Mrs. Elma Viola Suriano

Mrs. Elma Viola Suriano

Mrs. Elma Viola Suriano, 89 of Fernandina Beach passed away on Thursday afternoon, September 7, 2017 at Quality Health of Fernandina Beach.

Born in Automba, Minn., she was the last living of five children born to the late Henry and Edna Serafina Krigsholm Freeman. At the age of 21, she married a young sailor, Joseph Suriano. Her husband left the Navy and joined the Coast Guard. One of his assignments brought the family to Fernandina. where he worked as the chief engineer at the Amelia Island Lighthouse. They would later receive orders that took them to Charleston, S.C. and Cape May, N.J., from where Mr. Suriano retired. The Suriano family returned to Fernandina Beach, where her husband served as the city of Fernandina’s dock master and most notably as a vocational counselor at the Fernandina Beach High School.

Mrs. Suriano raised their children and supported their school activities, whether it be marching band practice, band fund-raising events, or cheering for their sports teams. She worked from her home as a seamstress, making many brides happy on their special day. As an accomplished seamstress, she sewed wedding dresses, bride’s maid dresses, prom dresses and school majorette and cheerleader uniforms. She continued sewing into her 80s, when she gave up doing alterations.

Mrs. Suriano enjoyed traveling and was a member of Destinations Unlimited. She was an avid sports fan and enjoyed supporting her children’s sports endeavors.

Her husband, Joe Suriano, passed away in 1998.

She leaves behind their children, Darlene A. Morris (Mark) of Fernandina Beach, Deborah J. Hatton (James) of Kingsland, Ga., Donna L. Rowland (Buddy) of Fernandina Beach, and Donald J. Suriano (Linda), of Mandarin, Fla.; five grandchildren, Brent Donald Suriano, April Michelle Hatton Brooks, Brock Suriano, Debra Hatton Tomko, Kyle Lee Rowland; great-grandchildren, Colton James Tomko, Tucker Alan Rowland, Haley Anna Brooks, Whitmore Sterling Suriano, Marlei Ashton Suriano, Laila Isabaella Suriano; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 15, 2017 from the graveside in Bosque Bello Cemetery with Reverend Jackie Hayes officiating.

Mrs. Suriano will be laid to rest beside her husband.

If so desired, donations may be made in her name to NE Florida Community Hospice, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257.

Please share her Life Story and leave your memories and condolences at

Oxley-Heard Funeral Directors


Mailing Address:
PO Box 16766
Fernandina Beach, FL 32035

Physical Address:
511 Ash Street

Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

Phone: (904) 261-3696
Fax: (904) 261-3698