.
He was active in the management of Milford Junior Major League Baseball, a youth baseball league, throughout the 1960s. Somewhere along the way he also found time to take graduate courses in advertising at Northwestern Univ.
In 1968 he joined Totel Systems Corp. in Bridgeport, CT as Eastern regional manager. The company developed electronic communications systems for the hotel industry. In April of 1969, based on his sterling sales numbers, he was promoted to national sales manager.
He had moved from New Jersey to Milford, CT with his family in the early 1950s. In 1972, the family moved to Altamonte Springs, FL, and apparently the Florida press was not as dedicated to following his career as the New Jersey and Connecticut newspapers had been. Nothing else is known of his life or work. His obituary says that he had been a salesman in the communications industry, so perhaps he stayed with Totel Systems.
Frank died on May 10, 1999; he was living in Casselberry, FL. He is buried at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Mims, FL. His grave bears the optimistic tagline: "I lived a good life."
1940 article in The Central New Jersey Home News (New Brunswick, NJ) about his winning a scholarship to art school
1942 draft card
1943 enlistment record
1944 article in The Central New Jersey Home News (New Brunswick, NJ) about his time in the Army (with illustrations)
1945 article in The Central New Jersey Home News (New Brunswick, NJ) about his experience in the Ghost Army
1945 article in The Central New Jersey Home News (New Brunswick, NJ) about a dance he is chairing
1946 article about his college studies in The Central New Jersey Home News (New Brunswick, NJ)
1947 article about his wedding in The Central New Jersey Home News (New Brunswick, NJ)
1949 article about his work in The Central New Jersey Home News (New Brunswick, NJ)
1951 article about his work in The Central New Jersey Home News (New Brunswick, NJ)
1954 article about his work with the Barnum Festival in Bridgeport in the Bridgeport Telegram (CT)
1962 article in the Bridgeport Sunday Post (CT) about his chairing the Connecticut pageant for the Miss World competition
1962 article in the Bridgeport Post (CT) regarding his involvement with Milford Junior Major League Baseball
1964 article in the Bridgeport Post (CT) about his work
1968 article about his work and family in the Bridgeport Post (CT)
1968 article about his parish work in the Bridgeport Post (CT)
1969 article about his work in the Bridgeport Post (CT)
1999 Social Security applications and claims index
1999 VA death record
1999 Find a Grave record
1999 death notice in the Orlando Sentinel (FL)