She is called Grammy by over 20 grands and 10 great grands... Susan was born in Cambridge, UK. The family moved to Canada in 1931 when she was 3, her father was professor & head of Microbiology and Bacteriology Labs at McGill from then until retirement, her mother a naturalist and writer, Susan grew up with a keen eye and a sense towards the natural world and what made it work. She married at 19, after working for 2 years during the war as cartographer for Ferry Command in Dorval. She created 43 large, detailed maps from aerial photographs.
Her 4 children were born between 1947 and 1964. Her first grandchild was born three years after that, imagine how lovely that would be to watch your generations grow together.
Her husband, Blake, passed away in 1969 after a late cancer diagnosis. Hard days for Susan, losing him when she was only 42, to manage her young family on her own, but she did it. She remarried in 1972, Don had 4 teenagers and 3 cats, all moved in! Two of her children married and gone, there were still 6 kids from 8-18 at home. The back yard was transformed for many summers into an enormous vegetable garden, many hours work in the garden and canning & freezing food for winter.
When Sue was about 50, she realized she had more time and a strong interest in jewellery after several years rock collecting & travelling to old mines with Don in spare time. She took courses, and taught herself design. She had a 25-year career as a fine goldsmith and jeweller. She was show chairman for several years with the Montreal Gem & Mineral Club. All this time, the family was growing, and Grammy was a happy centre of it all, she remembered every birthday of every grand and great-grandchild, and made sure to honour each one with much thought and love. Christmas was a delight, and if not able to be with her, she would and still now gets a phone call, so Christmas always is punctuated with cheery conversations throughout the day.
Grammy seemed youthful even up well into her 80s, still travelling on her own by bus in to Montreal to get jewellery jobs done. She also had 3 spells of cancer. The first in 1987, the surgeon told her at stage 4 she should go home & enjoy her time left. She insisted on fighting it, and after 13 months of weekly chemo, she was considered cured. She had skin cancer in the late 1990s, and then breast cancer in 2018 at 91. She has managed to maintain her positivity, and again is healthy as she is in her 94th year. She is a remarkable person, interested in all around her, and still with keen observance on what goes on around her. I am proud to be her youngest daughter, and be able to have my daughters enjoy their Grammy. Soon it will be our granddaughter's turn to call her by name, the youngest in a long line ... I can't wait!
~ Sarah Robinson
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +