Fannie Rachel Wood ‘Suze’ Brown
Fannie Rachel Wood ‘Suze’ Brown died peacefully at the age of 108 on June 12, 2021 in Newtown Square, Pa.
She was pre-deceased in 2013 by Rodney G. Brown, her husband of 72 years. Suze was the legendary matriarch of our extensive family: beloved mother of Garrett, Margaret and Sheldon and in-laws, Carl, Ellen, Sandie, Jude and Karen; adored Nana of Jonathan, Janet, Sarah, Jamison, Rachel, Garrett and Jessica and ‘Nana B’ to great-grands, Jasmine, Savanna, Marley, Cole, Dylan, Griffin, Ruby, Charlotte, Carson, Wyatt and Hudson.
She was born Jan. 9, 1913 in Muncy, to Thomas and Blanche Stoner Wood. Suze graduated in 1933 from Bucknell College at age 20, earned her master’s from the University of Michigan and taught English at Muncy High School until 1940. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi National Fraternity, Sigma Tau Delta, English Honorary and Pi Mu Epsilon, Math Honorary.
Suze and Rod (Nana and Grandad), were ardent travelers and delighted in taking children and grandkids on trips around the globe. In 2000, they moved to Whitehorse Village in Newtown Square, where she enjoyed the society of her friends and played championship croquet into her 100th year.
Suze was a beauty; an elegant speaker, writer and grammarian, a fine ceramicist, painter, poet and lifelong community volunteer. She was our family historian, story-teller and a brilliant snail-mail correspondent – the last best customer of the USPS – inspiring recipients, young and old, to reply in kind (including, allegedly, grand-dog Tucker).
A comically inept cook, a hoarder of bags, food containers and ancient cutlery; she survived the 1918 and 2020 pandemics with four cancers and numerous surgeries in between and credited applesauce for her longevity.
Living on her own until 2019, ever courageous and optimistic, Suze became astonishingly old – the oldest Bucknell graduate, the oldest at White Horse, perhaps the oldest-ever knee replacement (at 104) – and gradually lost most of her sight, hearing and ability to swallow.
Yet she still enjoyed (loud) conversations, decaf coffee, dipped sugar cookies, the large print NY Times, ‘Doc Martin’ turned way up and trouncing companions at UpWords – while fiercely defending her tiny fiefdom of Bed & Chair & Piles of Letters.
Mom/Nana/Suze inspired us to love words, live gracefully and cherish family; and she held us and exchanged quiet goodbyes on her last earthly night.
She will be joyfully remembered for all of our lives.