Remembering Susan

Susan – Pietra Ligure, Italy, August 2020

After nearly five years of battling cancer, Susan died on Tuesday March 16th, 2021. Her family continues with her husband Rick, daughters Maddy and Rosie and her brothers Peter and David.

Susan’s obituary in The Harrow Times is here, many thanks to Diana Choulerton for sorting that out for me.

Susan’s funeral was at 10am, Saturday March 27th 2021 at
Crématorium des Alpes du Sud, Allée du Cimetière Saint Roch, 05000 Gap. The number of friends who made their way to the service was wonderful.

The day started out worryingly wet after heavy rain during the night. This didn’t last long, by the time we all arrived in Gap we had a gorgeous blue sky and spring temperatures.

I made seven videos to be played during the service that included photos and artwork by Susan. The music included songs that Susan loved and also a recording of Susan singing S.O.S. by Abba.

Entrée dans la salle: Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl was a song that I remember Susan requesting a few years ago when she realised things might not go as well as they could. I added many photos spanning the 21 years that I knew her as well as many from her earlier days.

Recueillemement: This is the Leonard Cohen song, Suzanne. She listened to him a lot of the last few years. I concentrated on using images of Susan’s artwork – zooming in on some features of her paintings. Her attention to detail was amazing.

Temps de parole: At this point, our dear friend Maria, daughter Madeline and myself said a few words about Susan. There were two other video contributions, firstly from Diana:

Followed by our friend Rio reading a poem written by Susan.

Geste d’hommage: At this point, everybody went up to the coffin, sprinkled flower petals and wrote messages with marker pens all over the coffin. The music was Blue by Kevin Ayers with just one still photo of Susan. Unfortunately due to YouTube and their copyright laws the soundtrack of this video is not available in American Samoa, Canada, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, United States, United States Minor Outlying Islands and the United States Virgin Islands.

One last Kevin Ayers song was Gemini Child. Once again with just one still photo of Susan

Depart du cercueil/Sortie de salle: Finally we finished with Susan’s favourite song that she used to sing with our Abba tribute band, Almost ABBA.

After the funeral, we all drove back up to Briançon where we had a wonderful party to celebrate the life of Susan. The sun shone brightly on a lovely warm afternoon. She would have approved, I’m sure. Many thanks to Emma and Jackson for letting us use their house and garden for this event. Thank you also to everybody who came along, helped with food and drinks. You may leave any messages or comments below. Comments are moderated, so may not appear straight away.

This page is for the World to see the love we have for this amazing lady.

I miss her so much already.

Rick
March 2021

16 comments… add one
  • Noelle Mar 20, 2021, 12:42 pm

    My kindest thoughts for the whole family and for Madeline who is an extraordinary young woman and brilliant high school student.
    Her teacher, Noelle T.

  • Susan Thacker (nee Keen) Mar 22, 2021, 11:59 am

    Such sad news, she was an inspirational Art teacher. She awarded me the effort prize in 1990 and I was blown away to receive it. She encouraged my creativity and alternative approaches to pencil and paper. I remember bringing in real flowers for my Art GCSE collage and she loved it. Rest in peace 🙏🏼

  • Tisa Abel Mar 22, 2021, 12:24 pm

    I was very sorry to hear your sad news. Sue was a well loved colleague and friend. We taught at Tring together for many years. My thoughts are with you all. X

  • Joanne Tibbs Mar 22, 2021, 12:39 pm

    Aww my thoughts are with you all
    Mrs Clements was my art teacher for years

    Got me through my Art GCSE ❤️

    Lots of love

  • Rob Leeks Mar 22, 2021, 12:44 pm

    I’m so saddened to hear this news. Susan was such a brilliant art teacher at Tring school and was a massive influence on my life and career (and musical tastes!) She encouraged me and the rest of the art students with boundless enthusiasm and live for her subject. A gifted artist herself, she was an excellent mentor, guide and friend to so many of us who went through the fabulous art department at Tring School. My thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to her family and friends at this incredibly sad time. X

  • Andrew Dobberson Mar 22, 2021, 1:17 pm

    My thoughts are with Sue’s family and friends. I loved working with Sue at Tring School and as I’m still here I wondered whether you would like me to put something on the Tring School Alumni Facebook page?

  • Donna Draper Mar 22, 2021, 1:31 pm

    Very sorry to hear of the passing of a wonderful art teacher !
    My condolences to all of her family .

  • Robert King Mar 22, 2021, 7:31 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Sue’s passing; I remember her well from working together at Tring school where she inspired many students as a talented and enthusiastic art teacher and also as a fellow tutor in Ridgeway house. My sincere condolences to her family.

  • Vicky Doneska (Marchant) Mar 22, 2021, 8:14 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this news. Another beautiful life taken far too early.
    I have fond memories of Sue both as a talented artist and teacher at Tring School, but also outside of school as such a friendly and vivacious personality, with a great sense of fun and joie de vivre.
    My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to Sue and her family at this heartbreaking time. I hope you will find comfort in your memories of her, and strength in one another xx

  • Marilyn Mills Mar 25, 2021, 4:17 pm

    So sad to hear this news! Rest in peace Susan. Condolences to her family. You were form tutor to my eldest son, who was a challenge to us both! Bless you were always there for us both! You did a sketch of the whole class which really summed them up! This will be a constant memory for us both. Xx😢

  • Susan HUB83 Mar 28, 2021, 2:27 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing the videos, songs and poem from yesterday’s celebration of our beloved Sue’s life and times. Much love, Sue in England.

  • Teychene Mar 28, 2021, 2:42 pm

    Dear Susan beautiful funny and talented such a lovely wife a caring loving mum and a lovely friend I didnt know you from day 1 like your lovely close friend Marie or Diane who gave you such a beautiful tribute or Rio who read such an uplifting poeme that you yourself wrote. I got to know you later when you came to the Frog with Rick and the kids and i really appreciated you for the wonderful person you were. I the adversité of your illness you were so strong never giving up but that bloody cancer won and took you from us .
    At Jackson and Emmas bless their souls for allowing us all to be reunited there was no tears there was joy there was love and you will sadly be missed but never forgotten.
    We have our beautiful painting and I cant thank you enough for our beautiful gift now so very precious
    RIP BEAUTIFUL Sue youre not alone sadly others have been taken from us
    You have left a grieving hubby and wonderful kids but I get the feeling you prépared them for this day they will be strong
    Much love from the family Teychene Xavier Dee Jaimi and Ella 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

  • Bibi Raven Mar 28, 2021, 4:11 pm

    What a lovely celebration of Susan’s life <3

  • Lin Davidson Mar 28, 2021, 4:29 pm

    Dear Rick
    So sorry I couldn’t be with you to celebrate Sue’s life. It truly was a wonderful service for a wonderful lady. Much love to you, Maddy and Rosie ❤️

  • David Mar 28, 2021, 7:42 pm

    What a wonderful farewell, Rick
    May she rest in peace. Stay strong, amigo.
    Big hug
    David

  • Leon Wainwright Mar 28, 2021, 8:39 pm

    This is such a great and sad loss. I will always be grateful for the close and kind support Miss Clements (as she then was) gave throughout our time at Tring School. Her love of fine art was so inspiring, helping to set me on my way to study art history at university.
    Leon Wainwight, Professor and Head of Art History at The Open University

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