Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Beginnings - For All of Us

The Susan we knew and loved passed away today. Her long journey is finally over and we are confident that she is at peace. It’s important to note that she did not “lose her battle with cancer”. She beat cancer years ago when she chose quality over quantity of life and lived with the disease far longer than expected. Indeed, her life is nothing short of a triumph. Now we all embark on a new journey – life without Susan’s presence, but with the memories of her that have shaped our lives. Her obituary will read something like this:

Susan G. Moody was known for her zealous effectiveness in everything she sought to accomplish. It was therefore no surprise to anyone who knew her that she lived a full life for more than four and a half years after being diagnosed with terminal stage IV melanoma. Her cancer journey was characterized by her ardent emphasis on the quality of life, not its duration. She died in her home on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 in the presence of loved ones.

Susan, 55, and who lived in Aurora, Colorado was a retired Community Health Nurse Manager. She held two bachelor’s degrees (Zoology and Nursing), two certificates (Medical Technology and Science Education), and an honorary master’s degree in Nursing Leadership bestowed by Regis University in 2004 when she fell just short of completion due to her illness. She began her professional life as a medical technologist for 15 years followed by brief service as a public school science teacher. But her true passion was in public health nursing where she became a subject matter expert in women’s health issues, especially for the under-served population. After first working in the Chicago area where they lived for eight years, she and her family moved back to Colorado where she worked for the Tri-County Health Department for several years before joining MCPN (Metro Community Provider Network) as a Clinic Operations Manager.

Susan was an avid gardener, knitter, jewelry maker, seamstress, reader, and singer. She was a soprano soloist in the Westminster Choir at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, a member of a jazz/gospel ensemble group known as “The Stage Crew”, and appeared in numerous musical productions over many years. She was also an Elder in the Presbyterian Church USA and was elected to Montview’s Session. She served on a committee of the Diana Price-Fish Foundation, a cancer support organization; and on the board of Self Improvement Opportunities, an adult education provider where she also tutored GED students.

Susan married Rob Moody in November of 1978 after meeting him through her sister in 1972. Together, they raised two fine sons, Jon age 25 and Patrick age 22 both of Aurora. Besides her husband and sons, she is survived by her parents, Wallace and Nancy Given of Downers Grove, Illinois; a brother Scott Given also of Downers Grove; and her sister Barbara Wise of Hampshire, Illinois. Her extended family includes numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia Street in Denver where she will be interred in Montview’s Memorial Columbarium. Memorials and contributions can be made in her name to:

Montview Blvd. Presbyterian Church Music Program
1980 Dahlia Street
Denver, CO 80220-1239

Visiting Nurse Association Hospice at Home Program
Attention: Bob Crump-Bertram, Chaplain
390 Grant Street
Denver, CO 80203

The Melanoma Research Foundation
170 Township Line Road, Building B
Hillsborough, NJ 08844

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

My sincerre sympathy! I am a friend of Jan's and have followed Susan's journey. She sounds like the kind of a person that made such a difference. Blessings!
June

Peggy G. said...

Rob-
My heart is heavy at your loss. But you are right: Susan triumphed over her cancer. May you, Jon and Patrick and her extended family take comfort in the rich, full life she did lead. We at Montview are blessed by your beautiful voices and your participation. I will be out of town starting Saturday, so I will probably miss the memorial service.
But Susan will live on in our memories-- and through this beautiful record you have created online.
Blessings and Peace,
Peggy

Anonymous said...

As as physician, it is a difficult part of our job to experience all the joy and pain of life's journey with our patients. Susan returned to my practice in search of support for her decisions about treatment for the melanoma. Her outlook and spirit at that reacquaintance meeting were very memorable. Part of my soul is constantly preoccupied with thoughts of my patients who are out there living with terminal illnesses. I wonder if I will ever hear of the final parts of their journey.
It was an amazing blessing to have closure about Susan's journey in an unexpected way yesterday- another patient mentioned the loss of a dear friend from melanoma and I soon discovered it was Susan.
I hope all can celebrate her life and spirit and grow through the pain of her absence.
Dr. W

Anonymous said...

Rob,
I'm very sorry to here about the loss of your wife. Thank you and your family for sharing your journey with us. The strength you and your family exhibited throughout this journey is nothing short of inspirational. While I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Susan, I did have an opportunity to get to know you. And if your strength of character is any testement to what kind of lady your wife was, then Susan must have been a heck of a gal!! May your faith sustain you and may God bless you and your family.
Zeke Z.

Anonymous said...

Rob, Thinking of you and the boys.
We spoke of Susan and our memories of her in choir. It was wonderful.
She will be missed/and our memories of her cherished.
We look forward to embracing you back in the choir when your time to come back has arrived.
Love,
sue -VP of the choir

laurie lavenhar said...

Dear Rob and Wonderful sons,

Susan and I shared a gift of closeness, maybe drawn together by "melanoma". She was a fan of my art and I of her artistry. I am glad she was able to orchestrate this chapter. She was blessed with strength and clarity. You have been through a lot. You and your son(s) embrassed her unconditionally with your love and dedication.

See you Dec 30th. Laurie Lavenhar

Mike said...

Rob,

I have a sad heart today, thinking of your loss and of all our loss of Sue. While we haven't been in touch for so long, you and Sue have been in my thoughts for some time (and every time I rehang the MASS poster!).

God bless and keep you and the boys.

Peace,
Mike Phillips

Karen Main said...

Rob - I am so sorry for your loss. You have been a role model, an inspiration to me for keeping your faith and your spirit and your love alive even during the most difficult times. You and Susan and Jon and Patrick have shown me the value of living each day fully and embracing the gifts that each new day brings. You are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rob and Moody Family,
Please accept my deepest sympathy on the loss of Susan. I did not have the opportunity to know her but from what I read about her I can say she was a very respectable individual and a role model in her life and death. No need to say she will continue to live through her loving memories. My thoughts and prayers will be with you at this difficult time.
Manijeh- City of Denver

Anonymous said...

The Office of Employee Assistance extend our sympathy on the death of your wife. Although we knew her mostly through the stories and photographs you shared with us, we sense the loss you are experiencing. Please let us know how we might help during this difficult time.

Office of Employee Assistance
City and County of Denver

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful send-off for Susan. I hope that her spirit was somewhere observing and nodding "Yes, they got it right. Just as I planned it."
My heart was touched by the love shown to Susan by the three of you. Blessings on you as you pick up the pieces of your life and continue.
Carol E.