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To Susie with Love

by TONI TUCKER

In early July of this year Susie Clayton left her body to soar with the angels.

How do I say goodbye to a friend and colleague? Susie was not only a longtime advertising and marketing representative, the Sales Manager of BerkshireStyle but my friend.

In 2013, at the very beginning, Susie joined BerkshireStyle. She was there through thick and thin, a constant cheerleader and confidant through the ups and downs, good years and challenging ones, urging me forward with her good humor.

We originally met at a s coffee house. Susie knew all about sales. I knew little to nothing about sales or, for that matter, not much about running a business. Susie was there to help. She shared strategies, advice and suggested ways forward. She was a bright light when I felt overwhelmed.

She was a one woman employment agency. She suggested exceptional candidates. Without her I would not know Kathryn Boughton or even dare ask her to work with us. Susie suggested and arranged for Leon Bouteiller to come on as Food Editor. She even convinced her daughter, Allyson, an amazing cook, to share an occasional recipe with the website. Thank you Susie.

Susie trained a number of Sales Associates and Interns through the years. Many came and left. She was always eager to share her craft with others, especially another generation. She created wonderful relationships with them and followed some as they moved on.

We continued to meet at diners and coffee shops. Susie taught me to manage expectations, how to keep in touch, how to be available and helpful to those with whom and for whom we worked. We shared eleven years of weekly communication, some thorny decisions and conversations as friends.

Susie loved politics. I do too. We agreed on many issues as liberals and spoke often of the state of the country and the world. A highpointin her life was her trip to the Washington as a guest of Senator Chris Murphy. A devoted Democrat, Susie shared her political adventures both local and national.

Susie loved her family. I never tired of hearing stories of Stewart and Alyson. The anticipation of
weekend visits from her daughter brought her great joy. She looked forward to long days of birthday and anniversary celebrations. I knew her plans months in advance. Susie looked forward to these events and was definitely off the clock to enjoy them.

Susie loved Canaan - or North Canaan as she often corrected me. The future of her town was important to her. She approached many of the businesses for advertising and championed new ones for inclusion on the website. Susie was my liaison to a place where she had spent her life. She introduced me to her community.

In the last year she battled fiercely for her health. As long as possible she attended Zoom meetings, her good ideas and positive attitude on display. The last thing she told me was that she was in good medical hands, her doctor had her back.

Rest well, dear Susie. With your good humor, positive attitude and spunk, I am trying to imagine us without you.

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