Susan Audrey Cohen Esposito

December 14, 1956December 31, 2018

MARBLEHEAD - Susan Audrey Cohen Esposito, 62, passed away peacefully at home on December 31st, 2018 surrounded by her beloved family while listening to Madonna after a valiant battle with brain cancer.

Faced with her diagnosis during her birthday week 13 months ago, she wrote on social media that “this tumor will kill me … eventually. Just not tomorrow.” Always finding the positive, she said her diet now consisted of “five major food groups: coffee, chocolate, soup, pasta and cheese.”

She bravely posted a photo after surgery with a beaming smile highlighting her new “zipper” of 26 suture staples and thanking her “village” for their support. She never complained and when asked how she was doing, she’d reply, “Great,” flashing the thumbs-up sign.

Her treatment, which she called her new full-time job, included ringing the bell at Mass General following the end of six weeks of radiation last winter. She chose the positive once again and went out to celebrate with Mexican food, her signature margaritas, and her beloved husband of 33 years and caregiver, Dennis.

Above all else, nurturing her family was Susan’s life force. She championed their accomplishments, and by her own example of unconditional love, hard work, tenacity and strength, leaves a lasting legacy. She stressed the importance of “keeping your ‘I love yous’ up to date” because she said you never knew when the last chance to say it might be. She ended every phone conversation that way.

Besides her husband, Susan leaves three children whom she adored: her daughter, Lauren of Boston and sons, Adam of Cambridge and Matthew of Miami. Of them, she was most proud. Lauren is an account director at Epsilon in Wakefield, where she works in their health care practice. Adam is a biochemist, who works as a senior research associate at Moderna Therapeutics in Cambridge. Matthew is a writer and designer working in Guatemala, Miami and Boston. All have surrounded Susan with comfort, love and support over this most difficult year.

By treating friends like family, “SuZQ” touched countless lives and hearts with her fierce courage, her keen intellect, her direct repartee, fun-loving humor and innate ability to assess any situation and offer a remedy.

She was a good listener and a trustworthy and loyal friend, known for finding the best in us all with an open and generous heart. But she was a realist and when asked, would deliver the unabashed truth. And…she was a bit of a rebel, often challenging any rule and unafraid to ask why or better yet, why not?

From Riverside, CA, she attended Riverside Polytech High School and studied at University of California San Diego before continuing her studies at Dartmouth College.

After completing her studies at UCSD and Dartmouth, Susan obtained her MBA from Harvard Business School. She met Dennis in 1982 and they settled in Marblehead to raise their family. She worked in the information technology industry where she was a very well recognized asset to many Fortune 100 businesses.

Susan was an expert skier and a member of the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead where she enjoyed sailing with family and entertaining friends aboard Desiderata and Ciao Bella. She loved to sail or travel to favorite destinations like Provincetown, Zihuatanejo, Mexico, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec and Pompano Beach Club in Bermuda.

She also leaves her brother, Andrew Cohen and his wife, Denise of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA; her nephews, Alex and Peter Cohen and her nieces, Michelle and Lianne Cohen. She was predeceased by her parents, Sidney and Civia Cohen.

A member of Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead, Susan’s Memorial Service will be held at the Stanetsky Hymanson Memorial Chapel, 10 Vinnin St., Salem on Sunday, January 13th at 12 p.m. Following the Memorial Service, all are welcome to join the family during rolling calling hours from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Tedesco Country Club. A celebration of her Life will be held next summer at the Corinthian Yacht Club.

Donations in Susan’s memory may be made to the Susan A. Cohen Esposito Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will benefit Marblehead High School scholars, c/o National Grand Bank of Marblehead, 91 Pleasant Street, Marblehead, MA 01945.

Written by Amy Rogers Dittrich


  • Susan A. Cohen Esposito Memorial Scholarship Fund


  • Memorial Service Sunday, January 13, 2019

Susan Audrey Cohen Esposito

have a memory or condolence to add?

John Marshall

January 11, 2019

Dennis, I am devastated to learn of Susan’s passing. I remember her vibrant personality from HBS class of 1985 section B and know that she was a special person for everyone that knew and loved her. My deepest condolences to you and the family.

eeve metsisto

January 4, 2019

dear dennis,
i am so sorry to hear about susan. i always enjoyed working with her, and just being with her. i lost my brother last year to a gbm, and it is a nasty, unrelenting illness.
my thoughts are with you...

Barb Jackson Palladino

January 3, 2019

Dear family of Sue,
From the halls of Poly I remember well our conversations and in our classes taught by Ms Herring, Mr Bell, Ms Varnell and more. Academically competitive, Sue gave as she took. We were a special gang, those of Poly '74! I thought it so cool to know she left sunny CA for the cold East as I did. Skiing at Wrightwood with Honor Society, Disneyland, and Ensenada trips, Daisy Chain and more. I will surely lift a toast in her memory at our 45th reunion next Sep of '19. Love.

Henry Citarella

January 3, 2019

I am sorry to hear of Susan passing. I have known her since our high school days at Poly we worked together at Kmart for a while. She was a loyal friend and a very smart individual. She will be missed. My sincere heartfelt prayers to her family. I know God has another angel with him now.