Thomas Howard Suitt, 94, died peacefully at home on June 7, 2021. Born in Spartanburg, SC on 8/4/1926, he was the son of the late Benjamin Green Suitt and Mary Warwick Suitt. He graduated from Spartanburg High School in 1943, and started The Citadel before joining the United States Army in World War II. He served in the 1902 Engineer Aviation Battalion (“Wild Deuces”) and was part of US Army’s Occupation of Japan starting in 1945. Shortly after being discharged from the Army, Howard gave up canned meats for the rest of his adult life. He returned from Japan and finished The Citadel in 1948 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. He was a member of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. In 1949, he married his high school sweetheart “love of his life,” Hilda Brockman.
In 1960, Howard moved to Greenville, SC to work for Daniel Construction Company. In 1966, he was promoted to run the North Carolina Division of Daniel Construction in Greensboro, NC.
In 1968, with a $16,000 inheritance from his mother’s estate, he started Suitt Construction with two employees. By the late 1990’s, Suitt Construction had grown into a multimillion dollar regional general contractor with 5 regional division offices and an industrial process group. With 1,225 employees and 1,600 subcontractors in the field, and annual revenues over $450.00 MM, the company ranked in the top 75 largest general contractors in the United States per Engineering News Record. Suitt Construction was one of the top ten privately owned companies in South Carolina. Clients included Agfa, Allied Signal, BMW, Boeing, CarMax, Embassy Suites Hotels, Pepperidge Farms, Sea World, TNS Mills and WW Grainger.
In 1996, Suitt Construction was sold to BE&K, Inc. a major engineering and construction business based in Birmingham, Alabama.
Not one to retire, Howard formed another construction company in 2005, THS Constructors, Inc. which continues to thrive to this day. He remained Chairman of the Board of THS Constructors, Inc. until shortly before his death.
Howard Suitt was a registered professional engineer in North and South Carolina. He was active in the National Association of General Contractors and served on the Board. He served a Chairman of the Greenville Hospital Board of Trustees and the Greenville Health Corporation. He served on the Board of The Citadel Development Board, the South Carolina Methodist Foundation, and the Greenville Spartanburg Airport Commission. He served on the Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce Board and in the founding of the Greenville Area Development Corporation. Howard Suitt was a founding member of the Peace Center and an avid supporter of The Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville Little Theater, and the South Carolina Governors School for the Arts and Humanities. He was also on the Executive Committee of the Richard Furman Society. Howard belonged to Buncombe Street United Methodist Church and was a trustee. He loved his church and was a loyal member for 61 years.
Surviving are a sister, Sarah Suitt Miller; his son Thomas (Tom) H. Suitt, Jr. and daughter-in-law, Jan Suitt; and grandchildren, Mary Ellen Suitt of Eastover, SC; and Thomas Howard Suitt, III of Franklin, TN.
A daughter, Nancy Suitt Bennett and son-in-law Lee Bennett; and grandson Donald Buchanon Daves, III of Boulder, CO.
He was predeceased by his wife, Hilda Brockman Suitt; his brother Benjamin Green Suitt; and sister Mary Ellen Suitt.
Former Greenville businessman, Bill Orders described Howard Suitt as “serious, knowledgeable, methodical, traits that accounted for his success “. He was a man of few words, but when he did speak he was deliberate. He never said anything he did not mean. He was a construction company entrepreneur, and loved to build for private industry. He always spoke of his companies as a “we” organization. While he enjoyed serving his clients, his greatest joy was in his employee’s personal growth and success. He allowed his people to lead and succeed. Howard enjoyed building and expanding his companies, working with his employees, his family, and golf. He deplored long operas, long plays, long winded politicians, and long obituaries. The family would like to acknowledge Barbara Wade and the special friendship and companionship they shared the last years of Howard’s life.
Funeral services will be held at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church in Greenville, SC on Thursday, June the 10th at 3:00 PM following a private graveside service. There will be a celebration of Howard’s life at The Poinsett Club following the funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Greenville Theater (Formerly Greenville Litter Theater) and The Citadel.
A heartfelt thank you to Howard’s care givers: Bonnie Silberman, Synergy Care Sitters, Interim Hospice, Torrie Gibson, Amy Radcliffe, Doctor’s Bloodworth, Russell, and Miller. The family thanks you.
Arrangements by Mackey at Century Drive, Greenville, South Carolina.
Posted in: Mackey Funeral Home
Posted on: 2021-06-08
Link to original obituary: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/greenvilleonline/obituary.aspx?n=thomas-howard-suitt&pid=198930936&fhid=5447