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Suzanne S. Kelmartin
June 24, 1950 ~ May 21, 2023 (age 72) 72 Years Old
Suzanne Simons Kelmartin, 72, of West Chester, passed away on Sunday, May 21, 2023 with her loving family by her side.
Suzanne was born in Oneonta, NY on June 24, 1950, the youngest of four daughters born to the late Donald B. and Ione (Mettler) Simons of New Berlin, NY. When she was a small child the family relocated to Avon, NY, though they frequently returned to the family dairy farm in Smyrna, NY which was built on a land grant received by an ancestor who served in the American Revolution. She graduated from Avon Central School in 1968 and received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Delaware in 1972. She continued her family’s tradition of public service as a probation and parole officer in Delaware and as a social worker who connected people in need with essential services, including single mothers experiencing homelessness and the intellectually disabled.
Suzanne was known for her empathy and deep curiosity about the experiences of others. This led her to become an avid reader, lover of music, skilled cook of many cuisines, and traveler. She followed her adventurous streak on a cross-country move to Seattle in 1977 in a less-than-reliable car packed with her belongings, camping equipment and her dog Sammy. After returning to the East Coast, she met her husband-to-be, Tom, on a canoe camping trip hosted by the Wilmington Trail Club.
Suzanne and Tom married on June 29, 1985 in North East, MD, hosted a legendary reception at Elk Neck State Park, and honeymooned on their sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay. They moved to West Chester, PA in 1988 and had two sons, Ian (1990) and Peter (1991). She was a loving, dedicated mother and wife, working hard to support her family and pass her values and passions down to her boys. She was most content when the family was together, whether on a vacation, boating on the Chesapeake, or simply enjoying happy hour on the back deck.
After her diagnosis with ALS Suzanne maintained her trademark generosity and sense of humor. The strength of the relationships she developed over the course of her life was manifested in a nonstop parade of family and friends providing support and company. As the disease progressed, she fought selflessly for every moment of quality time with loved ones. She is missed fiercely, but there is solace in her release from the extraordinary suffering she faced.
Suzanne is survived by her husband Thomas P. Kelmartin Jr.; children Ian Kelmartin (Hannah Bartee) of San Francisco, CA and Peter Kelmartin (Katrina Steinley) of Shoreline, WA; sisters Nancy Fredette of Baldwinsville, NY and Joanne Simons (Tom Atkins) of Prescott, AZ; and many nieces, nephews and lifelong friends. She was preceded in death by her sister Barbara Simons.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 at 11:30 am at the James J. Terry Funeral Home, 736 E Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown, PA 19335. Visitation will take place from 9:45 – 11:15 am prior to the service at the funeral home.