Apparently I can’t keep them alive, but I can help them die, with dignity and humor and grace and privacy — or at least try. After helping my Aunt maneuver the ass-suck which is pancreatic cancer, we ended up in the same place as her brother, my dad. What a genetic shitshow. And with the news of the most recent shootings* (as of this writing, Dayton & El Paso, subject to change, but of course), odds are I’m going to get pancreatic cancer or get shot. Probably both.
Here is her obit, which her husband and kids were kind and brave enough to give me the freedom to write, and for which I am forever grateful.
Susan Mayer (Kane) Roberts
Susan Mayer Roberts of Danbury, CT, previously of Pawling, NY, died August 2, 2019 forever young at 75-years-old due to what she referred to as her “unfortunate condition,” and which the medical community diagnosed as pancreatic cancer. She leaves behind her beloved husband Arthur Roberts (Danbury); her best boys, sons Jason Kane (Donata, Springfield, VA) and Eric Kane (Atlanta, GA); stepdaughter Annie Roberts (Mariano), Danbury; stepsons Andrew Roberts (Ann Marie, New Milford) and Timothy Roberts (Beaufort, SC); and her amazing grands: Colin, Lainey, and Leia (Eric); Alex and Olivia (Jason), Adam and Katelyn (Andrew); brother Hale Mayer (Cheryl); sister-in-law Judy Mayer (Pawling); cherished nephew and niece Michael Kane and Kathy Kane; scores of relatives and far more friends than humanly possible. She was predeceased by her father, Everett Hale Mayer; mother, Thelma Mayer Garraghan, and brother Michael M. Mayer.
A formidable, fashionable opponent on the tennis court up until her “unfortunate condition” depleted her impressive muscle tone, she maintained that same fight while battling her condition with positivity, humor, and such beauty and strength of body and spirit that left physicians and family in awe.
Sue’s circle of friends was large and ever-growing, including her King Street UCC Church family, tennis gals, dinner club, IBM GNO (Girl’s Night Out), thrift shop ‘boutique’ gals, book club, Richter Park Arts, former Pawling Cheerleading squad, yoga buddies, concert groups, and Quaker Lake lovers as just a few of her friend groups she socialized with on a regular basis.
Susan had the rare ability to have perfect strangers reveal their entire life story in a matter of moments with her incessant, curious questioning, even during her last days with the kind and compassionate people at Regional Hospice in Danbury. And, more often than not, she would somehow consistently connect the dots back to her cherished hometown of Pawling, New York, and marvel at the six degrees of separation of the rest of the world and Pawling.
We would be remiss not acknowledging her favorite boyfriends, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic, in no particular order, and with Art’s full knowledge. We know Sue will be smiling down on all lucky enough to love her, keeping a careful eye on tennis scores and thrift shop displays. And for the friends and family left behind, we will continue to marvel at the beauty and love she shared to everyone she met.
Friends are invited to celebrate a life well lived Saturday, August 17th, 2019 10:00 am at King Street (UCC) United Church of Christ (201 S. King Street, Danbury, CT 06811). Donations to honor Susan Roberts will be graciously accepted at King Street Church, Richter Association for the Arts, Regional Hospice & Palliative Care, Danbury.
“Only happy tears please!
Eileen Sullivan Studdert says
Loved your essay. So sorry for your loss of an amazing woman. We have met on several occasions at the Working Women’s Forum in Newtown. I own a company that does test prep and college consulting. Are you ever available for personal (college) essay review? I have several students with tough essays and would love your feedback. Feel free to call me at #203-313-2739.
Kate Mayer says
Hi Eileen — thx for reading, and I absolutely remember you from WWF. And sure, I’d be happy to give your clients a look; i’ll touch base soon.