After a brief illness, Susan Caron, 91, of Essex Junction died peacefully Thursday, January 3 at the UVM Medical Center surrounded by the love of her family.
Susan is survived by her sister, June, who resides in Fremont, CA, her daughter, Ann Marie (Tom) Gray of Hillsborough, NC, and son, Larry (Terry) Caron of Grand Isle, VT, as well as 6 grandchildren: Danielle (fiancée Garrett Ackman), Elizabeth, Jacqueline, Kristen (Josh Ward), David and Margaret, great grandchild Nora; sister, as well as extended family. Susan was predeceased by her husband, Larry (of Rouses Point, NY) in 1990.
Susan enjoyed receiving emails from her sister, who has a wonderful knack of describing daily life in vivid detail. In order to encourage her grandchildren to get to know the family, and to give June a sense of Susan’s life here in Vermont, she would often engage Elizabeth or Jacqueline to help her write a response.
Susan and June had an adventurous childhood. While New York City was their home base, the two girls, their mother, Lucille, and their Aunt Mayme would often winter in warmer climates where their father, Prosper, would join them for vacation. Their father’s one stipulation was that the location had to be near water so that he could fish.
Susan herself was an avid fisherwoman in her early years. Sue was proud of the fact that she learned the art of triangulating her position in the lake. After having dropped her pole into the water, she was able to return to the spot later in the day with the tools needed to retrieve it. In fact, it was when she was fishing at Rouses Point that she caught the attention of her future husband, Larry, who was impressed by her ability to catch far more fish than he had. But before he could further pursue his interest, Larry had to introduce himself to the father waiting at the end of the dock with his arms crossed!
In her later years, Sue would relate tales of adventure such as when her mother and Aunt hitchhiked to Canada with her and her sister in tow. Other adventures took them as far as Florida to California to Oka, Quebec, Canada (where they made wonderful cheese) and on one trip they stopped just shy of Alaska. For many of these trips, Susan was the chauffeur, driving her mother – who by then had been wheelchair bound from ALS – aunt and sister. Driving was part of Susan’s identity. When she settled in Essex, she enjoyed driving “seniors” to various destinations.
Sue always underestimated her intelligence, but all those who knew her were amazed by the amount of knowledge that she had absorbed from reading. She could remember the specific topics and teachers from her college days in NYC. She was proficient in shorthand and had a standing job offer working as a secretary for hire (like the Kelly services of today) whenever she would find herself living in California for a period of time. In this capacity, she had the opportunity to meet big Hollywood stars such as Lucille Ball and others.
She always said that her one wish at that time was to start a family. “Her” Larry provided the quiet stability and love that she yearned for. They married in 1957 and quickly moved to Vermont when Larry was hired by IBM. Larry gave Sue the option of settling in Colorado or Essex Jct. VT (as he was able to work at either IBM location) and Sue chose Vermont for the skiing.
Daughter Ann Marie was her first baby and Sue often reminisced that she knew that her baby was sure to have her dark hair and eyes. In the days before seat belts, Susan would have toddler Ann Marie sitting or standing next to her in the front seat as they drove to a local diner for pancakes.
A few years later, Larry junior, was born and shortly after they purchased a small lot on the lake where they built a camp and enjoyed the beauty of Lake Champlain fishing, boating, and swimming. This spot became the heartbeat of the family. Wintertime brought about activities such as ice fishing and skating on the lake, as well as trips to the mountains for downhill skiing, which she enjoyed into her late 70’s.
Family was everything to both Susan and Larry, and that love has passed down to her 6 grandchildren and great granddaughter, who have inherited her independent spirit.
Susan always said that she lived on the very best block. Her neighbors became extended family. While many of her original neighbors have passed away, their homes were filled by equally loving people who cared for Sue as their own.
There is so much more that we could say about our mom / grammy / friend. Her kind heart, her understanding of human nature, her love of good food, good wine, cats (especially her “mousey”) and playing cards. Susan referred to herself as a “gypsy at heart” and we think that was an apt description.
No wonder we miss her.
Visiting hours will be held on Friday, Jan. 11, from 4-6 pm at LaVigne Funeral Home, in Winooski. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 on Saturday, January 12, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Essex Jct. Flowers or a donation to the Essex Senior Center c/o Village of Essex Junction, 2 Lincoln Street, Essex Jct, VT 05452 would be welcome.
The family wishes to give special thanks to Drs. Gunther, Linares and Whitney, Fr. Richard and Rev. Rick and all of the caring staff on McClure 6.