Susan H. Markwica died peacefully on Feb. 8, surrounded by her family. She was 70.

She was a loving mom, partner and friend.

Susan was born and raised in Glastonbury, Conn. She earned her undergraduate degree in peace and conflict studies from Earlham College and her graduate degree in counseling psychology from Antioch University.

After many years working as a therapist in Connecticut, she left clinical work and moved to Martha’s Vineyard with her partner Frank to raise their daughter Anna. She worked as the coordinator for the Family Network at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. In the early 2000s, she transitioned to employment at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, where she rose to become the assistant director of human resources.

Her profound ability to listen, along with her advocacy for mental health support, was a gift to those who knew her. She took great joy in volunteer work as a lactation counselor with the Martha’s Vineyard Breastfeeding Network, where she supported numerous mothers and newborn babies throughout the years.

She loved to spend time with her family, long days at the beach, work in the garden and do all sorts of crafts; her many talents included sewing, knitting, applique and embroidery. Her serenity, wisdom and eternal optimism will be forever cherished.

Susan is survived by her daughter Anna Markwica Owen and son in law Dominic Owen, a loving extended family, dear friends and her sweet grand-pup Sadie.

She was predeceased by her life partner Frank Markwica, her mother Margaret Rau, her father William Helfrich and her brother William Helfrich Jr.

Family and friends are invited to a joint celebration of life for both Susan and Frank on Saturday, May 6 at 1 p.m. at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury.

Memorial donations can be made to the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Sarcoma and Connective Tissue Oncology at