Dr. Suzanne K. Wedel
December 29, 1955 – March 30, 2016
Dr. Suzanne K. Wedel, 60, of Marblehead passed away on the morning of March 30th, 2016 after a courageous three-year fight with ovarian cancer. Born in North Newton, Kansas, she was the eldest daughter of Arnold and Dolores Wedel. Suzanne was raised in her beloved Kansas, attended Newton High School, and graduated from Bethel College. She graduated from medical school at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and continued as a resident in the Internal Medicine Program. She then moved to Baltimore, MD, to perform a critical care fellowship at the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) - known to the world as "Shock Trauma, Baltimore" - one of the world’s premier trauma units. Shortly after completing her fellowship, she moved to Boston with her husband, Alasdair Conn, a trauma surgeon whom she met in Baltimore. Dr. Wedel worked at Boston City Hospital and Boston University Hospital before assuming the role of CEO and medical director of Boston MedFlight; a position she indicated she would fulfill for only one year, but stayed on for the following 26 years. Under her tutelage and guidance, MedFlight became one of the premier life flight programs in the country and grew from one helicopter to four, with an expansion into critical care ground transport and long distance transfers by dedicated medically configured airplanes that transport more than 3,500 patients a year. Dr. Wedel was a decisive leader, patient advocate, and yet remained the kind of doctor you would want to care for members of your family.
Despite all of her professional accomplishments, Suzanne will be most remembered for her ability to touch and transform the lives of others. She participated in the community through her Old North Church in Marblehead, MA, and was involved with the activities of her children, all of whom graduated from Tower School and Marblehead High School. She was an accomplished pianist, loved classical music, and opera. An avid sports fan, Suzanne was regularly seen donning the colors of her favored KU Jayhawks. She enjoyed bicycle trips in Europe with her husband and friends, as well as local get-togethers with her book club. Her compassion, thoughtfulness, and ability to be there for others in both good times and bad will always be treasured by those who knew her.
Following Suzanne’s diagnosis in late 2012, she used her tenacity and leadership to become an outspoken advocate for awareness and early detection of ovarian cancer. She passionately spearheaded a series of fundraising events, most notably the Suzanne Wedel XOXOut Ovarian Cancer fund, which takes its name from the “xoxo” she added while signing personal letters and e-mail. Dr. Wedel is survived by her parents Arnold and Dolores Wedel of North Newton Kansas, her sister Janine Wedel of Washington D.C and her brother Edward Wedel of Jefferson City Missouri; her husband Alasdair Conn of Marblehead and her children Kathryn, Christopher and Alexander together with Kathryn’s fiancé Arun Nair of Baltimore.
Arrangements: A memorial service will be held at the Old North Church, 35 Washington Street, Marblehead, MA on April 30th, 2016 at 11am. To reflect Suzanne’s wish that the service be a celebration of her life, we encourage attendees to wear spring colors to the event. In lieu of flowers, Suzanne requested that expressions of sympathy be made to the Suzanne Wedel XOXOut Ovarian Cancer Fund at Massachusetts General Hospital or to Boston MedFlight at BostonMedFlight.org. Arrangements by Eustis and Cornell of Marblehead.
- Memorial Service Saturday, April 30, 2016
Dr. Suzanne K. Wedel
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April 23, 2016
Suzanne was a member of our First Church Seampscott Mission team that went to Honduras to work with Habitat for Humanity.
When she hosted the initial information meeting at her home I found out that missions were a strong part of her upbringing and she just lit up talking about past experiences "in the field." It made perfect sense that she would go into a career that involved helping people.
I'm so sorry that she is gone too soon. To her family-I will keep you all in my prayers, as I know so many First Church friends will do.
April 21, 2016
My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Suzanne Wedels' family. It broke my heart to hear of her passing. She never gave up the fight. Suzanne may you RIP. You will be our hearts. Ruth Stokes
April 17, 2016
So sad to hear of Suzanne's death. We were friends during our years together at Bethel College. Your compassion, love, and joy is an inspiring example for everyone. RIP my friend.
April 17, 2016
Dear Alasdair, Alex and family,
I had only met Suzanne a few times, through our son Nate's friendship with Alex in middle-high school. Each time our paths crossed over the years, Suzanne always greeted me with a warm smile~ like a friend, not just an acquaintance. That is a true gift to have. It is not about what you say, its about how you make people feel. Suzanne had this beautiful quality of shining the light. My thoughts are with you and Alex and your family. God bless.
The Leeson Family
Patricia & Francesco Rietti
April 15, 2016
Dear Alex and family: Although we did not personally know your mother, we are grateful to her for bringing such a wonderful young man into our lives and for the countless times she welcomed Sofia into your home. We are so sorry for your loss and hope you find comfort in the people around you who care deeply.
April 15, 2016
Alasdair and family,
My deepest condolences for Suzanne's passing. She was a wonderful doctor and person, and we will greatly miss her contributions to the state's EMS Medical Services Committee. It was an honor and privilege to know and work with her, and I will miss her greatly.
April 14, 2016
My deepest condolences on your family's loss of wife, mother and our profession losing a very esteemed physician.
I remember Suzanne from our early days at University Hospital, and the seamless coordination of and excellent care we had with her between the OR and into the ICU. As she moved on to the EMS, we had the same collaboration when she brought patients to the hospital. One of the few women in leadership positions early on, she was the consummate professional as well as a caring role model.
Your memories will sustain you through this time and into the future. The profession and her patients are grateful for her dedication and expertise.
Marcelle Willock MD
April 12, 2016
Dear Alasdair and Family, I am so sorry to hear of Suzanne's passing. I have such fond memories of the both of you, here in Baltimore, your wedding and our trip to your house up north when our children and yours were small. I know all too well what you and your children are experiencing. My prayers and peaceful wishes are with all of Suzanne's loved ones. Time has a way of healing our sadness. I got a tattoo to always carry Jimmy with me. Fondly, Ann Linz
April 11, 2016
Family: My condolences. While I did not know Dr. Wedel, I was impressed by her dedication and inspired by the knowledge that she was a graduate? of Newton High School. I am a member of the USD 373 Board of Education. Each year we recognize distinguished alumni; Suzanne would be worthy of recognition, although there is a formal nomination process. I would encourage you to consider placing her name in nomination in the future.
Karla Krahn Drake
April 10, 2016
I am so sorry for your premature death. We grew up in North Newton together and both our dads were professors at Bethel. I wish your family comfort in this difficult time.
April 10, 2016
I first met you when I began working for Alasdair at MGH, 28 years ago. You were an amazing lady; full of energy and always ready for new experiences. And when you became a mother, you accomplished something we all aspired to - you raised 3 amazing, delightful, accomplished children who have much to offer the world. And all during this time, you enjoyed so many adventures and social activities with Alasdair - and with Kathryn, Christopher and Alexander. My heart breaks for them as I truly thought you would lick this terrible disease; but it wasn't to be. May you rest in peace, knowing that you will be missed and loved by many; but you accomplished so much in the time you were given.
April 9, 2016
Dear Alasdair, Kathryn, Christopher and Alex: I knew your Mom through working with BMF and always felt inspired by her passion & pride in her family and her work. She shared how meaningful it was for her to be your Mom which brought her the greatest joy as she watched you grow into such great adults. With laughter and pride she showed me the books she gave you for your birthdays and how she loved creating them and seeing your reactions. Her love is within you and her spirit will never leave you.
April 8, 2016
Growing up in North Newton, Kansas, children of Bethel College profs, and a friend of Janine, Suzanne's younger sister, I am so saddened upon receiving news of Suzanne's passing. I will always remember Suzanne as an incredibly kind, intelligent, and personable human being. My deepest sympathy, prayers, and condolences to all Suzanne's family. My arms are around you as you grieve for and remember Suzanne.
~Karen (nee Regier) Healy
April 8, 2016
Alasdair: so sorry and sad to learn of Suzanne leaving us. As you know, she was my very first attending at Shock Trauma when I was there as a new fellow. She impressed me with her level of commitment and knowledge, but what was most impressive was the fact that she was just a genuine good and loving person, something that I have always envied. I will miss and remember that about her forever!
April 7, 2016
Dear Alasdair, Kathryn, Christopher, and Alexander. I am writing from North Newton, a childhood friend of Suzanne's. I have always looked forward to seeing her on campus at Bethel each fall, and loved catching up with her from time to time through cards and social media. It's with deep sadness that I write, and am sending you my highest thoughts. I hope and pray that your memories you hold so dearly. With love, Meribeth Miller
April 4, 2016
Dear Alasdair, Kathryn, Christopher, and Alexander, We wanted to share with you how deeply saddened we are at Suzanne's passing. She was an incredible inspiration to me growing up and was the older cousin I both respected and loved. We have all been incredibly blessed by her life. We continue to pray for each of you and look forward to seeing you all again. With love and prayers: George, Denise, Emmi and Suzie
April 3, 2016
Dear Alsdair, I am so sorry to hear about the loss you and your family are going through. My condolences in your loss.
April 2, 2016
My deepest condolences to the Wedel/ Conn/Medflight families. I remember Suzanne as a warm, friendly face in the hanger. She always had something nice to say whenever you ran into her. A great worman who will be sorely missed!
With Sincerest Sympathy,
Former Mechanic, Keystone Helicopter Corp./ Boston Medflight
April 2, 2016
Dr. Wedel & Family,
What you've contributed to the citizens of The Commonwealth of our great State with the premiere Air Medical Transport System of Boston Med Flight that has saved so many Lives can never be repaid. Your leadership, dedication to provide such a critical Medical system cannot be over stated. You will not only be missed by your colleagues in both Medicine and EMS Air Medical transport, but the countless of patients whose lives were saved. Your life made such a difference in so many others and you will be missed by so many more than you will ever know. RIP & Condolences!
John E. Marino
Webra Price Douglas
April 1, 2016
I am so sad to hear of the end of Suzanne's remarkable life. I cannot imagine your loss. I just want you and your family to know how much I loved her!
Suzanne was such an inspiration professionally. She was relentless in improving anything she touched. She always considered the greater good and always saw the big picture. She used her final challenge to try to improve recognition/early diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer! I was honored to know her professionally.
But those are not the memories I am clinging to for comfort
There was never a time we were together that we did not giggle. Not a shallow giggle but a girlie, out loud, laugh until you snort/spit episode.
I felt like I could tell her anything. Even if she thought I was nuts, she thought about it for a minute until she could think of a kind way to tell me she thought I was nuts and suggested a reasonable option. She was always so thoughtful and considered even outrageous ideas.
We had a grand time talking about family, work, friends, life in general. . . . Yep, we talked about you and Scott and we knew we were fortunate to have loving, supportive husbands and family.
We had a road trip together, from Virginia Beach, VA to Baltimore, MD on the way home from a CAMTS meeting. Instead of driving me all the way home in Severna Park, I insisted that Scott pick me up at a rest stop on I-95N, so Suzanne could surprise her children earlier. That adventure was more than memorable. We had four uninterrupted hours to talk and just be together. I still think of Suzanne every time I pass that rest stop.
You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers,
March 31, 2016
I first met you and your amazing family and son Alex during 8th grade travel basketball tryouts . I thoroughly enjoyed coaching your son.Alex came right up to me after a long tryout and thanked me for giving him a chance ! I will never forget that ! I immediately told my assistant coach that Alex was on my team. I enjoyed welcoming him into our team and basketball family ! He is a great kid because he comes from an amazing family . I am so grateful that he remains close to my son to this very day ! Jeremy would often candidly talk about you and your husband he considered you his second family . I will miss our Kansas Jayhawks and March Madness talks ! With deepest sorrow and condolenses