Susan Leighton of Guilford, Conn. and Edgartown, died in her sleep on March 1 after a two-year battle with cancer. Her husband Charlie Leighton was at her side. She was 71.

Susan was born in New York City on Sept. 10, 1948 and grew up in Riverside, Conn. After graduating from Greenwich High School, she attended Marjorie Webster Junior College in Washington, D.C. and the University of Arizona. She lived in Tucson, Ariz. and Mill Valley, Calif. before moving back East where she settled in the Connecticut shoreline area, living in Clinton and Guilford.

It was there that she met her soul mate and perfect match, Charlie Leighton of Edgartown. Virtually inseparable, they were married in New York City in 1988.

Susan followed in her father’s footsteps by becoming an ad space salesperson at the New Haven Advocate in 1985. Quickly rising to the position of head of the advertising department, she spent over 30 years there. She moved to the New Haven Register in the same capacity before returning to the New Haven Advocate until her retirement in 2013.

Generosity and charity came naturally to Susan. Over the years, she served on the board of the Connecticut ALS Association, was involved with Make A Wish Foundation of Connecticut and was deeply and faithfully committed to AIDS Project New Haven and the Christ Church Community Soup Kitchen right up to the end. Her grace, humor and courageous acceptance in the face of a terrible prognosis were consistent with her life. Her legacy of love, warmth, caring and giving has made the world a better place.

She was pre-deceased by her parents, William B. Nollman and Dorothy Ann Nollman, and sister Patricia Ann Imbres. She leaves behind husband Charlie of Guilford and Edgartown, daughter Erin Leighton Huckins of West Tisbury, a grandson and many friends.

Contributions can be made online to the AIDS Project New Haven at