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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Suzanne Mercy Winsor Freeman 1933-2010


    Suzanne Mercy Winsor Freeman

    Suzanne Mercy Winsor Freeman, 77, life-long community volunteer, died Saturday, August 28, 2010 of respiratory failure in Tucson, Arizona. Suzy made her home in Green Valley, Arizona since 1997 where she was an active organizer of church and civic events, and known for her broad smile and engaging enthusiasm.

    Suzanne was born January 5, 1933 in Olathe, Kansas to Arline (Kinsel) and Frank Ammi Brown, and grew up in Orange and Santa Ana after her family moved to California in 1937. She purchased property in Green Valley, Arizona in 1982 to be near her half-sister Lucile Smith, becoming a full-time Arizona resident in 1997.

    As a mother and homemaker, Suzanne found great satisfaction as a Girl Scout Leader and church volunteer in La Habra, California, and later used her community experience as Executive Director of the North Orange County Volunteer Bureau. In Green Valley, Suzanne served as President of the Villas West Homeowners’ Association where she organized many social events and the annual craft show. She was an active member of the Green Valley Evangelical Free Church Christian Women’s Association and a frequent Bible study leader. Suzanne was a member of the Green Valley Genealogical Society always searching for new Winsor cousins. She enjoyed travel, crafts, and cooking.

    During her final illness, it was her great joy to know that her namesake Charlotte Mercy had been born to her eldest granddaughter Heather Craig and her husband David Ricketts.

    Suzanne is survived by daughter Denise and her husband Dan Levenick of Pasadena, California; daughter Deanna and her husband Kip Craig of Silverado Canyon, California; grandchildren Zack Levenick, Heather Craig Ricketts, Christian Levenick, Chelsea Craig, Chloe Craig, and Kayli Craig; great-grandchildren Anabelle May Ricketts, Charles Levenick, and Charlotte Mercy Ricketts; sister Frances and her husband Harold Jones of Santa Ana, California.

    She was preceded in death by her parents and half-sisters Lucile Paulen Smith, of Green Valley, and Bearnadean Duvall Avery.

    A Memorial Service celebrating Suzanne’s life will be held Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. at Green Valley Evangelical Free Church, 1393 West Mission Twin Buttes, Green Valley.


    How does the family curator share the sad news of a parent’s death? Carefully, lest any vital date or place be omitted. Sadly, because it’s just so hard to do.

    Fellow genealogists may know my mom Suzanne Freeman after meeting her at the SCGS Jamboree or some other genealogy event. You probably know that she was a spunky senior citizen with the juvenile sense of humor.

    She became suddenly ill in early July and never fully recovered. Mom wanted to live independently as long as possible in her home in Green Valley, Arizona and her wishes came true.

    In her last weeks, her breathing was assisted by a ventilator and communication limited to lip reading and writing, however, she still had much to say! She wanted to know about all the people around her, was happy to hear about Thomas MacEntee’s growing career as an e-book author and speaker, and footnoteMaven’s latest edition of Shades of the Departed. She was interested in Amy Coffin’s research and Joan Miller’s travels; both geneabloggers she met while working on the SCGS Jamboree Geneablogger Welcome Bags. She wanted to know everything about everyone.

    Mom was a enthusiastic supporter of new ideas and new projects. She loved hearing about A.C. Ivory and Elyse Doerflinger, young genealogists with energy and zeal for the great ancestor hunt. She hoped that one of her own grandchildren would be bitten by the “genie bug” and continue the search for her Winsor ancestors. She loved meeting so many geneabloggers at Jamboree.

    It is hard to fathom that I will now be searching alone for those rascally Schiffbauer boys, or for the final Chamblin connection. Instead of picking up the telephone to say “Hey Mom, guess what I found out?” I will be typing notes to myself, and wishing she were there.

    My greatest regret is that I did not finish a family genealogy or history that would have helped her make sense of those convoluted cousin relationships she tried to unscramble. I thought we had lots of time; but we didn’t. I do hope, however, that, as our friend Sheri Fenley noted, Mom is now meeting the Windsor family she knew she had, and perhaps even making the acquaintance of a few cousins new to her as well.

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    Reader Comments (26)


    It was with shock that I read of your mother's passing. I was so blessed to meet her at Jamboree and didn't we have fun at the eldest bunch lunch? I guess that's why her passing stunned me: she was so alive and healthy and as everyone else has noted, so interested in our geneablogging community. I'm glad you had the opportunity to do the house tour; that was probably almost as fun to read about as it was to do. Sending you lots of hugs and prayers.


    September 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMiriam Robbins Midkiff

    I never had the good fortune to meet your mom in person but I sympathize with your loss all the same. It's been over 3 years since I lost my own mom and I remember how comforted I was by the outpouring of love and support from the genea-blogging community. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Stay strong and keep the happy memories.

    September 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJasia

    I'm so sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    September 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKerry Scott

    Denise, I am so sorry to learn this news about your Mom. Sometimes there are no words. This is one of those times. You and your family are in my thoughts. Hugs and solace and the laughter of remembrance as well as the tears of sadness.

    September 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan A. Kitchens

    Denise, I was stunned to read this and I 'm very saddened to hear of your loss. I know we were working on a connection. Your MOM was a very vibrant person. I am thrilled to have been in touch with her in the past.
    May your faith carry you at this time and always. I have my MOM yet but lost my Dad it is so hard to loose a parent.

    Blessings to you and your family. Susi Pentico

    September 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusi Pentico

    Denise, I am so very sorry for this season of loss and sorrow in your life . . . I do realize every day just how blessed I am to still have my healthy & feisty 78-year-old Mom around . . . my heart goes out to you and yours . . . {hugs} from Texas . . .

    September 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeNotForgot


    I was very saddened to hear of your mother's passing. It was a great pleasure to have met her at Jamboree two years ago and then to see her again this year. I sat next to her at dinner in 2009 and found her to be a wonderfully engaging person. She was very proud of you and all of your work. I know you will miss her, but she will watch over you and your siblings with a glorious joy and pride.

    September 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCraig Manson

    Denise, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I only knew your mother through your blog posts but she was a vibrant person and you obviously had a wonderful mother-daughter relationship. Something you will always treasure. You've written a lovely tribute to her and I'm sure she is smiling down on you.

    September 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Goodrum


    You already know my personal thoughts so I will not repeat them here. Just know that you were loved so very much.

    And OMG I forgot about the Girl Scouts! I think a lovely tribute to her of us wearing our uniforms is in order. No matter how truly geeky we look.

    Peace Sista Penny

    September 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSheri Fenley


    So sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. Wish I had met her at this past Jamboree. Sounds like she was a real pistol. Times like these make you stop and think about your living relatives and how important it is to make the time to spend with them before it is too late.

    September 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSheila

    Thank you so very much, friends, for your kind words of encouragement and support. Mom and I were fortunate to share a passion for family history and to meet so many fellow genealogists at Jamboree. I know the meet-ups and casual conversations were among her favorite "events."

    Reading your comments brings those good times alive once more.

    Gratefully, Denise

    September 28, 2010 | Registered CommenterFamily Curator

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