Susan Russell Badone
  • 65 years old
  • Date of birth: Oct 15, 1948
  • Place of birth:
    San Francisco, California, United States
  • Date of passing: Jul 9, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    Santa Barbara, California, United States
“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ― George Bernard Shaw

Dear Friends & Family,

This memorial website was created in memory of our Mamma, Susan Badone (65). She was born on October 15, 1948 and peacefully passed away at her home on July 9, 2014. We will remember her forever, she is everything!

Please feel free to contribute to this site as you choose.You may leave notes below, tell a story, add pictures/ videos to the gallery and share this website with anyone and everyone who loved little Mamma Sue.


Come and enjoy a beautiful day by the sea. Light food and wine and beer will be served. Feel free to bring your kiddos. 

Sue's Memorial Service and Life Celebration will be held on
Sunday, September 7, 2014 


El Capitan State Beach Goleta, CA.

*Parking is located in the "Day Use Parking Lot" at El Capitan State Beach. There is a $10 fee for each car, so we highly recommend that you carpool.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Genevieve Badone Assili on 13th July 2016

"Missing you like crazy today Mom!"

This tribute was added by Emilda Jaccard on 11th July 2016

"What comes to mind when I think of you my dear friend are:

ELEPHANTS for all your years living in Africa.

AIRPLANES for your younger days as a flight attendant.

SEA SHELLS for your love of mermaid caves in dark blue seas.

ROSES for your love of flowers, especially the roses you tended at the Rose Garden in Santa Barbara with Janet.

GLOWING FACES for your frequent "I love you" affirmation to us all.

PAPER AND PEN for your poetic writing and Phoebe, your alter ego.

CHILDREN for the grandchildren you adored.

THREE BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMEN for your beloved daughters.

THE CELESTIAL VAULT for your enthusiasm about astrology.

LEMON BARS because you baked them with love for your family and friends.

BEAUTY for the Libra in you.

Memories of you have taken hold...you are forever in my heart."

This tribute was added by Alexandra Badone on 9th July 2016

"I miss you so much, I love you mom."

This tribute was added by Alexandra Badone on 9th July 2016

""There are no goodbyes for us, you will always be in my heart"

The morning of July 9th, 2016, was the day my mom Susan died two years ago.
My breathe is one si after another writing thiS along with waves of tears that seem to have been sitting for a while. The interesting part of that, is I know my tears of grief for my mom will always be there, and that’s just the way it is.
About 2pm this day, I googled rituals on anniversaries of a loved ones death, and the first thing I noticed was a sentence that read,” I became a writer out desperation.” I immediately thought of my mother and her love for journaling throughout her 14 year battle with breast cancer.
She became adamant about her writing, every morning she would open her blinds in the living room and sun room. She would then make her tea and glide back to her room, open the door to her deck and lay back in her bed, on the right(used to be right side, but left was her last side of the bed) and peacefully stare outside, morning sun shinning and a light wind, feather light, in the air. She then would reach for her journal and intently begin to write. She was ok when she she wrote, at least she appeared that way to me.
I realized that my mom began to write and became a writer “out of desperation.” This is not meant to be sad, this is meant to be truthful and candid to the best of my ability.
I have no idea where she is right now, and I never will know, but I will never ever let her leave my heart. So, this is where I fight for my faith to come back and believe that the love we shared as mother and daughter is the strongest love of all, and I am blessed that I was given a second life with her when I got sober. I can see and feel her house, the time of day, her presence and most of all, her calling my name, “Alex, Alex, come here for a second!”
The time of day is afternoon more towards 4:30pm, clear and beautiful in Santa Barbara, right when the sun is starting to set, the Riviera is beautiful , I can see her house as if it was yesterday, I can feel her, see her and smell her.
I know that I will always miss her, and I have to believe that her spirit is around me, because I don’t believe she could just be gone forever, our bond was to strong to dissipate into nothing.
So, its up to me, to not let it dissipate into nothing, I have faith and I will always keep her in my heart."

This tribute was added by Janet Lucy on 9th July 2016

"My heart holds the most beautiful memories of Susan ... friend, star sister, moon mother, mermaid, and ‪forever Phoebe‬ ... Some days I ask myself, "What would Phoebe do?" and the answer is often funny and always full of love ... XOXOXO"

This tribute was added by Mike Hedrick on 9th July 2016

"Susan, I wonder what you are up to these days? Maybe soaring as an eagle,,,or swimming with your Dolphin friends! Miss you and know you are out there watching over us!"

This tribute was added by Susie Thomason on 9th July 2016

"Seeing Susan's photo brings me back as I remember her radiant smile and that giggle I so loved.  Her stories will always be a part of the memories I cherish about her."

This tribute was added by Julia Atwood on 9th July 2016

"Miss you my dear funny friend. We still retell your stories in  writing group. You will always live in our hearts by the way you impacted our lives in both words and deeds. Sending love."

This tribute was added by Genevieve Badone Assili on 20th October 2015

"Miss you so much today Mom!"

This tribute was added by Cathe Hedrick on 16th October 2015

"Hi Susan,
I miss you everyday and think of you.  I wish you could be here so we could enjoy those great time we had together, you are such a wonderful friend.  We laughed about so many crazy things.  I know you are around as I can feel your presence!  I was happy to hear that Gen is back in Santa Barbara I know that makes you very happy.  Love You, Cath"

This tribute was added by Susie Thomason on 16th October 2015

"Susan will always be in my heart.  I think of her often and have so many fond memories.  I will always remember her giggle.  
Sending heaps of love to the girls."

This tribute was added by Julia Atwood on 15th October 2015

"Happy Birthday dear Susan...We would have celebrated at writing group last night with some of your lemon bars, song and words written just for you...We are with you in spirit...and celebrate our time with you while you were on this physical plain. XXOO"

This tribute was added by Adrienne Coppola on 10th July 2015

"Hi Gen,
Thinking of you and your family...hope to see you soon!
xxoo Adrienne"

This tribute was added by Mike Hedrick on 9th July 2015

"Hi Susan...hope u are having fun being/doing whatever you have evolved into next: maybe you are soaring with the eagles...or swimming with the dolphins... We sure do miss you!
Love Mike"

This tribute was added by Patricia Amirsoleymani on 16th October 2014

"Thinking if you, Sue, on your birthday. I miss you so much, my kind friend. Remembering the wonderful times we've shared-birthdays, picnics, walks and talks, Trick or Treating with our girls, our trip to the gem show in Tucson. I miss your smile. Love, Tricia"

This tribute was added by Susie Thomason on 16th October 2014

"It's your birthday, dear friend.  I think of you so often and miss our lunches together.  I miss having writing group with you, hearing the Phoebe stories, mermaid stories and stories about your family.  I miss your sweet spirit and your infectious giggle.  Know I carry you in my heart and your legacy lives on, dear friend.  Love and blessings always......Susie"

This tribute was added by Faith Kleveland on 15th October 2014

"Happy birthday sweetest Susan. We miss you and send all love. Faith"

This tribute was added by Mike Hedrick on 15th October 2014

"Happy Birthday Susan! Hope you have a great time visiting people as you sail around the Universe:)
Love Mike H."

This tribute was added by Cathe Hedrick on 15th October 2014

"Hi Sus,
I miss you everyday and I am so glad for that last fun lunch we had!  Sometimes I just pretend that you are at your house and I can just drop by or call to pick you up for dinner after work.  Love You, Cathe"

This tribute was added by donna mrotek on 15th October 2014

"Woke up lit a candle and sang the happy birthday song.
Made my bed, ( which is something I only do after washing the sheets) but today for Susan who loved a freshly made bed, and who sneered at those of us leave it unmade, I made my bed, and put on the accent pillows!
Drank my coffee and watched the day break. Put on Susan's yoga pants, that have the wonderful scent of her house, and took off for the beach with my canine companion. At this point some of you are wondering, was I only wearing yoga pants? I leave you to wonder.
Susan this day is for you. Today there is no loss but only what I gained from having you as a friend. Today  as always, we celebrate and do something a little quirky and crazy."

This tribute was added by Becky Todd on 15th October 2014

"Loving you forever my sweet friend. I'll miss our birthday dinner together.
You continue to light this world.

This tribute was added by Julia Atwood on 15th October 2014

"Dear Susan...It's your birthday and it would have been writing group today...we all would have brought you little gifts of remembrance, and cards of love to celebrate another year together. We would have had cup cakes from Crush Cakes with very long delicate candles. You would have been asked to make a wish of which it would have been what it has been for the last twelve years...that you would be cancer free and if that was not possible that you have another year to watch your children and grandchildren blossom. We all would laugh at how we were getting older, slower, more wrinkled. We would write and share stories about our younger selves. You would have told us another story about travel in foreign lands, your mothers red nail polish or new shoes. We would hug and cry a little and leave with hope and gratitude in our hearts for having you for another year. I miss you dear friend. We miss you in our circle of friends and writers. I miss your unwavering optimism, your laughter, your "I know!..." I miss Phebe stories, and the latest pictures of the grandkids. I miss you lemon bars and your positive energy which was infectious! You were and are still, our teacher on how to handle adversity with grace, humor, honesty and optimism. Today we celebrate the gift you were to each and every one of us. I miss you dearly and carry you in my heart. XxOo"

This tribute was added by Roya Amirsoleymani on 15th October 2014

"Remembering Sue with all the love in the world on her birthday. Miss her so much. What a beautiful and human and kind soul. So grateful to have had her in my life. All my love to the Badone family. Thinking of you on this day."

This tribute was added by Genevieve Assili on 18th September 2014

"Thank you for all of the tributes and comments and stories and support and love! They move me! Xo"

This tribute was added by Janet Lucy on 7th September 2014

"Memorial Speech for Susan

                         September 7, 2014 ~ El Capitan Beach

I’m honored to have been invited to speak about Susan ... I was blessed to share so many facets of her life ... She was my treasured friend, nearby neighbor on De La Vista, fun fellow traveler, volunteer rose garden tender, and a soul sister of the moon ... Today, though, I’m going to speak to you about her as a writer.

I met Susan in January 2005, when she joined one of my women’s weekly writing groups, and attended faithfully for ten years ... When held with a spirit of respect and acceptance, a women’s writing group offers a unique relationship amongst the participants -- and becomes an intimate circle of connection, where we reveal the innermost places in our hearts, the divine sparks of our imaginations, and the landscapes of our dreams. These are the places Susan lived beautifully and naturally, and revealed to us through her writing.

I asked some of the women in her writing group to share their memories and reflections of her writing ... and I have woven them together to share with you ... the way we witnessed and knew Susan through her writing:

Susan’s writing is described as ... “dreamlike, mysterious, velvety rich ...  whimsical, sensuous, graceful ... fresh and spontaneous ... a thoughtful slice of life ... sensitive to the smell, taste, touch and feel of her surroundings.”  

“Susan drew us in by stirring our senses" ... the smell of orange spice tea, fresh lemons in a blue glass bowl, the salty spray of the sea ... her mother’s coral toenail polish, the foreign postage stamp on an old envelope, the slanted handwriting on a letter.

“She teased us with delightful details and dropped intriguing clues about charming characters, real and imagined. We were left wanting more - more details, more information, more of her mysterious and dreamy prose.”

“Like in poetry, there was superb flow that took us from one sentence to the next ... At times she would repeat a group of 2 to 4 words in a different sequence to add a startling rhythm to her prose.”

“Susan’s writing revealed an inner beauty that sparkled into her outer world” ...  shimmering stars, the moon rise over the ocean, giant clam shells filled with sunlit beach glass on her wooden deck, her vibrant and tranquil garden, her serene home sanctuary … And always she wrote of her love of family, enduring connections, and the lineage of red hair.

This was all most enchantingly scribed in the ongoing, fictitious story of Phoebe, her spirited muse and alter ego, who wore red cowgirl boots, traveled by train to Silver Beach where she frequented the local Van Gogh cafe, and cultivated a deep soul friendship with the young waiter and poet, Rashid.

Like Susan, Phoebe was “The Keeper of Letters,” a collection she treasured and kept in an old teak trunk, the letters between her grandparents and parents, written on translucent parchment paper in faded ink, which contained a mystery that was dear to her heart.

“Susan wrote with a timelessness ... slipping easily into the creative realm ... she took us to exotic and far away places” ... to the mermaid caves beneath the sea, across dry and dusty deserts, and through the heavens on her magic tapestry ...

Wherever she went, whatever she wrote, always revealed the deep love she felt for her family and carried with her everywhere ... from writing retreats at Shaver Lake and San Miguel to adventures in Arizona and Africa ... always, it was her family, she carried in her heart.

One summer season three years ago, after using poetry for our inspiration and writing prompts, I challenged the writers to each learn one poem by heart ... (knowing a poem by heart ensures that it stays there.)

Susan chose her favorite poem by ee cummings, “i carry your heart with me” ... I’d like to close by reading it: 

                 i carry your heart with me ~ ee cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

                                        Thank you…  
                                 with love, Janet Lucy"

This tribute was added by Barbara Russell on 6th September 2014

"It is with sincere sadness that I will not be able to attend the beautiful memorial that has been planned for Susan tomorrow. I will however hold you all in my thoughts during that time and be present from afar. Susan was an amazing sister-in-law to me, and a wonderful Aunt, to my daughter Tara, and son Johnnie. We shared so many good times together and with our families. I really enjoyed travelling with her the most. One of the best times in my life was when I met Susan, in London on her way back from her Africa trip. We spent a week touring in and around London, but the best was when we took the train to Paris for a day! We had such a great time. She was always learning about new and exciting things to do and see...and encouraged those around her to do the same. There will never be anyone like her again in my life....she holds that special place in my heart. I will miss you and love you forever."

This tribute was added by Maria Denney on 22nd August 2014

"The desire to want to call Susan still happens every day --wanting to check in or share a funny story --to hear her voice one more time. I hold vivid memories of her laughter and the warmth of her voice in my heart...such amazing memories of joy, hope and courage through her life. Susan was my mother Vi's dearest friend and soul sister. I came to know Susan first, through my mother's love and admiration of her; their wonderful travels together on cruise ships and to Yugoslavia. After my mother's passing in 2010, Susan and I grew very close. I miss most Susan's strong and wise spirit, and her caring heart. I loved giggling with her and knowing that no matter what, Susan would always tell me the truth because she truly cared. I am grateful for the honest, love-filled conversations that we shared before her passing. My heart tells me that she is reading good books, laughing, enjoying the beauty of God's eternal life now --and most of all loving her family near and far."

This tribute was added by Julia Atwood on 19th August 2014

"It has taken me a long time to be able to write this; too hard to confront the reality that our dear Susan is gone. Even now I must pause to absorb the reality that she is no longer with us. It is as if any day I will get a call from her saying “I’m feeling better this week, let’s get together.”

Susan was extraordinary, complex and multifaceted: a rare gem. She was a combination of many talents, interests and moods and was always a surprise to be around. I was never bored when I was with Susan. Much of the time we spent together was in our beloved writing circle or in conversation either on her deck or by the fire. It was during these weekly gatherings to write or the intimate conversations at her home that I grew to love and respect her as a woman of strength, resilience, and optimistic determination. Susan had a gift for making others feel appreciated, loved and supported. Any discussions of hopes, dreams or ideas were met with “of course you can.”  And conversations of life struggles, or disappointments were met with “this circumstance does not define you” and “you always have choice”.  She was wise and determined in a gentle stubborn way that was never pushy but matter of fact and honest. Susan was kind, generous and hopeful. She didn’t take her friendships, family or health for granted. They were all special gifts that she cherished. She was always making special treats and coming up with ways to convey her love for others whether it was making lemon bars or soup for the group or erecting a magical tent in her back yard for a family Christmas dinner.  Susan above all was a devoted mother and grandmother. She loved and her girls with tenderness and care. She worried and fussed like most mothers but she was extraordinary in her willingness to consider their points of view and support their hopes for their futures. The grandchildren were her most cherished possessions. She could spend hours talking about all the funny little things they were doing and she had a way of describing their antics in ways that made you love them too.  Susan was a reluctant mentor. She didn’t see herself as a hero but rather just a woman who wanted to extract the most and best out of her precious life. Although there were times of frustration, depression and disappointment during the course of her illness she always, always, always focused on the positive and possible. Susan had a knack for bringing cheer and laughter. Her countenance radiated light and joy and she rarely took anything for granted. She was an example for all of us to live in the present tense, to be grateful and joyful and to share from your heart. She is one of the bravest and most kind of all the people I have met and her physical presence will be deeply missed and so as her favorite poem states “I will carry her in my heart always.”"

This tribute was added by Janet Lucy on 18th August 2014

"Susan loved so many things … poetry, the sea and moon to name a few! She wrote this poem at Shaver Lake in May 2012:

Mother Moon by Susan Badone

Ancient sailors glide
through the surging blue black sea
calling Mother Moon

To light their way home
moonbeams and starlight playing
white light on the sea

The old wooden boat
its sails sighing a great "oooh"
the northern wind blows

The full moon and tides
together give it a push
and the boat sails home

(I miss you, Phoebe! XOXO Lucy)"

This tribute was added by Adrienne Coppola on 18th August 2014

"Dear Gen,
Though I never met your mother, you clearly share her beauty and grace.  I am deeply sorry for your loss. This is a lovely tribute to a lovely woman.  Sending you and all of your family all good wishes,

This tribute was added by Julie Phillips on 10th August 2014

"Dear Alexandra,
I did not know your mom, but you are a very special woman, and as they say , the apple does not fall far from the tree.
I am so sorry for your loss.
Love and blessings,
Julie Phillips"

This tribute was added by Mike Hedrick on 1st August 2014

"I will remember Susan as a positive spirit that always had nice things to say about others... She will be missed but probably won't be to too far away.                
                             This Haiku is for you Susan.

                               A Redwood Stands Firm
                       She Endures with Beauty, Grace
                                 Then Begins Again

             I will miss you! Till next time Susan...Love Mike Hedrick"

This tribute was added by Cathe Hedrick on 1st August 2014

"Susan and I worked together but bonded as Breast Cancer Survivors and she was the best listener and we laughed about so many things even the things that scared us at times made us laugh.  She was the most amazing spirit and greatest cheerleader she could always give me a lift...I love Susan and always will.  I feel if I walk over to her house and open the gate she will come to the door."

This tribute was added by Mark Sherwood on 31st July 2014

"Susan was a neighbor two houses away while our kids were young, She became a part of our everyday lives, watching her come and go in her beautiful little house with the picket fence.  She was so inclusive of our children, and my son had a special connection with her cheerfulness.I most admire her struggle with cancer and her choice to do something new in her life during her treatment: she made BEAUTIFUL jewelry, became a serious student of astrology and made a conscious choice to enjoy life more as her own life became threatened.  I miss her VOICE, it was a little raspy with high notes and always kind.  Peace to you Susan, may you be free at last."

This tribute was added by Charlene Chew-Ogi on 31st July 2014

"I am not ready to see Susan in the "past tense"; Susan is a "in-the-now, present tense" person.  She deeply loves her daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren.  Their Hawaiian vacation was a highlight and the paintings she bought a wonderful reminder of those days.
     We were UCSB work colleagues with shared work stories.  She was wise to leave for her health.  
     Then, January, 2005, we found ourselves in a women's writing circle which would be destine to become much more.  The Universe conspired to have us each create an artist life which was woven with other women.  We were bonded by our wisdom that we discovered when we had the courage to share our writer's voice with each other.
     Susan didn't want to be seen as a warrior fighting cancer because she didn't want to be seen as a loser if cancer took her life.  Susan wanted to be seen as a winner; a lover of friends and family, a lover of the arts and color.  She had a joyous 14 years and we were going to have a "pot-love" dinner as a writers' group at her house before our lives changed.
     I expect her at our writing groups.  I wait to hear of the Van Gogh Cafe, Phoebe, Rashid, the vineyard, the letters of her grandparents & parents, the mermaid's cave, the sea, sea glass, sitting on a train; and the places between life, creativity and mystery.
     The family asked to tell a story of Susan: Susan bought a beautiful new car but she kept her old car.  Susan kept the car for her dog, Stanley.  Stanley was getting old but he loved to walk with her on the beach.  "I can't have Stanley tied up so he won't dirty the new car," she told me.  "Stanley knows the car means the beach walk; and in the old car, he is free to be excited."
     Susan is about letting you be unencumbered to enjoy life.  She is a present tense person.  I will reconcile that she is not in her physical body but her spirit whispers to each of us, "be free to be excited".  As we write, can't you hear her say, "that was good," then looking down at her pages, "huh, that was good."
     That was good Susan - writer, lover and winner! A-huh that was good..."

This tribute was added by Susie Thomason on 30th July 2014

"The loss of my dear friend Susan is so fresh and tender in my heart I can scarcely find words.  Yet my heart can whisper and also shout of my love for her.  She left the legacy of her indomitable will to live right up until the end.  Her wonderful humor, her laughter and her giggle will forever be with me.  She wrote of the mermaid caves and whenever I walk the beach she will be there with me, the shells and the sea.  When I lunch at Louis or Scarlet Begonia she will be there in my heart.  I carry her wisdom, her stories and memories of time shared together and with others.  Memories weave a beautiful tapestry and paint a lovely portrait of my life and hers and the love that is never lost.  Love changes form as it transcends the physical body, becomes more pure and unburdened and takes wing into the unseen world of spirit.  She lives in my heart for the rest of my days."

This tribute was added by Judy Edner on 29th July 2014

"Susan - a trusted and compassionate friend, UCSB colleague, travel companion & writing pal.  Generous, brave, loving, caring, kind and so much more....forever nestled inside me as a spirit guide."

This tribute was added by Katherine Kleveland on 29th July 2014

"Sue Sue, you were truly my second Mom, you created such a warm, fun, loving home. Your heart is in everything, the art projects, the bow tie pasta, the impromptu dance parties, the black and white films, the talks about life. I miss your hugs, your scent, your impeccably taken care of softest skin. Love you always, Kath"

This tribute was added by Sandy Badone on 28th July 2014

"I have known you through many seasons of our lives.  Every time we connected we entered into a deeper level of companionship and respect.  Knowing and being with you especially in the last decade has been such a gift.  We are following similar paths and I'm so grateful you gained enough trust in me to open your soul, your heart, and your life's challenges with me.  It's not often I get to share with someone my deepest and even darkest self and KNOW you accept it all without judgement.  I know you felt the same with me as well.  I treasure my memories and moments with you and I will look for you in nature.  Fare thee well, my friend and sister."

This tribute was added by Anna Herbert on 27th July 2014

"I always felt taken care of and safe around Sue. I feel blessed to have experienced her love, wisdom, insight, and generosity. Much love and light."

This tribute was added by Genevieve Badone Assili on 26th July 2014

"Some infinities are bigger than other infinities, and our love was one of them! We will always be together forever Mamma. You're my soul mate."

This tribute was added by David Fontana on 26th July 2014

"A  beautiful and loving woman, mother and friend that I was graced to know. My memories of Sue will always be held in my heart.
Love to her family and beautiful daughters (cousins) that I saw grow up into beautiful and loving women as she."

This tribute was added by Lynn Maguire on 26th July 2014

"One of the most awesome and bravest lady I have known. You will be forever in my heart.  Will miss seeing your smile - but never forgotten."

This tribute was added by Alexandra Badone on 26th July 2014

"I love you mom, you will forever be in my heart. Your love is a precious gift that fuels my soul.

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This memorial is administered by:

Genevieve Badone Assili


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