Sue Earl
Family Fund

Sue and I were married for quite a long time - just over 40 years. We had the best marriage and friendship that any couple could ever imagine. We met on a blind date in January, 1963.

After we were married we spent one year in Connecticut, then moved far away to Arizona to chase our dreams without a clue as to how things would work out. She willingly lived very sparingly for over 6 years while I was in grad school, and considering how little money we had, we did a lot of traveling and camping all over the west in our trusty 1966 VW bus. We moved to Pennsylvania in 1972, and then retired to Arizona in 2001.

I think if there was one thing about Sue that made her special, it was her sincerity and her smile. She was always smiling! She just lit up a room when she smiled, and it showed just how happy she was almost all the time. You couldn't be sad around her! Dan and Kathryn got her great smile, so I am constantly reminded of her through them.

Sue had a variety of jobs before becoming a full-time Mom. She sold popcorn at Univ. of Arizona, sold lingerie to show girls in Reno, sold books in Tucson, managed a school cafeteria in State College and was a teacher's aide. After our kids were in school she taught pre-school for 12 years without taking one sick day - quite an accomplishment!

Her best job, though, was being a great Mom. Her wisdom and patience seemed far beyond her years, and I'm sure they were a reflection of all she learned from her mother, who also did a great job.

Sue loved to travel and we spent months in tents all over the West. She took flying lessons, could drive a boat with skiers behind it, owned a motorcycle, and liked to go off-roading. She really liked to go hiking on Mount Desert Island in Maine. She was an expert with a sewing machine, was a great cook and could effortlessly put together fancy meals.

Her first wish after we got the terrible news in October 2004 was to fly to California and drive up the coast, so we rented a Mustang convertible and drove from Los Angeles to San Francisco with the top down. In the next few months we went to Las Vegas, New Jersey, Death Valley, and Maine for a final summer. I can’t imagine how brave Sue was to be able to keep her sense of humor up to the last day or two, but she did. I still marvel at how she found the inner strength to maintain as normal a life as possible after her diagnosis. Sue was honest, thoughtful and kind. She was just a quietly remarkable person.

We miss her very much.

Tom Earl
Dan & Sylvia Earl
Kathryn & Mark Brower

Photos - Sue and Family
Earl Family

Remembering Sue

Listen to Kathryn

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My father, Marsh Douthat, was an extraordinary man.  He was courageous and dignified throughout his life and not even the terrible disease ALS could change that.  It was his perseverance and grace while enduring such adversity that I recall each day.  To truly understand my Dad, perhaps it is best to look at some of his passions in life: the stock market, golf, and his family and friends.

After I graduated from college, I was offered the opportunity to work for my Dad.  When I began, he had already been diagnosed with ALS, so I had some knowledge of the challenges we would face as a result of his body’s disease.  However, this chance to get a glimpse into his professional life was an unbelievable gift for which I will always be thankful.  Each day I was struck by the brilliance and unmatched expertise I witnessed as it related to the stock market, value investing, and all things Benjamin Graham.  Despite his obviously impressive knowledge, his thirst for information and intellectual curiosity were steadfast.  I will never forget his curious nature when it came to finance, and it showed me early in my professional life that the best never rest on their laurels.

One of the tragedies of my father’s ALS was that it robbed him of one of his greatest joys: being on the golf course.  Dad was a good golfer, but it was never about the score for him.  He thrived in the natural setting and in the quiet relaxation that comes from a round of golf played with good friends.  I was lucky enough to share many of those experiences with my Dad and he would often use our time on the course as a teaching moment about lessens somewhat loosely related to golf.  For one, he taught me about integrity while on the golf course and why it is essential for a man to have it at all times.  For instance, some golfers will cut corners in order to post a better score, but my Dad never maligned the rules of the game.  Rather, he cherished them as an opportunity to measure his true ability, and a way to gauge his progress.

Finally, my Dad’s greatest passion in life was for those he loved.  His love for his wife and high school sweetheart, Cynthia, was unmistakable and his marriage was the top priority in his life.  He was a loving and proud father to each of his kids.  He took great joy in his grandchildren who loved making “Grand” smile.  In addition, he was also blessed with a number of wonderful and devoted friendships built through shared activities like church, a love of good food and wine, and golf.  I am certain that all of those who were touched by my father will remember his love and friendship warmly and miss him always.

Personally, I learned so much from my Dad especially as he faced insurmountable hardships and his body progressively deteriorated due to the disease.  It is a testament to his character that he continued to pursue those things that made him unique and special in spite of his physical limitations.  I will always carry these memories of who he was close to my heart.