OBITUARY

Suzanne Gorman

December 31, 1932March 24, 2019
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GORMAN - Suzanne (nee Mulligan) March 24, 2019. Beloved wife of 61 years to Paul F.; dear mother of Barbara (Chris) Van Dusen, Timothy (Kathleen), Patricia (Kevin) Brown, Kevin (Eileen) and Paul (Amy) Gorman; loving Mim of 11 grandchildren; sister of the late Francis and Robert Mulligan. Friends may call Thursday 4-8 PM at the DENGLER, ROBERTS, PERNA FUNERAL HOME, 8630 Transit Rd., East Amherst (1 mile north of Maple Rd. just past Klein Rd.). Friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial from St. Mary’s R.C. Church, 6919 Transit Rd., Swormville, Friday at 11 AM. ( Please assemble at Church) In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Lung Association. Condolences shared at : www.denglerrobertspernafuneral.com

  • DONATIONS

  • American Lung Association

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, March 28, 2019
  • Mass of Christian Burial Friday, March 29, 2019
REMEMBERING

Suzanne Gorman

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Pamela Taylor

April 18, 2019

God Bless Mrs. Gorman. Deepest sympathy and prayers to Barb, Patty, Tim, Kevin, and Paul.

Joyanne Mulligan-Tregear

March 28, 2019

If you New Suzie like, I knew Suzie, oh, oh what a gal. I remember going to my Grandma and Grandpa Mulligans when I was very small, on many weekends. I got to help my beautiful Aunt Sue get ready for her dates. I loved all her pretty dresses. However, the highlight of my night was I got to play with her Madam Alexander Doll that sat on her bed dressed all in yellow with the braids and the straw hat. While she was out on her dates Grandpa would fix me a bed on the couch and we would watch the Friday night fights on television, Floyd Patterson, Rocky Marciano and all the greats that he loved. He would go on to bed . Grandma and I would stay up and wait for Aunt Sue. The three of us would drink a cuppa tea for half the night. I love those times and the years , events, and memories we have shared throughout our lives. I have faith enough to believe those times will come again in a heavenly place in time with Aunt Suzie and all my beloved family that have gone before🙏❤️🌹
All my love forever and always,
Joyanne

Joanne Morreale

March 26, 2019

Dear Babs, Chris, Mary Kate and Theresa
I am truly sorry for your loss. Knowing her was pure joy (and entertainment!) She always reminded me of Debbie Reynolds with that beautiful face of hers....to know her was to love her...you were all truly blessed...they just dont make them like her any more.
Much love to all
Joanne Morreale

Sean Mulligan

March 25, 2019

Love my Aunt Sue... She and Paul were like Frank and Marie from Everybody Loves Raymond. I write that with the sincerest love and adoration possible. They complemented each other perfectly. I’m so happy I was blessed to live so close these last 19 years to witness her welcoming compassion so often first hand. She might have “burned the hell out of the roast” but, I always left her house with a heart full of love. I pray you are at peace with my Grampa Mulligan and smiling down as we reminisce such fond and wonderful memories. Love you Aunt Sue! Sincerely, “That Sean Mulligan”

Billy Gorman

March 25, 2019

Barb, Patty, Tim, Kevin and Paul,
I haven't seen your mom for quick some time but I remember how full of life she always was, a real spitfire. She always treated me great whenever I did see her. I know you all will have some great and funny memories to share. Those will help you at this time of sorrow. Please know I'm thinking about all of you.
Our sincere condolences and deepest sympathies,
Billy and Kathleen

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
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FROM THE FAMILY

Uncle Bob, Uncle Chum and Mom

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

EULOGY FOR SUZANNE MULLIGAN GORMAN offered by Kevin Gorman

March 29, 2019
St. Mary’s Church
Swormville, New York

On behalf of our entire family, I would like to thank all of you for traveling from places near and far to be with us today. It is fitting that so many have joined us here in celebration of the life of Suzanne Mulligan Gorman, with the Eucharist at the heart of the occasion. She would not have wanted it any other way.

Thank you too to Fr Bob, you came to know mom only a brief time ago, but we thank God you came along when you did. You so impressed and inspired her on your first visit a couple of weeks ago-and believe me we all got a full recap--and she found great comfort and grace upon your final visit with her on Sunday, just a few hours before she passed away. We are eternally grateful that God gave her those moments through you.

I also want to thank the wonderful people who gave so much of their time or simply let her know they were thinking of her when we couldn’t always be there for her over the last couple of years, especially Retta Dlugosz, Sharon Charleson, Barbara Arnold, Jean Jean Slammon, and a list too long to mention of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. So much good is done in this world by people who just simply “show up”. Thank you for being there for mom.

Sue’s life was certainly bigger than the few minutes it will take to eulogize her, but what makes this message a little bit easier for me and my siblings to share are the recurring themes people have used over the last few days to describe her--and not just people who have known her for years-- but even people who only recently met her. We heard: Pistol, Sassy, Spitfire, Feisty, Devoted, A Presence, Force of Nature, Strong Willed, Advocate, Life of the Party, Singer, Opinionated, Genuine, Friend, Friendly, Social Butterfly, Faith-filled, Faithful and Hilarious.

Of course there simply is not enough time to share an anecdote about each of these descriptors---or, better said, virtues of my mother--but I would like to distill these into a few key themes about who she authentically was.

The first theme is Faith:
Mom was raised an obedient Catholic, and that is how she raised her children. She and dad ensured we had a good Catholic grounding at St Benedict’s School. She lived her life with devoted adherence to the teachings and obligations of the Church and she set a firm expectation for her children to do the same.
But to Suzanne being Catholic was more than fasting and mass-going, the spirit of the Message shaped who she was. In her later years she faithfully attended mass on Sundays, prayed to the Blessed Mother and regularly asked her children “what mass did you go to?” In more recent times she too was troubled by the direction of the Church as a human institution, particularly its orthodoxy in some matters and the disturbing scandals with which it is now dealing. These things really troubled her---she worried about the Church, but there was no lack of resolve in terms of her faith. She never lost faith in the message or her calling as a Catholic mother.

Hospitality:
The word “hospitality” is based on the Greek term for “love of strangers”. It is also an expectation in the Catechism that all Catholics should be hospitable.
This was a slam dunk for mom.To put it mildly, 225 Lamont Drive should have been designated a special Drive-By Zone in the town of Amherst. Seven days a week that house had people in it-most of whom didn’t live there. Why? Well, in addition to mom and dad’s “grown up” friends who would drop in, such as Mr and Mrs Carroll, Percy Decker, Helen Wilson, Jean Jean and Fran, to name a few, it seems like every one of mom’s children’s friends had a second home away from home! As her children, we really took a great deal of pride and joy in how she got such a big kick out of friends and cousins of our generation who wanted to spend time with her and dad. You heard that right. Our friends loved our mom, and after they met her it really didn’t matter if any of us were there or not, they would drive-by and stop in to spend time with Mrs. Gorman. The same goes for our cousins young and adult. They knew they were welcome, any day, unannounced. They felt comfortable there, important even, and so welcomed by Aunt Sue. And they came...Even after mom and dad got rid of the pool!
She truly loved to entertain---and every visit was a party, especially on Christmas Eve. On the flip side I will say that mom found wallflowers and sticks-in-the-mud to be insufferable. She’d still be hospitable, but if you’re there you’re having fun or you’re on your own. Remember, she’s Irish.

Another theme is Concerned, Always Concerned.
Mom wore her heart on her sleeve. She worried about everything and everyone and what might go wrong. In our carousing days she often slept on the couch until she was sure all of us were home (and to check to see what drive thru we may have hit on the way home). As she and dad aged, her worries did intensify, and she’d be sure we knew it. Ironically, after she would express everything that was keeping her up at night she would conclude by saying “I’m not gonna worry about it”. But worry she did. Out of love and maybe a little fear of the unknown.However in moments of family crisis she was a rock. It seemed out of character. In the final analysis, though, it wasn’t at all. I am reminded at how concerned we all were with a meeting at the nursing home recently about Dad’s decline to a point where we would have to make difficult decisions about hospice and end of life matters. I was certain Mom would be a puddle at that meeting but she had this composure somewhere in reserve that helped her in this moment to see the big picture. Once those decisions were made she seemed to be in a very good place. Then, just a week later, she was in the hospital herself. On Sunday when she was presented with the option to be placed on a ventilator with no hope of recovery or to be kept comfortable, but also with no hope of recovery, she accepted her options and chose the course which brought us all here today. I’d like to think the grace brought to her by her beautiful and enduring Faith kicked in when it was needed most. She knew she need not worry any longer.

Demanding with a Strong Sense of Fairness:
Sue was tough, and totally transparent. She had strong feelings about right and wrong and the best courses of action to take. As her children, we all hear her voice in times of decision. “Would mom approve?” “Will I make mom proud?” “How can I disagree without her taking it personally?” (We had a hard time figuring that one out). Her love of us and all those she knew was palpable. And she would roll up her sleeves and battle for her family and friends.
Just this December, for instance, the “grapevine” at her Senior Living Community was spreading the word in a highly targeted way that there would be a New Year’s Eve party in the facility---but not everyone in the building was invited. Mom was furious and created quite a stir since her invitation came in a backhanded way with the caveat that she was not to tell her other new resident friends about the party. As you might imagine, Suzanne marched right down to the office and demanded that everyone needed to be invited to the party and that she was (finger quotes) “burned up” that so many were going to be left out.
Soon thereafter, a massive poster board was placed at the entrance of the facility and signs posted in all the elevators-- all the residents were invited to the big New Year’s Eve party. Mom loves a party! Success! Right? Wrong. Mom didn’t want to go the party anyway. So she didn’t. It’s unusual, but Mom’s fire could burn you to the ground, yet warm you up at the same time. Case in point, she rode the staff who care for dad at Beechwood pretty hard. On one occasion when we brought mom for a visit with dad one of us heard a staffer whisper “here she comes”. But dad’s dignity and the little things they could do for dad mattered---clean fingernails, hair trimmed, teeth brushed and clothes clean- and mom was obsessed with him being clean-shaven. Even before she would say hello to dad she would say out loud “he’s not shaved!” When they failed dad, she made sure they listened - and listened good. Yet, the staff there adored her. She shot straight with them-no ambiguity- but she also laughed with them. She was interested in them and their families. One of the aides there wept openly when I gave him the news of her passing on Sunday.By the way, an hour after she passed away, Paul and I went to be with dad. He wasn’t shaved.

Laughter:
Mom loved to laugh, and to make others laugh. While lying in the ICU, the sound of oxygen flowing to her mask, she made some kind of sarcastic comment and gave Father Bob one of her patented eye rolls—and this was right after he had just given her the last rites! And she loved to be silly and laugh at her own expense. She would die laughing every time she would tell the story of the time a few years ago when she took dad for a drive to get the car washed.
When they pulled forward into the wash bay their windows were still down! The absolute panic and hilarity that ensued as both of them scrambled to get the windows up with water and foam blasting into the car was simply too hard for her to describe without tears rolling down her face!

Then there’s Mrs Magoo:
Mom did not have the best eyesight. One time she picked up a Led Zeppelin album that had been left on the turntable and in trying to figure out whose it was she called out “whose Leo Zeffelini record is this?” And she loved retelling the stories of how she tried to wipe the dinner table with a ham sandwich and make a cup of tea with a Band Aid. Those coke-bottle glasses were one of the many things she had in common with her brothers. And if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery no one enjoyed that more than Mom, and there were many imitators and close duplicators--pretty much any of the Klein family had her pegged, but Joanie Edick always came closest I think.

She also got a big kick out of the family fantasy football league, named in her honor—the Awful Good Football league. Mom had countless expressions she used, and in addition to using one of mom’s favorite expressions to name the league, every team name had to be something she would say. Team names include: Cripes Where are My Glasses, Leo Zeffillini, You Never Come to See Me, We’re Out of Money, We Have Too Much Money, How Am I Getting Home, O Baloney That’s a Pile of Crap and She’s (fill in the blank), But She’s Nice.

Beauty and Simplicity:
Mom had no secret longing for adventure or pricey luxuries. She truly enjoyed and took great pride in everyday things---a spotless house, her well cared-for Mother’s Day planters, her knick knacks on her hutch and table tops, her silk flower arrangements and of course her Christmas centerpieces and perfectly decorated tree. Her home was the mothership, and she was most happy to be there. And her feeling of pride in her children and grandchildren all dressed-up for business or special occasions was evident. She loved being “dressy”.

Lastly, Gratitude:
Mom never, ever failed to make a fuss over someone who extended a kindness towards her. When people made her feel special, she gave that right back.
I close with a story about Sue’s last few hours. This might surprise you, but she had something to say to everyone—and she did. She especially had a message for her grandchildren—Family and God matter most. It can be hard work, she said, but work at it. She made them each promise her they would.
Monday, in a box at her apartment Tim found a note from mom with her final instructions that she had likely written years ago…just in case.
The last line in her message was “Keep the Faith”.

By doing what mom always did, and being what mom wanted us all to become—steadfastly loyal to each other and our faith, to find contentment with what we have and to generously and lovingly welcome friends into our great family circle—and seek joy and laughter in all of it --mom will always live on.
If dad is our north star, Mom was and will always be our center of gravity.
May the strong pull of her magnetic spirit never fade away.


FINAL TRIBUTE offered by Mary Kate VanDusen

I want to start out by thank each and every one of you for being here today to celebrate the life of my Mim, Suzanne Mulligan Gorman. She would be so thrilled that all of us are together. That’s what she wanted, a big party with people together that she loved. Whether you are an extension of one of us, or she was your friend, cousin, aunt, mother, mother in law, or your Mim, I can promise you she has stayed up all night worrying about each of you at one time or another. As I sat down to try to think of where to possibly begin with toasting to this incredible woman, I felt as though I could say a million amazing things and that still wouldn’t be enough. So, I decided what better way to do it than to turn to her own words.

I gave her a book for Mother’s Day to fill out about her life and, ironically, I finally took it from her apartment this week. However, when I gave it to her she called me a few days later and told me the book was done. She spent hours filling out the ENTIRE thing in one day. I’d like to share a few things that she wrote that capture exactly who she was.

When I read about what she wrote of her mother, I realized it’s a lesson she really is teaching all of us as we now face our loss of her. She wrote All of my memories of her are wonderful and no matter how much time has gone by she remains in my heart and my memory. I loved her so much and I’ll always remember her love of me. She wrote wonderful things about her father and her brothers as well.

The part about the loves of her life she wrote “I had two loves in my life, but the second one was the best thing that ever happened to me. My husband Paul Gorman. He is a wonderful, loving, caring, very intelligent man, a wonderful father and grandfather. Moral as can be and hard working and the true love of my life. I have been a very, very lucky person loving him as my husband and the father of my children and grandchildren. Thank you God.”

As for her children she said, “of course I loved being a mother. Each child made Paul and I have a complete happiness that was different to the next. Our lives together were complete. We are so proud of each one of them.”

Her hopes and dreams for the future were that all her children and grandchildren are happy and have a life as good as hers was.

Her best advice is to treat the people in your life as you would like to be treated. Always find some good in every person.

The most important thing she has learned is to never stay mad. God is good and that being with her family is what makes her happiest. She said her family is her life.

My Mim was the most faithful person I have ever met. Her love and loyalty to God and her religion was immensely unwavering. Even on her last day on Earth, she was reminding all of us to never turn away from God because without Him there is no hope. I promised her I will never stop going to mass. She asked me to pray the Hail Mary with her and, even with her struggle to breathe and her hands connected to IVs, she made the sign of the cross. She was such an incredible woman of faith . There’s a line from an Ed Sheeran song that says “I know that when God took her back he said hallelujah you’re home” and I 1,000 percent believe that to be true of my Mim. She is now home as an angel of God. So because of that I’d like to thank God for two things. The first is giving all of us this amazing woman Suzanne Mulligan Gorman, Mim, in our lives to love, learn from, & laugh with. The second is to thank God that she didn’t marry Bob Hartney because had that been the case none of us would be here!

Lastly, I’d like to share what she said she would most like to be remembered for....being a good mother and wife and caring for God and my grandchildren. I would like to be considered as a good housekeeper, a true friend, and being kind to people. And then written in ALL capital letters MAKING A GOOD DRINK WITH SCOTCH AND HAVING A BAG OF POTATO CHIPS!

We all know Suzie to be one of a kind with her quirky sayings and little spitfire personality who loved to be the life of the party. I can only imagine the parties going on in Heaven this week. So with that said, please raise your glass and cripes! let’s have an honest to God AWFUL good time celebrating the life of Suzanne Mulligan Gorman. We love you forever, Mim!