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Bill Suhayda

Author, self employed in Batavia United States

Bill's family, along with two hundred thousand other refugees escaped Communist Hungary in 1956 when he was just seven years old. Historically, this was the first revolution in Eastern Europe against Soviet occupation and Communist rule. After the families escape, they lived in Austria for a short time before the U.S. opened its borders for sixty thousand Hungarian refugees to emigrate to the U.S. This emigration of refugees was made possible by an act of Congress during the Eisenhower administration. Shortly after their arrival, to Camp Kilmer New Jersey, they were transported to Ishpeming, Michigan (U.P.) where they were being sponsored by the local Rotary Club. Jobs were difficult to find or keep, so when Bill's father learned of employment possibilities in Aurora, Illinois, he came to look for employment in the Fox Valley. The family then followed. Bill, his two brothers Les, and Joe, along with sister Marianna, attended and graduated East Aurora High School where Bill also competed as a varsity wrestler for three of his four years on the Tomcat wrestling team. After graduation, he attended Waubonsee Community College, Northern Illinois University, and Aurora College. Bill graduated from Aurora College in '73 with a double major in Biology and Psychology and a minor in Chemistry. During this time he also earned a private pilots license. He competed in soccer for NIU and Aurora college and in his senior year at Aurora, earned All Conference and All Region honors. He was also chosen by his teammates as the years MVP. After graduation, he worked in the Department of Corrections, Juvenile Division for two years while working towards a Certificate in Education. His first position in public education was at Waldo Jr. High, where he taught science and was also the school's Head Wrestling Coach. After a transfer to East Aurora High School in '81, where he taught Biology, and Earth Science, he coached the Tomcat Wrestling Team.... the same program in which he had been a competitor. In '85, Bill started the first boys soccer program at East Aurora and became head coach. In '91 Bill founded and was president of the Fox Valley Kickers Youth Soccer Club. Initially, the club was to function as a feeder program for East Aurora H.S. Soccer. Bill retired from the classroom in '05 but still keeps busy as a member of the East Aurora Education Foundation and assists his son Brett with the Waubonsee Community College Soccer Team where Brett is head coach. Under Brett's tutelage, WCC teams have set numerous school records and have performed well in post season tournaments to include several conference and Regional championships. Most recently, Bill has authored a book entitled "From Tyranny to Liberty" in which he tells the story of his family's escape from communist Hungary. Bill married Brenda Shafer in July, of 1977. They have two children, Stephanie and Brett. Daughter Stephanie is married to Brian Evans. Stephanie and Brian have blessed the family with two grandchildren Alyssa, and Audrey. They live in Montgomery Illinois. Son Brett married his college sweetheart Joanna Schander. They live in Sugar Grove Illinois. Bill and Brenda also live in Sugar Grove Illinois.

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From Tyranny to Liberty... A Personal Story

@ VOL 6 ON FEB 16, 2017

In an all-too-rate look at life behind the Iron Curtain, Bill Suhayda explores the conditions that caused the Hungarian people to revolt against both Soviet occupation and the tyranny of communism in the country of his birth. In 1956, some 200,000 people fled Communist Hungary; Bill’s family was among those people risking their lives to escape. Bill dedicated his presentation to those people in Hungary, Austria, and the United States who helped his family escape from tyranny, and those Americans who helped his family assimilate into American culture.

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Batavia @ Ramsey Auditorium (at Wilson Hall, Fermilab)
Feb 16, 2017