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Our beloved father, grandfather, great grandfather, physician and friend, Dr. Joe Sule, passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 7, 2017 at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, WA.
Born on Oct. 27, 1938 in Fuzesabony, Hungary, Joe was raised in war and Communistic oppression. Following a brief and unsuccessful uprising against Communism in 1956 in which he participated trying to free the Hungarian people, Joe had to flee in secret, leaving his family behind at the young age of 18. Joe immigrated to Red Deer, Alberta, Canada and became a Canadian citizen shortly thereafter. He married Fern Esplin in 1960, working hard as a carpenter to put himself through college and support his growing family. He attended Canadian Union College in LaCombe, Alberta, then after graduating in 1966 he moved his little family to the United States, settling in LaSierra, California, to pursue his dream of becoming a physician and surgeon. He attended medical school in Loma Linda, CA at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and graduated with his medical degree in 1972. Following his internship at Riverside General Hospital in Riverside, CA, Joe was invited by Dr. Ed Shearer of Toppenish, WA to become a partner in his medical clinic in Toppenish. Joe moved his family to the Lower Valley in 1973 and began his 40 year long service as a much loved physician and surgeon. He retired in 2013.
Joe’s many passions in life included his family, his patients, many dear friends, Arabian horses which he raised, bred, and showed for many years, his dogs, hiking with his wife and grandsons, skiing with family, scuba diving with his wife, a few years of running short fun runs with his wife, and of course golf! Joe loved God and sought to serve his Creator by serving others.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Jozsef and Jusztina Sule, and his brother Laszlo Sule, all of Hungary. Also, by a newborn daughter, Michelle Sule, of Loma Linda, CA, who passed away one day after her birth in 1968. He leaves behind five children: Jodi Sule and wife Pam of Olympia, WA; Dr. Hugh Sule of Tamuning, Guam; Sue Womack of Spokane, WA; Dr. J. David Sule and wife Genevieve of Pocatello, ID; and Drs. Jonathan and wife Judit Sule of Valdosta, GA; his 15 grandchildren: Phillip Sule, Jared Sule, Michael Sule, Michelle Sule, Stephan Sule, Angelica Sule, Chad Womack, Blake Womack, Adrienne Womack, Jessica (Sule) Lusk, Erica Sule, Alexandre Sule, Gabriel Sule, Johnny Sule Jr., and Julia Sule; and his five sweet great grandsons: Landon, Uriah, Bronson, Oliver, and Kyren. He is survived by his sister and brother in law, Maria and Loli Bereczky of Hungary, as well as other extended Hungarian relatives in both Hungary and Canada, and his ex wife Fern Sule of Yakima, WA.
There will be a celebration of Joe’s life on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 at 3 PM at the Yakima SDA Church located at 507 N. 35th Ave. in Yakima, WA. All are welcome to attend and share memories of Joe. He was much loved and will be dearly missed.