Edward Sheridan Suffern
Edward Sheridan Suffern passed away suddenly at his home in North Salem, NH, on June 20th, 2014. He was born on March 24, 1942.
He was the son of the late Edward Greene and Alice Karlson Suffern, and is descended from John Suffern, whose tavern in what now is Suffern, NY, was visited by General George Washington and other important military leaders during the Revolutionary War. In August 1781, French General Rochambeau with his 5,000 soldiers made encampment at John Suffern’s home on his way to Yorktown, VA, where he and General Washington defeated British General Cornwallis, essentially ending America’s War of Independence. General Rochambeau made encampment again on his victorious return in 1782. The site of John Suffern’s former home now is included in the National Park Service Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail.
He also is descended from the Greene and Adams families, noted in early American history.
His early Jenness and Sawyer maternal ancestors were colonizers of Rye Beach, NH.
He was a graduate of the New York Military Academy and Williams College, Class of 1964, with a BS in physics. Following graduation from Williams, he enlisted in the Air Force Officer Candidate School, where he achieved the second highest score ever attained to that time in computer aptitude. The Air Force trained him highly in radar and weapons control, stationing him during the Cold War in Italy on the Yugoslav border to monitor Soviet activity in the area.
He retired as a lieutenant colonel with the Air Force still seeking his service post-retirement. As a bachelor, he was recruited to spend Christmas week in his former Italian post, but he negotiated his full expenses be paid to spend an additional week skiing in Italy.
He was a brilliant computer analyst whose service, post-retirement, was sought by Martin-Marietta, Raytheon and Digital Equipment Corporation who frequently had bidding wars for his service. He helped design the Patriot and other classified missile systems, sometimes being told, “Design a system. Design another system,” never being given any parameters. It was these systems that went into the Patriot missile.
Eventually he formed his own computer security company with the federal government, the Bank of Boston and other high-ranking groups as his clients.
He lived in North Salem for 36 years in a home that was a secluded waterfront sanctuary.
The ancient motto of the Suffern family is “Tiens a la Verite” (“Hold to the Truth”) Edward served on town boards in Salem where he developed a reputation as being a man who cared passionately that the right thing be done and that the truth be told.
He is survived by his beloved cat, Cat, who rode loose in his car as he drove around smoking cigars, listening to classical music.
He also is survived by nephews, cousins and his sister, Carolyn Suffern, who will move to his house to live with Cat.
The photograph was taken circa 1952. He is holding Muffy, the cat of his maternal grandparents.
Memorial services will be private. Donations may be made in his memory to the camping program of the: Daniel Webster Council, Boy Scouts of America, 571 Holt Avenue, Manchester, NH 03109.