Obituary of Susan P. Connor
Susan Patricia Connor, 72, died peacefully at Upstate University Hospital,Syracuse on June 8, 2023 in the loving presence of family. Susan was the firstborn of Patricia Nichols Connor and Robert J. Connor's six children. She grew up on N. Hunter Avenue in Auburn NY and was a graduate of St.Alphonsus School, Mt. Carmel High School, Auburn Community College, and the State University of New York at Brockport.
Sue's compassion was legendary. One chilly morning years ago, she opened her car door and noticed some food wrappers, and thought someone may have been inside her car during the night. Rather than locking the doors as most people would do, Sue added a pillow and blankets for whoever might need a place to sleep.
There's an African proverb, quoted by Civil Rights leader John Lewis: "When you pray, move your feet." That was Sue. Her faith wasn't confined to church or Sundays; she lived it every day, in her compassion, humility, and empathy.
Sue's commitment to helping people in need prompted her to become a caseworker with Monroe County Department of Social Services. That work deepened Sue's calling, so when she was in her mid-thirties and her daughter Katie was seven, Sue went back to college as a full-time evening student at SUNY Brockport to pursue a degree in Social Work. She continued working full-time and successfully juggling a dizzying array of commitments and responsibilities: her inspiring love and dedication as a single mother to Katie, driving from Rochester to Auburn most weekends to help support and care for her parents throughout their long illnesses, baking her scrumptious pies from scratch for every holiday, and maintaining and nurturing treasured connections with dear friends. She always took the time to listen, whether it be to a friend, family member, or stranger in need. After graduating magna cum laude with her degree in Social Work, Sue worked for Monroe County Department of Probation's Alternatives to Incarceration program, as a staunch advocate for clients who might most benefit from alcohol and drug treatment programs.
Sue's undaunted resilience in navigating countless challenges throughout her life earned her the nickname "The Comeback Kid" in the Connor family. Her bright mind and quick wit would bubble up even when she was hospitalized during some of her toughest times. Family and friends often came to visit bearing her favorite treat: chocolate. During one visit, as she was unwrapping a beloved Almond Joy bar, Sue mentioned that she might be developing diabetes. She quickly popped the chocolate into her mouth, and with the characteristic twinkle in her eyes said, "The benefits outweigh the risks!"
The greatest joy in Sue's life was her family: as Mom to her cherished daughter Katie, and Abuela to her adored and adoring grandchildren, Sebastian and Olivia. Even in recent months when her health was declining, any mention of Katie or Sebastian or Olivia would bring an instant smile to Sue's face: best medicine ever.
Shortly before Sue died, her longtime beloved Catholic priest came to the ICU to pray for her as she lay in a coma. He had known Sue for years, and had seen her unfailing kindness to people in need, even during her most difficult times. He was visibly moved to tears, referring to her as "Good Susan" and said, "If she's not a saint, who is?"
Susan was predeceased by her parents, Pat and Bob Connor. She is survived by her daughter, Katie Connor (Carlos Garcia), her grandchildren Sebastian and Olivia, her brothers Michael, Robert (Robyn), Mark (Bridget O'Leary), sisters Patti Connor-Greene (Dan Greene), Kathleen Connor-Wareham (Tim Wareham), and multiple nieces, nephews, and cousins, as well as countless friends and acquaintances who have been lifted up by Sue's lifelong warmth, empathy, and compassion.
Our family deeply appreciates the superb medical care and genuine kindness that Susan received throughout her long illness.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Alphonsus Church, Auburn on Friday, August 11 at 10:30 a.m., followed by a private family burial in St. Joseph's Cemetery. Donations in memory of Susan Connor may be made to Catholic Charities of Onondaga County, online at ccoc.uc or mailed to CCOC, 1654 West Onondaga Street, Syracuse, NY 13204.
In Loving Memory
1950 - 2023
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