Suellen Garner

June 15, 1962July 30, 2018

FALMOUTH – Suellen Garner of Falmouth died peacefully Tuesday, July 30, 2018, surrounded by loving family and friends. Suellen, or Susie or Susie-Q as she soon became known to anyone who met her, left this world wrapped in the same love and affection that greeted her upon her arrival on June 15, 1962. She was the baby of the family and the source of much pride, and amusement, for her parents and three brothers and her two sisters. Suellen never lacked for company or affection, and also had a menagerie of chickens, rabbits, geese, and dogs to occupy her attention. The latter started her life-long love affair with dogs that included Bosco and Little Bit, her Chihuahuas, and her most recent love affair with her “adopted” Maizey, the toy poodle.

She was raised in Framingham, MA and moved with her family to Holliston, MA, Litchfield CT and then back to Framingham where she graduated from Framingham South High in 1980. Susie had a strong and fierce loyalty to her childhood friends that lasted throughout her life. Never shy, and between her boldness, quick-witted humor and brilliant smile, she would win over many a heart. The friendships that she developed were never more apparent than during her fight with cancer as her friends Kelly and Patty provided invaluable friendship, love, and support.

She loved living, her laugh was light and engaging and her smile bigger than the sun. Suellen said she “would always try something once.” And she did. Suellen began with study at Bentley University in the early eighties. Among her many careers, Suellen served as the Executive Assistant to the Ashland Town Manager. She was a Sr. Administrative Assistant in the Geology and Geophysics Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). She once enrolled in Southeastern Technical Institute and graduated at the top of her class as a dental assistant merely to prove she could do it, and then just as promptly quit and launched into a career in the mortgage industry serving stints with Sherwood Mortgage and Countrywide Mortgage in various roles. She somehow also found time to work for supplier F.W. Webb and as a loan assistant with Key Financial.

People often commented on Susie’s sense of adventure. Not surprisingly, her favorite song was Mustang Sally (and the woman could dance!) She was peripatetic, moving to the Cape first in the late eighties and then returning permanently in 2003 with stops along the way in Falmouth, Barnstable Village, Pocasset, and Osterville. Suellen liked to travel, and a frequent companion was her sister Lisa. It was good that Suellen did not go alone; geography was not her strength. Despite the nature of her work assisting scientists at WHOI, her friends there recall that a favorite phrase of Suellen’s was “how do you know where that is?” to which their response would always be “but how can you not? Nevertheless, wherever she went, her smile and infectious giggle drew people into her circle of friendships and experiences.

Suellen loved quotes and inspirational messages, and her spirituality grew in her later years. Suellen’s yearbook quote was “Don’t fill your life with years, fill your years with life.” In her in 56 years, she was a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a cousin, an aunt, a spouse, an in-law, a friend, a confidant, a conspirator, an instigator, a ringleader, and co-worker; she was precious and precocious, shy and outgoing, haughty and flirty, maddening and hilarious, serious and silly, languid and vivacious, simple and complex and always Suellen.

She is survived by her father and mother Jack and Lore (Manning) Garner of Osterville, MA; by her brother Stephen and Karen (Dolan) Garner of Bolton, MA, her brother Mark and Laura (Welles) Garner of Bradenton, FL, her sister Julie and David Butler of Gilbert, AZ, her brother Brian and Nancy (Gusha) Garner of East Sandwich, MA, her sister Lisa Garner of Falmouth, MA and numerous aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be held from 4:00 - 6:00 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2018, at Doane, Beal & Ames Funeral Home, 160 West Main Street, Hyannis, MA. Interment will be held at 10:00 am Wednesday, August 8, 2018, at Beechwood Cemetery, Centerville, MA and all are invited to attend. A Celebration of Life for Suellen will be held at a later date. Further details, directions, and other information can be found at In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.


  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute.


  • Visitation Tuesday, August 7, 2018
  • Committal Service Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Suellen Garner

have a memory or condolence to add?

T Brown

August 6, 2018

My deepest sympathies to Suellen's family, my heart is broken that she is gone. We entered the support groups at about the same time and she was one who I had a close connection. A number of attempts to connect in person never worked with our diagnosis, something I will always regret. She was a sweet and caring soul reaching out in group and privately, always trying to help. I will miss her. 💜💙💚

Terese Richards

August 5, 2018

My deepest sympathy to Suellen’s family. I went to college with Suellen. We both only knew each other for a short time. It was just a few years, but I was indeed touched by her beautiful spirit and the exuberance she had for life. The memories I just read about her, were all showed me in the short time I knew her. She was kind and loving, and she touched my heart right from our first encounter. May your memories give you comfort. I just wanted to share how even an small encounter with Suellen, left a long lasting comfort and impression. She was so special.

Lisa Breslow Thompson

August 3, 2018

In addition to the myriad wonderful words describing Suellen here, I’d like to add “teacher”. Throughout her illness, she kept it real, educating us all about the hopes, fears and struggles of a METAvivor. She was brutally honest about her daily battle with this formidable illness, sharing with us the good, the bad and the ugly. We were all profoundly moved by her example and the lessons she taught. ❤️

Linda Paul

August 2, 2018

Suellen was my student and I was her class advisor for the most wonderful Class of 1980! I will always remember Suellen as the most up-beat and happy person - Always a smile on her face and so full of life. We got along so well and I was so upset to hear about her illness and now her passing. My prayers and thoughts to all her family and friends.