We are saddened to learn that Jack Suriano, Lieutenant(O), passed away peacefully in the early hours of Sunday 17 December 2023.

John Fredrick Suriano (“Jack”) was born on 30th October 1929 in Brisbane. He joined the RAN on a four year short service commission in July of 1952 and trained as an Observer in the Fleet Air Arm.  He served at HMAS Albatross and aboard HMA Ships Sydney and Vengeance, seeing active service in the Korean War before leaving the Navy in July of 1956,  

Having married Shirley whilst under training at RNAS Culdrose (in the UK), Jack and his new bride lived in Australia until he left the RAN.  He and Shirley then returned to Britain where he took a senior position in marketing with the 3M company. 

Some time later the couple returned to Australia where he rejoined the Navy as a Reservist and spent many years in the Fremantle Port Division’s Controller of Shipping organisation.  Subsequently Jack had a successful period with AMPOL before striking out on his own as a marketing consultant.

They had two sons, Jon and Louis, and a daughter Lucy.  Jon and Louis live and work in and around Perth whereas Lucy, a Registered Nurse, is married and lives and works in Germany.

Jack was a staunch member of the Naval Officers Club, Naval Military & Air Forces Club of WA and the Highgate sub branch of RSLWA.

He was a founding member of the Fleet Air Arm Association of Australia, and was awarded prestigious Life Membership.

The day following his death, the webmaster received an email from Brett Dowsing which captured something of Jack’s sense of humour and character. It is reproduced here with Brett’s permission.


Sadly in the early hours this morning Jack “let slip all lines and headed onwards and upwards.”  He passed away peacefully in the company of his family and was “ready in all respects to proceed.”

A few weeks ago, Jack was diagnosed with an aggressive leukaemia and on hearing the news simply asked whether treatment would get him through to Anzac Day next year.  Advised no, he then said “Well, without treatment how long have I got?’  Told 10 days, he turned to his wife, Shirley and told her to book him into the best hospice available in Perth.  He then invited all his scaly mates from FAAAA-WA to a BBQ on that Sunday in the hospice.  He shouted all and sundry along with his family and tiring after a couple of reds, told everyone to “p..s off” declaring that would probably be the last time he’d catch most of us.

I returned last Sunday as I hadn’t heard any news whilst out of town during the week.  It was all quiet as I approached his room, and the worst thoughts were entering my mind as I quietly cracked open the door and entered a darkened room.  The lights went on, Jack sat bolt upright and said “Thank Christ you’ve come to visit.  I’ve been waiting for someone to come so I could have a drink.  There’s a bottle of red and two glasses over there, crack it and let’s have a couple before anyone else arrives!”  So we did and after a couple, he quietly said he was feeling weary and needed a rest.
As said above, Jack was heavily engaged in the ex-Service community in Perth, and will be sorely missed.  He declared that he only wanted a simple family funeral, a cremation and for his family to spread his ashes “the other side of Rottnest Island.
 A classy reprobate to the end, Jack Suriano will be long and enthusiastically remembered by those who knew him or had the pleasure of his company at any time over his 94 years.