Susan Suffel was active in Seabrook life


Susan Suffel was the kind of person most people would love to have encountered.

She had a smile for everyone, says Beautsie Zahrn, who knew her to be an active resident of Seabrook Island, one who worked to make the community better in many ways.

Zahrn describes Suffel as someone who was a quiet, private person. One of Suffel’s most endearing qualities, Zahrn says, is the she would “do anything in the world for you.”

Suffel, who was born in Highland Manor, Mich. on June 18, 1948, died locally on Sept. 7.

During the years she lived on Seabrook, she worked at Seabrook Island Real Estate and was a project coordinator for Osprey Construction Company.

“I will miss her wonderful smile and the fact that she did a lot of things in the community,” says Zahrn, head of the Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol.

“She had a general love of animals and nature,” Zahrn says. Suffel, she says, was a member of the Seabrook Island Natural History Group and did a lot of work with them.

One of the most important things she did was to walk the beach during loggerhead turtle nesting season for more than 15 years.

Suffel, Zahrn says, was among the early members of the loggerhead turtle patrol, walking the beach on the island looking for turtle nests where eggs might not be safe. If she or others who walked with her found a nest at risk, they’d call for assistance to ensure it was moved out of harm’s way.

Eggs in nests of loggerheads can be at risk of being washed over by the tide, as well as attacked by predators. Five loggerhead species are listed as endangered and four as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

She also was a voracious reader, a member of two local book clubs.

In addition, she was a member of the Seabrook Island Exchange Club.

Smith Coleman, owner of Smith Fine Art, knew her as a Seabrook resident and as an artist. “She was obviously a very caring, energetic and certainly very upbeat person,” says Coleman. “She had a very positive attitude about everything. She certainly will be sorely missed on the island.

“We handled her stained glass, but she did other things as well,” Coleman says.

Suffel created bright, colorful and functional stained-glass pieces that fit well into doors and window sills, he says. The pieces featured images of animals and fruit, reflecting her respect for wildlife and nature and were well-received.

Reach Wevonneda Minis at 937-5705.