Suzanne Stoepel Whittemore, known affectionately as Susie, died on Saturday, April 19 at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. She was 86.
Susie was born on Jan. 2, 1928, to Helen Rohnert and Robert Hermann Stoepel of Grosse Point, Mich. She attended The Madeira School and Briarcliff College.
After marrying Rev. James Robinson Whittemore, Susie resided in South Hamilton and Princeton, N.J., and summered on Martha’s Vineyard. She moved to Edgartown in 1973, where she lived year-round for the past 41 years. She created beautiful homes on South Water street and later on Cottage street that were the settings for many memorable gatherings.
In 1975, Susie was a founding trustee of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, which she continued to guide with unwavering enthusiasm and dedication through the years. Along with another board member, she introduced The Taste of the Vineyard to the community 29 years ago, an event that is today a signature of the Trust and sells out every year. The many achievements of the Trust are part of her lasting legacy to the Island she called home. She was also a supporter of numerous organizations that benefitted the Vineyard.
Susie was actively involved with the Edgartown Yacht Club, serving as a trustee, as chairman of the membership committee, and as one of the first two women on the EYC race committee. She also was a member of the Chappaquiddick Beach Club and the Field Club.
Always the gracious hostess, Susie also enjoyed international travel, bridge, reading and spirited conversations. She was steadfastly loyal to her many friends from both the year-round and summer communities. Her wit, good judgment and elegant style will be missed by all who knew her.
She is survived by her daughter, Lucy, of Edgartown; son Robert and his wife Anne, of Charleston, S.C., and their children, Emma and Alex. Susie was predeceased by her sister, Helen Stoepel McGraw.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to Susie’s many loving caregivers and to the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, P.O. Box 5277, Edgartown, MA 02539.
Funeral services will be private. A reception in honor of Susie’s life will be held during the season ahead.