Dr. Michio Suzuki remembered as top-notch chemist and talented musician

Jim Day
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Dr. Michio Suzuki

Dr. Michio Suzuki made his mark in Prince Edward Island both as a musician and as a chemist.

Suzuki, who died peacefully Wednesday in the Halifax Infirmary just three days shy of his 85th birthday, worked as a research scientist for 25 years at the Agriculture Canada Research Station in Charlottetown.

In 1993, he wrote and published the book Science and Technology of Fructans, an authoritative work on fructans, which is a large group of carbohydrates.

Suzuki did considerable research into determining the chemistry of winterkill, which has a profound impact on the farm industry.

Carl Willis says his friend and fellow researcher was a true professional.

"He didn't go around blowing his horn at all — very modest,'' said Willis.

"He was a class act, I would call him.''

Suzuki was also known for his many years as a very active member of St. Paul's Anglican Church in Charlottetown.

A member of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, Suzuki travelled across P.E.I. to play in a number of churches.

John Clarke, the Anglican Church's archdeacon of Prince Edward Island, recalls Suzuki not only as a fine musician but also as a man eager to share his talent.

"Very enthusiastic, wonderful with children,'' said Clarke.

"Parents remember just how gracious and kind and supportive he was of children and their presence and performance in church.''

Born in Japan, Suzuki became a prominent figure in Prince Edward Island, where he raised three children with his wife Hisako.

He passed on his love of music to his daughters Makiko Chiasson and Kristine Sasieta and to his son Boko Yasuhiro, teaching them all piano.

In addition to his passion for music, Suzuki was an avid bridge player, and also enjoyed playing softball and curling.

"I think he was well respected by everyone that knew him and he had a tremendous reputation as well,'' said Clarke.

Cremation has taken place and a funeral will take place at a later date at St. Paul's Church in Charlottetown.

Donations to the Alzheimer Society of Canada or the Organ Fund of St. Paul's Anglican Church in Charlottetown will be appreciated.

Organizations: Royal Canadian College of Organists, Anglican Church, Agriculture Canada Research Station Church in Charlottetown.Donations Alzheimer Society of Canada Organ Fund

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, St. Paul, Japan Charlottetown

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