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.
Dan & Sylvia Earl
Kathryn & Mark Brower