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Brown-Wynne Funeral Home

1701 East Millbrook Road, Raleigh, NC

OBITUARY

Susan L. Eder

September 30, 1957June 4, 2019

Susan L. Eder, M.D., of Raleigh, NC, died at home June 4, 2019, surrounded by her family. She described herself as a feminist, activist, physician, child psychiatrist, wife, and mother of two wonderful young men. Dr. Eder was born on September 30, 1957, in New York, NY. She grew up in Riverdale, Bronx, NY, and went to the Fieldston School. She graduated in 1979 from Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. She received her M.D. in 1983 from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. In medical school, she met and married her classmate Dr. Jonathan Flescher. She completed her psychiatry residency in 1986, and child psychiatry fellowship in 1988, at the Payne Whitney Clinic, part of the New York Hospital - Cornell University Medical Center, New York. Following three years on the psychiatry faculty of the University of Massachusetts, in Worcester, MA, Susan and her young family moved to North Carolina. Dr. Eder practiced adult, adolescent, and child psychiatry in private practice in Raleigh for 28 years. In addition, for several years, Dr. Eder saw children and families, and supervised other professionals, at the Lucy Daniels Center for Children, in Cary, NC.

At age 16, Susan rode her bicycle from New York to Seattle on the first co-ed coast-to-coast group trip sponsored by American Youth Hostels. At an admissions interview for Hampshire College, the interviewer told Susan “you have perseverance, and will accomplish anything you set out to do.” This bicycle trip was a defining accomplishment of Susan’s young life, and began her lifelong love of cycling. She took great pleasure in riding like the wind and showed no fear zooming down hills. Susan was at her athletic peak as a cyclist and triathlete in the summer of 2008. While working hard that same summer on the campaign to elect Barack Obama, Susan was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. Shortly after her initial surgical biopsy, she left the hospital to help get out the vote, and was ecstatic about the election results that year. Susan benefitted from this decade’s advances in treating metastatic melanoma, and fortunately her disease progressed slowly. She served on the board of the patient-family advisory council at UNC Chapel Hill, which advises the Medical Center on how to focus on patient-centered care. She also taught young doctors in training about what it’s like to be living with cancer. She felt that her position as both a doctor and a patient made her uniquely qualified to teach students about how to deliver bad news to patients.

Susan believed having cancer spurred on her inner activist. While protesting with Reverend Barber at the start of the Moral Monday Movement here in North Carolina in 2013, Susan was arrested at the NC State Legislature building. She felt this act of civil disobedience was necessary to make health care a priority after the NC State legislature refused to accept the Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act. She always held a strong belief that psychotherapy and political activism go hand in hand. She would say: “political activism is empathy in action.” Even when her own health and wellbeing were threatened by her illness, she continued to call her legislators regularly to support progressive policies.

Susan is survived by her loving husband of 36 years, Dr. Jonathan Flescher, and sons Sam Eder Flescher (Alyssa Pilkons), and Max Eder Flescher, sister Rebecca Eder (Peter Shile), brother Michael Eder (Gundi Eder), beloved nieces and nephews, and many good friends, colleagues, and fellow activists. Many thanks to Transitions Hospicecare, and the wonderful caregivers who have shown so much love taking care of Susan these last months.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, June 6, 2019, at 2:00 PM at Beth Meyer Synagogue, 504 Newton Road, Raleigh, NC 27615. Donations may be made in Susan’s name to Planned Parenthood South Atlantic (https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-south-atlantic) or to the Lineberger Cancer Center, Chapel Hill (https://give.unc.edu/donate?p=LCGO).

Services

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Memories

Susan L. Eder

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Melinda Goodman

June 15, 2019

In 1967, Susan Eder was one of the most compassionate, friendly, and intelligent little girls I’d ever met. She was sparkly, focused, laughy, gentle, rebellious, joyful, beautiful and (sorry to use this word) CUTE with a beautiful shade of thick soft brown hair that was more like fur. Susie was a soft spoken middle sister who didn’t strive to have the popular teeny bopper look of the day. She was just herself. She was never mean. We had fun buying funky stuff from little tiny shops with names like “House of Earrings”. Susan was one of the girls who celebrated my birthday with me by going to see the play, “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown”. When she later became an AYH counselor, her stamina and love had a life long positive impact on my younger sister who rode with her on some rigorous bike rides. Susan had a powerful sense of purpose, curiosity, sensuality, creativity, and dedication to standing up for what’s right. She was someone who was deeply impacted by her awareness of the injustice, violence, and suffering of our times. She didn’t let her own hurt and pain prevent her from being there for others. I was privileged to know her. There are few beings who come near to possessing her organizational skills or her intense and brilliant generosity of spirit. She was Love.

Nan Goodman

June 8, 2019

I was a grade school friend of Susie’s, and I am devastated by the news of her passing. I remember her so fondly from sleepovers, picnics at Fieldston Lower during recess, and after school play dates. May her name and her many good works be a blessing.

Joe Ann Thomas

June 8, 2019

I never met Susan. Her husband is my physician. My heart sends condolences to the family. The fullness and passions of her life bespeaks a love of humanity and a fire in her heart that shed warmth and comfort to many. God Bless the family. Joe Thomas, Raleigh NC

Merri Robinson

June 8, 2019

We are out of the country , but wanted to extend our condolences to Jonathan and family. We are thinking of you at this sad time and hope your memories of the beautiful strong woman Susan was will bring you some peace in the years to come.
With warm regards,
Merri and Marc Robinson

Laura Michaelides

June 7, 2019

Jon, Max and Sam, Rebecca and Michael,

I will always remember Susan with great fondness, and cherish my memories of our times together.

As you know, our mothers were best friends from early adulthood, and Susan and I , so close in age spent a great deal of time together. Our friendship transcended the family connection and I loved and was inspired by Susan’s humor, determination, kindness.

A memory stays with me: Susan and I on a snowy evening, rambling the streets near her childhood home in Fieldston, Riverdale. We sang songs, howled at the sky and caught snowflakes on our tongues.

Rest In Peace dear, dear friend.

Julie Balaban

June 6, 2019

John and Sam and Max,
Sam and Max won't remember us, we last saw your family before the move to Raleigh. Susan and I trained in residency and Fellowship together, and by coincidence also both escaped NY for MA. I can't point to any particular story, but when I think of Susan the image that comes up is her cool, spiky hairdos, her huge smile, and her laugh. She was a great buddy during the "trenches" years, and I loved keeping track of her over the years, although we didn't connect directly as much as either of us would have liked. Her spirit, passion and compassion came through in everything she did, whether it was learning, caring for family, work, or social justice activism. The world has lost a good soul and a good citizen. My deepest condolences, my heart aches for you and for losing Susan.

Sallie Ellinwood

June 6, 2019

Susan had such spunk and at Great Yarns, she was often knitting something new and challenging. She had such a sense of style. I will miss her spirit.

Denise FitzPatrick

June 6, 2019

With deepest sympathy to Susan’s family and friends,
Denise FitzPatrick, knitting friend at Great Yarns, where we shared fun times and meaningful conversation

Kathy Wilson

June 6, 2019

I’m so sorry for your loss. I met Susan a few years ago while knitting at Great Yarns. We shared a common love of cycling as well. Susan was always so sweet and pleasant, a great encourager and over all positive person. Lifting her family up in prayer today and as you mourn her in the coming days.

Cheryl Fraser

June 5, 2019

Whenever Susan came in to our Boutique we always had a great time and learned so much! She kept us up to date about the Moral Monday’s, the healthcare issues and so much more... all the while enjoying shopping and supporting us and our boutique for 20 years! We will miss your spunky determination and your energy and knowledge. We will try to carry on for you to try to make a difference.

Cheryl Fraser and Team
Galatea Boutique