OBITUARY

Dr. Suzanne K. Wedel

December 29, 1955March 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.

Services

  • Memorial Service Saturday, April 30, 2016
REMEMBERING

Dr. Suzanne K. Wedel

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Siobhan McDonald

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

Gregory Gerstenberger

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.

Lolli Leeson

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.

Jon Burstein

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

Dear Alasdair,
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

Ann Linz

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

Barbara Bunting

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.