Suzanne Elizabeth Wise-Thorn, 71, of Middlebury


MIDDLEBURY — Suzanne Elizabeth Wise-Thorn, 71, passed away early Saturday morning, Feb. 11, 2023. Suzanne was the definition of strength and courage. She faced struggles with her health for too many years but persevered through them all with humor, a loving heart, and morning pastries. She will be missed by many but most fiercely by her husband, Robert Thorn, and her favorite (and only) child, Courtney Thorn.

Bob and Suzanne were married by a Justice of the Peace in Milford, Conn. The Justice of the Peace’s daughter and some friends attending a sleepover gleefully served as the witnesses.

Suzanne received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Connecticut. She was inducted into the Psi Chi Honor Society upon graduation. She moved to Addison County from Connecticut with Bob in 1979. Over the years, Suzanne worked as a counselor at Kingsland Bay School, as a realtor, and as the director of the Addison County Court Diversion Program for many years.

Suzanne loved books and writing. She frequently attended the Bread Loaf Writers Conference in the late eighties and early nineties. Suzanne later completed her first novel, focusing on the joys and sorrows within families. In addition, she loved birdwatching from the large windows in her living room overlooking a large apple tree, which, along with the bird feeders, attracted a wide variety of birds. Binoculars and a bird field guide were always close by.

She also loved the gardens around her house. She planted blueberry bushes and many flowering plants, which have been a source of delight to her family for many years. A plaque in her greenhouse reads, “I’d rather be in the garden” She loved summer trips to Lake Sunapee with family and Old Orchard Beach with friends. She loved all animals but mostly the numerous dogs and cats that were part of the family over many years. She was independent but intensely loyal. Her spirit was never taken from her during her most challenging moments.

Bob will miss Suzanne’s sense of humor, always laughing at his bad jokes and her fearlessness, especially when dealing with the occasional garden snake. Fifty years of their lives were spent together, and they will always be together in spirit. When Courtney was born, Suzanne became her security blanket and fiercest advocate. Courtney will miss her mom’s laugh, her appreciation for immature jokes, and how they could look at each other and smile, knowing exactly what the other person was thinking. Most of all, she’ll miss the comfort and peace they felt when together.

A brain tumor did not knock her down. Neither did a stroke. But ultimately, Suzanne passed away while hospitalized for complications related to scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease. Although we were hopeful she’d make it home again, we take comfort in the fact that, in the end, she wasn’t in pain and passed in her sleep.

Suzanne was loved and survived by her husband Bob and daughter Courtney; her mother Dorothy Wise; her siblings, Georgette Krawczyk (Stan), Margaret Fenn (Gary), and Thomas Wise; her nieces, Carey Bunker, Laura Delaney, and Michelle Fenn; and her nephew, Nick Fenn. She was predeceased by her father, George Wise, and many beloved pets.

The family would like to thank the many kind, caring and thoughtful nurses and doctors at Porter, Helen Porter rehabilitation and Nursing, and the University of Vermont Medical Center. A special thank you to Dr. Eileen Doherty-Fuller and her team at Middlebury Family Health, who guided and supported Suzanne and her family for many years.

A celebration of life will be held with family at a future date. In memory of Suzanne, donations can be made to the Scleroderma Research Foundation, or 220 Montgomery Street, Suite 484, San Francisco, CA 94104.

Suz/Mom – We love you to infinity and back. ◊


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