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Virgil Suciu, 75

Thu, 03/21/2024 - 11:25

October 3, 1948 - March 13, 2024

Virgil Suciu, after escaping the Communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu, immigrated to the United States in 1974 and went on to sponsor several Romanian families that eventually helped establish a small community of Romanians on the East End. 

A January 1990 article in The East Hampton Star told part of his story: “The Rumanians who ended up on the South Fork are here because of Virgil Suciu’s chance discovery of a snorkel for sale 15 years ago in a Rumanian town across the river from Yugoslavia. With it, the then-young factory worker managed to swim to freedom. He eventually made his way to New York City and wound up with a job as a dishwasher at the Southampton Diner.” 

In 1988, Mr. Suciu and several family friends built his house on Corbin Avenue in Springs, where he lived with his wife, the former Dao Thi Tran, with whom he had four children, for the rest of his life. 

Mr. Suciu was a member of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Water Mill. He worked as a chef at restaurants in Southampton, Sag Harbor, East Hampton, Amagansett, and Montauk, best known among them the Paradise in Sag Harbor, Estia in Amagansett, and John Papas Cafe, when it was located in Montauk. “At Estia in Amagansett, customers especially loved his homemade corned beef hash that was served on Sundays,” his family said. 

Mr. Suciu, who was 75, died of cardiac arrest on March 13 at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. 

He was born in Salcud, Romania, on Oct. 3, 1948, to Ioan Suciu and the former Anica Sabou. He and his wife were married on Jan. 15, 1979. She survives, as do their children: Darlene Suciu of Rockville, Md., Mary Sampson of Clarksburg, Md., Long Suciu of Barcelona, Spain, and John Suciu of Seattle. He also leaves four grandchildren: Hunter and Arya Sampson and Logan and Naomi Suciu-Foppoli. 

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