John Collins "Johnny" Suydam, 80, passed away peacefully on October 1, 2023, at a local care facility. He was born on October 26, 1942, in Birmingham, AL, to Jack and Blanche Collins Suydam.
Johnny was a remarkable man, known for his caring nature, generosity, and boundless compassion. His quick wit, intelligence, and magnetic personality endeared him to all who knew him. In his early life, Johnny enjoyed playing baseball, and it was his passion. In adulthood, his love for sports continued with baseball and football, playing with friends and savoring the camaraderie of being part of a team.
He cherished spending time with his family and watching sports on TV. Johnny's outgoing, friendly, and humorous personality was well-known among his friends and family. They recognized him as a caregiver, especially during the challenging times of caring for his mother and sister through their battles with cancer and loss. His compassion and generosity knew no bounds.
Johnny served his country in the Army Reserve at Fort Polk and contributed to his community in various ways. He worked as an Investigator for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office and served as a Coach for Sulphur High School, Oak Park Middle School, and Bolton High School, coaching both baseball and football. His impact extended to McNeese State University, where he coached baseball and football. He managed the Burton Coliseum and became the distinctive voice of the Cowboys as the Radio Football Commentator.
His faith held a special place in his heart as a devout Methodist, faithfully attending University Methodist and St. Luke Simpson churches. Johnny's list of accomplishments included being the Head Coach of the McNeese Baseball Team, earning titles such as Southland Conference Coach of the Year, Coach of Allstars, and induction into the McNeese Hall of Honor. In 2005, he was honored with induction into the Louisiana Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame.
But perhaps the most important thing to know about Johnny was his friendly, generous, and helpful nature, coupled with his wonderful sense of humor. His quick wit and vibrant personality made him a sought-after Master of Ceremonies at various events.
Johnny's impact on the lives of those he touched is immeasurable, and his memory will forever be cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing him. He leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, and unending compassion.
Those left to cherish his memory are, his niece, Lees Young; his nephew, Glen Haggart; his great nephews, Ben Howard (Dylan LaPointe) and Dillan Reed (Brittany); his great niece, Hollie Howard (Kris); his great, great nieces, Kenlie Howard, Quinn Howard, and Claire Miller; and his great, great nephews, Kaden Howard, Jax Howard, Elliott Reed, Lane Reed, and Theo Hyatt.
Johnny was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister, Judith Reynolds.
Johnny's funeral will be held on Friday, October 6, 2023, at 1:30 PM in the Johnson Funeral Home Chapel, located at 4321 Lake Street, Lake Charles, LA. Doug Ezell will serve as Officiant, and burial will follow in Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery, 6325 Common St., Lake Charles, LA, under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home. Visitation will begin at the funeral home on Thursday evening, October 5, 2023, from 4:00 PM and continue until 8:00 PM. Visitation will resume on Friday at 11:30 AM and continue until the start of the service at 1:30 PM.
The family extends special thanks to Heart of Hospice, Christy Jeffels, RN, and Lake Charles Care Center for their exceptional care and love for Johnny. They truly cherished their coach.