Dr. Ernesto Luis Suarez, age 84, of Kalamazoo, MI passed away peacefully on Friday afternoon, February 10, 2017 at his home surrounded by his family and his loving caregiver, Janice Shaw. He was born on March 27, 1932 in Rosario, Argentina, the son of the late Dr. Ernesto Restituto and Maria Luisa (Mon) Suarez. Ernesto met his lifelong love Beatriz Kahl in August, 1950 and they were united in marriage on August 1, 1958. Dr. Suarez earned his medical degree in Argentina and was a general surgeon there from 1954-1960. In 1960 he and Beatriz moved to the United States and settled in Vermont, where he helped pioneer microsurgery at the University of Vermont. His love and passion for cardiac surgery began in 1963 when he accepted a surgical position at the Cleveland Clinic and was trained in open-heart surgery. He was Assistant Staff Fellow, Cardiac Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic from 1966-1968. Dr. Suarez was a member of the team that performed the world's first bypass surgery in 1966. In 1971 he received a call from Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan and was asked to start an open-heart surgery program there. Partnering with his close friend Sister Lenora Benda, C.S.J., the Borgess open-heart surgery program soon became the busiest in Michigan. Dr. Suarez retired from Borgess in 1988 and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. He was recognized in 2002 by the American Heart Association for his role in vision, innovation and leadership in cardiac care. While in Atlanta, he served as president of the Vinings Rotary Club and helped organize centers for elementary education in his homeland of Argentina. Dr. Suarez and his wife moved back to Kalamazoo in 2007 and he most recently lived at The Fountains. Dr. Suarez loved reading, music and politics. A man with a giant heart and beautiful sense of humor, he could light up a room with his presence, and genuinely delighted in making others laugh. A gifted storyteller, his stories will be missed deeply by his family and friends. Dr. Suarez had a deep love for his family and was most certainly the happiest when surrounded by his children and grandchildren. He was a member of St. Ambrose Catholic Church. He is survived by his five daughters, Beatriz Halbert of Lansing, MI, Maria (Rus) Moor of Norcross, GA, Cristina Suarez-Ross of Kalamazoo, Gabriela (Dean) Suarez-Starfeldt of Kalamazoo and AnneMarie (Jon) Suarez-Davis of Portage; and ten grandchildren, Michael Luis Halbert, Maria Luisa Suarez, Parker Halbert, Miller Moor, Ernesto Moor, Elijah Suarez-Ross, Zaria Starfeldt, Koa Suarez, Hayden Suarez-Davis and Miles Suarez-Davis. Preceding him in death was his wife of 52 years, Beatriz Suarez on June 5, 2011; infant son, Luis Suarez; and two brothers, Mario Suarez and Jose Maria Suarez. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Friday, February 17, at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 1628 East G Ave, with Father James O'Leary, Celebrant. The family of Dr. Suarez deeply thanks Janice Shaw for her devotion and loving care of their father and their families. The family also thanks Father O'Leary for spiritual guidance, wisdom and love for both their mother and father. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Heart Association . Arrangements by Langeland Family Funeral Homes.