May 10, 1948 – July 24, 2020
Our loving mother, sister, wife, aunt, and friend Suzanne passed peacefully at her home in Scottsdale following a long battle with cancer.
Along with her older brother and six younger siblings, Suzanne was born and raised on the shores of Lake Erie in Willoughby, Ohio. As the eldest daughter, Suzanne was expected by her mother Joan to help look after her youngest siblings. In many ways, Suzanne continued to perform the role of family matriarch for her adult siblings, especially after Joan passed away. After graduating from Willoughby South High in 1966, Suzanne received a scholarship from Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA, where she attended for three years before completing her degree at Kent State in 1971.
Legend has it that Suzanne met Charlie, her husband of 48 years, while attempting to parallel park outside of a bar in Cleveland. It must have been love at first sight because after a brief courtship, they married, and soon thereafter joined the family migration west to Arizona. They settled with the rest of the clan in Scottsdale, and before long bought the house in which they would raise their family, and call home for over forty years.
Suzanne was unquestionably a dedicated and caring wife and mother, and a true and generous friend. She was always ready to help and support the people she loved, and to serve the community. When it came to her children, Nicholas, and Nathaniel, she never missed a recital, a game, a graduation, or any event they were involved in, no matter how small or insignificant the occasion. As her sons will attest, “Mrs. Poole” was a favorite among their friends for her open door, sense of humor, and down-to-earth straight talk. True to her Scandinavian heritage, Suzanne was compassionate but not sentimental; a no-nonsense realist who spoke her mind without candy-coating the truth.
While Suzanne was renowned for being hard-working, determined, and resilient, she was also fun-loving, and enjoyed traveling, watching baseball, or just simply having a beer and playing Scrabble (which she rarely lost). Suzanne loved visiting Arizona’s natural wonders, and was particularly proud of hiking the Grand Canyon, to Phantom Ranch and back. In the last few decades, Suzanne traveled with the family to South America, Turkey, and Europe. Closer to home, Suzanne loved hosting her family and friends during the summer months at the little A-frame cabin that she rented near Flagstaff. In recent years, Suzanne took up birdwatching and journeyed to several of the state’s bird sanctuaries, including birding in Patagonia, Cochise Stronghold, and Ramsey Canyon. Her last outing was to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, the largest and oldest botanical garden in Arizona.
Suzanne will be missed for many reasons, but chief among them is that she was such a joy to be around. Not only was she friendly and welcoming, but she was an incredibly interesting person who could discuss any topic and debate any issue without losing her temper. She stood by her convictions, but she also exhibited a boundless curiosity and an abiding willingness to learn. With her sharp wit and deep intellect, Suzanne was truly a one-of-a-kind renaissance woman. She was a voracious reader of both fiction and non-fiction. The book club that she headed for sixteen years discussed a world-record 132 books, which was only a drop in the bucket compared to the books that she read on her own. Blessed are the English majors. Heaven better have books. In addition to being a book worm, Suzanne loved watching movies at home and in the theater. Like her taste in books, Suzanne’s taste in film spanned from high-brow to low-brow, with a special fondness for screwball comedies. No one could match her encyclopedic knowledge of classic Hollywood. Not far behind her love of books and film was her passion for food. Suzanne enjoyed eating a variety of cuisines, but her culinary expertise was in good ole’ American comfort food, namely casseroles and barbecue. Suzanne made a mean lasagna, but her reputation as “grill master” is second to none (charcoal, never gas!). The good people at Weber should name her to their hall of flame.
By good fortune or Providence, we were all blessed to have Suzanne in our lives. If you knew Suzanne, you loved Suzanne.
Suzanne is survived by her husband Charlie, her children Nicholas and Nathaniel, her grandchildren Henry and Harrison, her daughter-in-law Alex, her sister-in-laws Carol and Barby, and her seven siblings: Jack, Patricia, Claudia, Marcia, Sarah, Jan, and Mark.
Funeral services will be private. The service may be available to be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/WhitneyMurphyFH/live/ on Saturday, August 8, 2020 after 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in Suzanne’s name to the National Audubon Society at https://act.audobon.org, Hospice of the Valley at https://www.hov.org/donate/donate-now/, or The Nature Conservancy at https://support.nature.org. Condolences and Hugs from Home may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com