A tribute to Susie Fine
Beacon Lane neighbor Carol “Susie” Fine, passed away at the age of 82, on November 28, 2018, at her home in Jupiter Inlet Colony. She was surrounded by the joyous, comforting love of her daughter Kim, sons Bill and Peter, grandchildren, siblings, nurses, and her ever-present dog Buster.
Susie was born October 18, 1936 and grew up in Boston’s historic Hotel Vendome, which her family owned. She attended Ursuline Academy in Boston. With her beloved husband David, she created wonderful homes in Boston, Washington, Weston and Westport, Connecticut, during the course of their careers. They traveled the planet together as New Englanders at heart and spent their early retirement in Nantucket. They moved to JIC in October 2004, arriving at their new Beacon Lane
home a day before Hurricane Jeanne breezed through.
Susie referred to her after-school and summer jobs at the Vendome as her MBA, giving her the “people skills, guts and stamina” to become a successful entrepreneur. She founded Soup’s On, a family-friendly Westport, Connecticut, restaurant that proved so popular she added a commissary kitchen with “take-out”, so Manhattan commuters could pick up dinner on the way home. She and her husband David were original investors and active owners of Nantucket’s 21 Federal restaurant. Susie created and operated 21 Federal Specialties, an affiliated shop that provided take out brunch, lunch, and picnic take-out for beach-bound
vacationers. She obtained her realtor’s license and for years was a “go-to” resource for people wishing to rent or buy on the island.
Susie was a talented cook and gracious host. She and David entertained throughout their lives together. “They were a beautiful couple in all meanings of that phrase,” says Jupiter friend Maureen Schweitzer. Susie, a professional model in her 20’s and 30’s, once modeled size extra-extra small for the Eileen Fisher Collection. She and David, dressed in preppy Ralph Lauren, were the models for a famous poster-sized Stew Leonard advertisement that appeared on train station platforms in Connecticut, causing the many who knew them to do double takes as they raced for their trains.
She was an easy conversationalist who told a story well, never letting ego intrude on the narrative. Listen and you’d learn how a certain domestic diva poached one of Soup’s On cookie recipes and passed it off as her own in a cookbook; or how PBS’s The Victory Garden kickstarted the local foods movement.
Susie was a tenacious believer that hard work, grit and gumption would get you far and she passed those traits to her accomplished children. As any of Sue’s friends can attest, she celebrated their achievements. Son Bill is president and general manager, of WCVB-TV, Channel 5 Boston; Kim is a teacher of the gifted and talented in Homer, Alaska, and Peter, a restauranteur and real estate consultant to the restaurant industry, recently opened Milestone in Georgetown,
Connecticut, in which Susie was a proud investor.
Susie was close to her sisters and brothers and enjoyed their proximity during the winter season. She was devoted to and relished
the love of her seven grandchildren and tracked their week-to-week accomplishments like a good coach monitoring her team. She was thrilled to welcome her first great-grandchild this past July.
Susie had a strong sense of social justice and knew how to encourage those struggling to set goals and pull themselves through without preaching. She was proud to have helped Congressman Patrick Murphy win his first election. She appeared in one of his commercials and hosted several of his young campaign staffers in her home. “We’d arrive at Susie’s after 14 hours of work and she’d say, ‘Here, have a glass of wine and try this.’ ‘This’ would be a delish - just for us - leftover from a dinner she’d made for David,” Eva Black remembers.
Sue played an energetic game of tennis through her 60s. She loved the Atlantic Ocean and never passed an opportunity to go fishing off shore. “She could filet a catch and have in on a plate in a flash,” Maureen remembers.
For many years, she walked the JIC beach daily with friends and their dogs. “On hot days when the sea gave us gentle
rollers, Susie would spot a wave arriving and ask, “Are we going over or under?” and we’d dive in fully clothed and splash like kids, getting out only when Buster, who hated the water, insisted!” remembers close friend Leanna Landsmann. “She was a wonderful friend” recalls Schweitzer, “ever optimistic, fun, funny, determined to extract every meaningful moment from every day.
She shared her wicked sense of humor until the very end.”
Susie refused to be defined by a tough illness and set key goals to reach: celebrate an 80th birthday, enjoy the birth of her first
great-grandchild, watch her “crush” Tom Brady win a big game, or attend the opening of Peter’s restaurant. Physicians’ assistant Michelle Trueman, a key part of her caregiver team, called her the most courageous patient she’d every supported. “Susie was a beauty, inside and out,” says neighbor Earl Fischer who visited her most days in her last two years. Neighbor Sue Grunke added, “Everyone who knew her will miss her smile and grace.”
In lieu of flowers, donations in Susie’s memory may be made to The Home for Little Wanderers, an organization Susie has supported her entire life. It provides services for at-risk children and teens in Eastern Massachusetts. To make an online donation in her memory…http://www.thehome.org/site/PageServer?pagename=give_individual_tribute_gifts
Or by mail to:
The Home for Little Wanderers
Attn: Development Department
10 Guest Street
Boston, MA 02135
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