Sue Spain, 87, died in Naples, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2020. She passed away peacefully at home and was attended by loving caregivers and all of her children.
Sue was born on June 3, 1932, in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., the daughter of Mark Jason Edgar and Helen Ferguson Edgar. She was raised with her beloved brother, Perry, and two sisters, Adelaide and Connie. She attended Dobbs Ferry High School, Centenary University and then, in 1952 Sue married John Paul Spain. During their 20-year marriage, Sue and John raised their six children on Lake Mahopac in New York state. Sue was a natural-born mother and homemaker. It was in these early years that Sue’s love of nature and passion for the outdoors became a mainstay of family life. Fondest family memories included water skiing, boating and exploring Lake Mahopac, hiking through the Adirondack Mountains and summertime holidays on the beaches of Long Island.
Sue’s adventures continued in 1972 when she moved west. A true pioneering spirit with unwavering determination, she left New York and drove across the country with her four youngest children, three horses and two dogs to set up home in Sun Valley, Idaho. An avid skier, Sue had a passion for the outdoors that was nourished in Sun Valley, where the family hiked, camped and fished in the Sawtooth Mountains. Family members recall arriving in Sun Valley and being awestruck by the spectacular nature of the Wild West, collecting buckets and buckets of wildflowers in their excitement. While Sue eventually relocated to Florida, her deep love for Sun Valley stayed in her heart and was passed on to her children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren.
In 1989 Sue moved to Naples, Fla., to be closer to family and friends. Reveling in the white sand beaches of Naples, she also found enormous joy and comfort in spending time with her grandchildren, who lived nearby. During these industrious years in Naples, Sue became an accomplished real estate agent. As well, she cultivated her artistry, designing and assembling unusual and beautiful beaded necklaces. Creative, disciplined and determined, Sue became an educator and advocate, teaching English to those in her community who wanted to learn. Her individual efforts eventually grew into a small local school respectfully acknowledged by a local Naples newspaper in an article called “Breaking Down the Language Barrier.” Sue was fondly referred to as “teacher” by her students.
Sue will be remembered as a mother, grandmother, friend, teacher, artist and loving spirit. She is survived by her six children, Susanne, Christopher, Laura, Mary, Elizabeth and Matthew; her eight grandchildren, Dakin, Ferris, Kaley, Nathaniel, Wyatt, Jude, Adelaide and Eliza; and two great-grandchildren, Layla West and Spain.