ForeverMissed
This site is intended to collect our thoughts and memories of Susan and her life. We hope you enjoy these memories and we'd be pleased if you could add some of your own, as well. Please share a message below (as a"Tribute" beneath the obituary on this page), or--a unique feature of this site--you can post stories or anecdotes (of any length) and/or photos of Susan (use "STORIES" tab above). Her sons will be building the "LIFE" section over time as an expanding biography, and if you can contribute a description of an event or period/aspect of her life, please email to me and I can include it there (danbrown333@gmail.com). Thank you.

Memorial Service

A celebration of Susan’s life will take place on Saturday, July 31 at First Congregational Church (125 Elmer St. Westfield, NJ 07090) at 11am. *Please note that masks are required in the church for the service.  fccofwestfield.org   
We will meet at Xocolatz, a nearby restaurant for lunch after the service at about noon. It's just a couple of blocks away on Elmer St., so we could keep our cars parked at the church and walk there.  The main floor of the restaurant will be reserved for us. Please RSVP to Dan if you'd like to join  (danbrown333@gmail.com) by July 20 so we can confirm reservations. 
Obituary (published March 4, 2021 in the Westfield Leader
Susan Brown, 74 years old, born on July 23, 1946, and passed away on February 19, 2021 after a twelve-and-a-half-year battle with lung cancer. The daughter of Henry K. Warner and Edna Mae Donahue Warner, Susan graduated from Westfield high school in 1964 and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at Keuka College in NY in 1968. She then earned a masters in social work from Rutgers University in 1970, where she met Robert Allen Brown in the same program, and they married in 1971. Together, they lived in New York City and Susan worked at Beekman-Downtown Hospital while Robert worked for the Community Services Society in Jackson Heights, Queens. In 1974 Susan bought her family home in Westfield on Mountain Avenue when her parents retired to Kennebunkport, Maine. Susan then spent the next 12 years raising her three sons, Charles Benjamin Brown (45), Daniel Warner Brown (41), and Theodore Aaron Brown (37). At this time, Susan was involved in volunteer work: La Leche League leader, Den leader coach for Cub Scouts, and a PTA member. She returned to work part-time at Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center for 20 years in psychiatric emergency services, their detox unit, and eventually full time for in-patient acute psychiatry where she was a short-term care facility manager. Throughout that time, she also worked on acute psychiatric emergency services on weekends. Her husband Robert died in 1994 at 48 years old leaving Susan to care for her three sons (11, 15, and 19 at the time). In 2008, when Muhlenberg closed, Susan took a job as a social worker for the VA on a home-based primary care team, a job from which she just retired on January 22nd, 2021.

Susan enjoyed camping with her family on lakes and enjoyed anything related to water; swimming and kayaking in the Adirondacks and on the ocean in Maine alongside harbor seals. She had a love for gardening, nature and the outdoors in general. She practiced Qigong at the First Congregational Church, loved going to opera and ballet in New York City, and reading historical novels. In addition to her family, she had great love for cats and adopted a number of rescue cats. She also enjoyed all the opportunities she had to travel through her sons. Ted was an all-American gymnast at the University of Illinois, which allowed Susan to travel all over the U.S. for his competitions. She later traveled extensively internationally with her son Dan, who taught English as a foreign language abroad for many years before going on to earn a PhD in Applied Linguistics (currently a university professor in Michigan). Together, they traveled to Thailand, Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Tibet, China, Indonesia, Singapore, and throughout Europe, including a trip to Hungary in 2011 where they discovered previously unknown relatives. She also spent 40 years visiting her retired parents on the coast of Kennebunkport, Maine.

After discovering her diagnosis of a rare form of lung cancer (unrelated to smoking) and attending the grief seminar at the First Presbyterian Church in Cranford- “Journey to Wholeness”, she began volunteering her Sunday evenings facilitating for the program to help others with loss and grief in the healing process. She was an integral part of the facilitating team and developed many long-lasting friendships within the group. She will be missed by all. She is survived by her three sons, two granddaughters (Emma and Sofía Brown) of Dan and his wife Ingrid, and her sister and brother in-law, Linda and Ted Drescher, living in Golden, Colorado. 
Posted by Bette Kisner on September 7, 2022
I just learned of your death, dear Susan, from our Keuka Alumni News. I have so many fond memories of times spent together in college and of Christmas or New Years Eves spent with you, Robert, Ben, Danny, & Teddy in your Westfield home, sometimes accompanied by your Mom, Edna Mae (I grew up in Cranford just minutes away from your Westfield home). I am feeling so sad to have lost touch with you.
Quoting Emerson: "You can never do a kindness too soon, for you never know when it will be too late." And now, you have passed on, but my memory of our times together will always be precious to me. R.I.P., dearest friend.
Posted by Neil Friedman on May 25, 2022
"I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again." - James Taylor
Posted by Linda Garvey on August 1, 2021
I was blessed to have met Susan in the grief support I attended for several seasons over 7 years ago. A group of us then began meeting for weekly dinners and events. The larger group dwindled down to three at the end consisting of Sue, myself, and another dear friend. I always looked forward to those nights of conversations and laughter. Sue would share stories of working at the VA with the WWII and Vietnam veterans in her home care program that she adored. She would light up talking about her three boys, Benny, Danny, and Teddy that she raised on her own after her husband’s passing at an early age, and she was on cloud nine whenever she spoke of her granddaughters Emma and Sofia. Sue was courageous and inspiring in her long battle with lung cancer. She dealt with trips to Sloan Kettering for years for treatment and follow-up tests and appointments. I never heard her complain once about the fate she was dealt. Always smiling and laughing, unless our phone talks turned to politics and then we both dropped a few curse words or two. Sue helped so many in her long career as a social worker, and her many years as a greeter and facilitator with the grief group, as well as in her personal life. I saw Sue for the last time in November before one of her many trips, this last one was to Michigan to visit her son Danny, his wife Ingrid, and her two granddaughters. She was accompanied with her other son Teddy. After the New Year, Sue’s condition took a turn for the worse and she was gone by February. Last night after attending her memorial and meeting her three beautiful sons, daughter-in-law, and family, I dreamt I finally got to say goodbye to Sue one last time and to just sit quietly by her side while holding her hand. Sue’s courage, laughter, stories, compassion, and love of life will be forever remembered and missed by all who were blessed and honored in this lifetime to know her. Goodbye my friend.
Posted by Baaba Forson on July 31, 2021
It is with great honor that I write about my dearest friend Susan; although I wish I were writing for her retirement party instead of her memorial. It is not fair that I did not get to say farewell; but we all know that life isn’t fair sometimes.
No one worked harder than Mama Susan because she knew every aspect of social work. She worked with so much passion, kindness, dedication and integrity.
Susan loved her sons; Benny, Danny and Teddy. She spoke often about them with much fondness and pride. One thing I know for sure is that wherever she is, she is smiling. She is smiling because she lived long to see her granddaughters.
I miss my dear friend for the courageous woman that she was and for the many memories that we created together. I will find comfort in those memories because each one was very special.
Till we meet again Mama Susan-
Rest Peacefully with Baby Jesus.
Posted by Patti Williams on July 24, 2021
Knowing Susan was such a gift in my life. Our paths crossed in this life as she attended the grief seminar that I lead. Susan and I automatically "clicked" and became out to dinner, theatre, picnic, spontaneous beach excursion buddies for years. We shared in our vocations as well, her as a visiting home care social worker and I as a visiting home care nurse. A weekend didn't go by for years that we didn't talk for at least an hour on Saturdays- we had so much to share. Susan became a facilitator for our grief program and was loved by all. She was truly an inspiration in my life. It was an honor to be the RN to mange her care with Visiting Angels in coordination with Hospice and her sons at the end of her physical life. I love you Susan-stay close with your spirit and soul and keep spreading your love, commitment and energy with us all.
Posted by Andre Meneses on July 10, 2021
Ciertamente, serás recordada con el cariño, la fuerza y el entusiasmo que compartiste con otros. Susan, serás amada por siempre♥️
Descansa en Paz

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Bette Kisner on September 7, 2022
I just learned of your death, dear Susan, from our Keuka Alumni News. I have so many fond memories of times spent together in college and of Christmas or New Years Eves spent with you, Robert, Ben, Danny, & Teddy in your Westfield home, sometimes accompanied by your Mom, Edna Mae (I grew up in Cranford just minutes away from your Westfield home). I am feeling so sad to have lost touch with you.
Quoting Emerson: "You can never do a kindness too soon, for you never know when it will be too late." And now, you have passed on, but my memory of our times together will always be precious to me. R.I.P., dearest friend.
Posted by Neil Friedman on May 25, 2022
"I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again." - James Taylor
Posted by Linda Garvey on August 1, 2021
I was blessed to have met Susan in the grief support I attended for several seasons over 7 years ago. A group of us then began meeting for weekly dinners and events. The larger group dwindled down to three at the end consisting of Sue, myself, and another dear friend. I always looked forward to those nights of conversations and laughter. Sue would share stories of working at the VA with the WWII and Vietnam veterans in her home care program that she adored. She would light up talking about her three boys, Benny, Danny, and Teddy that she raised on her own after her husband’s passing at an early age, and she was on cloud nine whenever she spoke of her granddaughters Emma and Sofia. Sue was courageous and inspiring in her long battle with lung cancer. She dealt with trips to Sloan Kettering for years for treatment and follow-up tests and appointments. I never heard her complain once about the fate she was dealt. Always smiling and laughing, unless our phone talks turned to politics and then we both dropped a few curse words or two. Sue helped so many in her long career as a social worker, and her many years as a greeter and facilitator with the grief group, as well as in her personal life. I saw Sue for the last time in November before one of her many trips, this last one was to Michigan to visit her son Danny, his wife Ingrid, and her two granddaughters. She was accompanied with her other son Teddy. After the New Year, Sue’s condition took a turn for the worse and she was gone by February. Last night after attending her memorial and meeting her three beautiful sons, daughter-in-law, and family, I dreamt I finally got to say goodbye to Sue one last time and to just sit quietly by her side while holding her hand. Sue’s courage, laughter, stories, compassion, and love of life will be forever remembered and missed by all who were blessed and honored in this lifetime to know her. Goodbye my friend.
Recent stories

Memorial Memories from Laura Berzofsky

Shared by Dan Brown on July 24, 2021
I am hoping and praying that Susan’s bright spirit will continue to light my soul with her resilient courage and effervescent joyful laughter and tears, for as long as I may live.

Neighbors (Jan? Rina? Sheila?) brought Susan to my earliest Qigong/ Moving Meditation classes at First Congregational Church of Westfield, almost 20 years ago. That’s how I met her.  

Susan loved Qigong, as she loved life.  She engaged totally with the practice of embodied calm, hope, nature imagery, gentle breathwork and peaceful motion.  

Susan, by her nature socially outgoing, became Moving Meditation’s natural greeter, welcoming and interested in all newcomers, session after session, from 2002 through the pandemic summer of 2020, when classes met outdoors, masked, in the church nursery school playground.   

Susan and I became walking, hiking, snowshoe companions.  As we walked, we talked about everything under the sun:  How the world has changed in our lifetimes: families, parents, children, work, communication.  There were a thousand coincidences that connected us.  

She loved to tell about old Westfield in the 1950’s. Susan grew up here, bought her parents’ house, raised her children and lived out her life, on Mountain Avenue, two doors up from Miller Cory. 

Susan’s awesome courage, through her many-many years of chemotherapy at Memorial Sloane Kettering in New York City, was a humbling inspiration to me.  I don’t know how she did it, always with some wry and funny remark, trial after trial…

The important thing is that she loved:  

Susan loved nonjudgmentally, utterly and unconditionally.  She loved stray cats, lost dogs, the elderly, babies, eccentric characters.  

Susan said she had the best job in the whole world, as a social worker for the VA, visiting wonderful homebound WWII and Vietnam Veterans.  

She loved trees, beaches, ocean, forest, mountains, sun, snow and rain.  

She loved her boys.  Widowed young, Susan had raised her three sons single-handed, juggling full-time work.  Susan’s sons could do no wrong.  She was “tiger-mom” in hot-blooded advocacy, on and for their side of whatever situations life threw at them. 

Susan loved, she loved it all.  

Susan’s open heart reached out with a positive vibrational pattern.  In Susan’s presence, you couldn’t help but smile, knowing, with tears and laughter, that blessings abound.

Laura Berzofsky, July 22, 2021
Shared by Dan Brown on July 9, 2021
One thing I learned from my mom is that you need to know what you want in life, pretty specifically at times; a key ingredient to living a fulfilling life, from my view. On her hospice bed, where we got a lot accomplished in little time, my mom explained in vivid detail what she wanted us to do with her ashes. She said, "I want you to divide my ashes between the three of you. Put them into three purple velvet pouches, each with a gold rope. And inside the purple velvet pouch, the ashes will sit in a cardboard box. Then, you'll tie the gold rope" and finished with a grin. I got the materials delivered in time.