Dr. Sue Virginia Saxon, Professor Emeritus (Ph.D, Florida State University, 1963) died on November 27, 2023 in the family home, where she was born on February 13,1932. Sue was the descendent of a longline of Brooksville settlers. She was born to Eston and Mildred Saxon in their home on Griffin Road and was raised there as their only child. One of the highlights of her teenage years was to be chosen to be a professional mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs.
Sue received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. She than attended the University of Wisconsin for four years studying neuropsychology. While there she served for two years as first assistant to Dr. Harry Harlow, who was researching primate behavior. After doing further research for several years in Puerto Rico, she continued her education at Florida State University, earning her doctorate in 1963. Upon graduation she was employed at the University of South Florida where she conducted research in psychology and helped to establish one of the first programs in Aging Studies in the United States. She later went on to co-author eight text books, including the book Physical Change and Aging.
Sue was one of the first women full professors at USF and dedicated herself to the equal treatment of women at the university. She wrote books, authored professional journal articles, and developed programs in aging. Her reputation as one of the most revered professors at USF was borne out by student testimonials, course evaluations and professional awards. In 2002, upon her retirement, her contributions to academia earned her the honor and designation of Professor Emeritus https://www.usf.edu/).
In retirement Sue dedicated many years to pet therapy (logging over 1000 visits), complimenting her work on the importance of healthy aging. She was a lifelong animal lover and enjoyed many pets. She was particularly fond of Pekingese dogs, especially her beloved dog Abigail who gave her many years of unconditional love and affection. She is missed by her three cats, Millie, Henry and Peter.
Sue leaves behind her dear friend, Mary Jean Etten, along with numerous other friends and relatives.
A Visitation for family and friends will be held from 9:30-11:30am, Friday, December 8, 2023 at Merritt Funeral Home, 2 South Lemon Avenue, Brooksville. A Funeral Mass will follow at 12:00pm at St. Mary Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, 18810 U.S. 41, Masaryktown, FL, where a reception and dinner will be held directly after the Mass. Burial will follow after the reception at Brooksville Cemetery, 1275 Olmes Rd, Brooksville, FL.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.merrittbrooksville.com for the Saxon family.